How to stay safe from burglary this Bonfire night

“Remember remember the 5th of November… Gunpowder, treason and plot”. November 5th is a time of fireworks, sparklers and seeing your breath hang in the cold air. This weekend, families and friends across the UK will gather in local parks to watch bonfires, throwing yellow and orange flames high into the cold night sky. We spend an evening making memories with loved ones and watching fantastic firework displays to remember the Gunpowder Plot, 411 years ago.  

Why burglary spikes around fireworks night

While out enjoying our local firework displays, most of us leave our homes empty. The bangs and flashes of fireworks provide the perfect cover for criminals which means that burglaries spike around November 5th. With over 650,000 UK homes broken into in 2016, the stats show Bonfire Night is the worst day of the year for burglary, with 21% more than the average day according to data from Aviva, the UK’s leading home insurer.

Aviva found that 42% of homeowners leave windows unlocked when they’re out – making it all too easy for burglars, especially on a night of the year when they’re provided with extra cover. Make sure you lock your windows and doors as you head out, and follow these home security tips from the Cocoon team.

5 Tips To Stay Safe This Bonfire Night

  1. Have stickers showing that you have a burglar alarm visible in your window, so people know that your home is protected. (Over 81% of burglars avoid homes with burglar alarms.)
  2. Remember to remove flyers from your doormat, leaving a stack there makes it look like your house is unoccupied.
  3. If you’ve been working in the garden, don’t leave a ladder or wheelbarrow out. It can make it easy for criminals to access windows and balconies when attempting a burglary.
  4. Don’t advertise to thieves that you’re going to be out, be discreet when loading your car, and wait until you’re back home to share your photos online.
  5. Get yourself a Cocoon home security system, so you know your home is secure from burglary while you’re away.

Cocoon can help you keep safe this November

Peace of mind and good home security go hand in hand. Sadly the time and cost of setting up a burglar alarm system can be enough to make you feel like it’s Halloween again! Thankfully, new smarter home security systems like Cocoon not only take the hassle away from protecting your home, they also make it much more affordable.

From £159 you can protect your home with a simple to setup and use all-in-one Cocoon device that uses unique Subsound® multi-room protection technology to cover more of your home, alerting the moment something unusual happens.

  • Simple Setup
  • HD Camera and live video streaming
  • Smart mobile phone notifications
  • Built-in siren you can trigger from anywhere
  • Auto-arm and disarm when you come and go
  • Records and stores videos free for 7 days

Cocoon is more than a smart home security system or burglar alarm, it’s a way to check in on your pets and loved ones and to connect to your home even when you can’t be there. With simple setup, clear HD video night and day, and an easy to use app on iOS and Android. Cocoon has all you need to feel safe this Bonfire Night, and throughout the year.

Need more help with your home security?

If you’re still not sure about how best to secure your home this winter you can find more information in our helpful Cocoon home security guide.  

A time of joy & peace of mind

The Festive Season is your chance to catch up with friends and family, a time to be merry with those you love. But with all the fun it can become a struggle to juggle it all, dashing between parties and trying to fit in more work, food and frivolities than at any other time of the year.  

Cocoon is all about bringing you peace of mind. We’ve pulled together some tips to help you survive Christmas, avoid the stress and instead embrace feelings of joy and peace (of mind).
After all, it should be the most wonderful time of the year.

Give peace of mind this Christmas with Cocoon's complete home security.

Take a moment for you, meditate.

You probably don’t feel like you have time to pause, but taking 5 minutes a day to just stop and clear your mind can really make a real difference. Putting your head into a calmer space to better face all you have to do. There are lots of apps to help you do this. Instead of browsing Instagram today, why not grab your headphones and give calm.com (iOS & Android) or headspace (iOS & Android) a try. Both have short guided meditations.

Or take a deep breath and gain a moment’s clarity with Hear & Now (iOS). It’s short exercises help you breathe in a way that is clinically proven to reduce stress. 

Take a few minutes for yourself regularly, and you’ll really feel the difference.

 

Get a good night’s sleep.

Exhausted but having trouble sleeping? When lots is going on it can be tricky to switch off and get that much-needed rest. One really simple but effective way to sleeping well is to have a bedtime routine. Your mind will associate sipping that (caffeine free) tea, then brushing your teeth and setting your alarm, with switching off for sleep.

If you need something more immediate, we’ve found that Ananda (iOS) really works. By playing gently rhythmic and natural sounds, gradually changing pitch, Ananda helps you drift off into a deep, restorative sleep.

 

Look after your home sweet home.

Around Christmas you might not get much time at home. You’ve worked hard to make your house a home, so it’s reassuring to know that everything is as it should be, as you left it, and that your family are coming and going as normal. The Cocoon app (iOS & Android) allows you to check in on your home at any time and will alert you if anything is awry. So you can relax, safe in the knowledge that Cocoon is looking after everything most precious to you.

Over Christmas, in many parts of the world, temperatures drop well below zero increasing the risk of burst pipes. Simply setting your heating to come on at a low temperature, for an hour or two each day, will make sure the water keeps flowing. These low temperatures shouldn’t have a big impact on your bills, and will mean your house is cosy, not freezing, when you get back.

Two quick fixes so can rest assured that, when you get home, everything will be as you left it. 

 

Make the most of family time.

No matter how much you love your extended family, it’s not always easy to join in all their traditions and conversations around Christmas. Take along a board game, as long as you can resist getting super competitive you’ll get everyone together without always having to strike up a conversation. Another trick is offering to help at every opportunity – clearing the table gives you a moment’s peace in the kitchen, offering around canapés means you can dodge getting stuck chatting to one person. Plus, you’ll end up in everyone’s good books!


Whether or not you have a Cocoon, we’re here to give you peace of mind. We hope this goes a little way towards you having a Christmas that’s stress-free, and instead filled with peace and joy.

The Biggest Home Security Myths

If you don’t already have a home security system, you can probably list a few reasons why. But how many of these are actually valid when you think about them? Myths about security systems are rampant, but most of them are based on misconceptions.

Here are five of the biggest home security myths debunked:

1. Home Security Is Too Pricey.

Once reserved for the wealthy elite, today’s systems are now accessible for all people, with the average monthly cost of a service subscription being only $30 in 2013. There may be some additional start-up costs, but even these usually only mean a one-time cost of a few hundred dollars — less than the price of the average TV. While a home security system does mean another bill to fit into your budget, the costs are minimal compared to replacing your valuables.

2. A Dog Is Just as Good.

You may think opting for a large dog can replace a home security system. While it’s true that burglars are less likely to target your house if they know a dog is inside, the average household pet is not trained as a guard dog. He may bark at an intruder, but he may just as easily be appeased with a treat. Dogs sometimes also end up as casualties in the event of a home invasion or burglary. Adding a home security system keeps both you and your pet safer.

3. It’s Just Stuff.

It can be tempting to think that everything you own is easily replaceable, and this is true as far as the actual physical possessions, but the sentimental value will be lost forever. A burglary also impacts your sense of security, something that can take months and even years to recover. A home security system can help deter burglars and help you feel safer, especially for those who live alone.

4. Determined Burglars Won’t Care About Alarms.

When a burglar breaks into a home, he is taking a calculated risk. He’s betting that he can get in, get the stuff and get out before he is noticed or caught. The presence of a home security system dramatically affects these odds, and one study found that 50 percent of burglars say they’d pass on a house that had an alarm system.

Is your security system increasing your insurance premium?

If you’ve registered your interest in Cocooon then you’ll know that we like to send a personal welcome email to everyone who registers their interest in Cocoon. I recently shared email with an avid Cocoon supporter who asked if Cocoon could bring down the cost of their home insurance compared with a traditional installed home alarm system. Like anyone else I want to pay less for my home insurance but after digging a little deeper I found that often to reduce premium costs you have to spend much more elsewhere…

Wooden dollars, pounds, euros.

To give some perspective I obtained quotes for a range of properties on a leading UK price comparison site (our full findings are below). We found that a traditional alarm won’t deliver an annual cost saving and in some cases will increase premiums!

  • Maintenance is mandatory – No insurer offers a discount unless the system is serviced annually by an approved maintenance company. The maintenance cost is likely to exceed any discount.
  • Premiums can go upMORE TH>N premiums for all properties we tested increased by 4% when an alarm was installed and Halifax increased premiums slightly on some properties.
  • Lower discount for lower crime areas – Of the insurers that seem to offer a variable discount, the discount was greatest in areas with a high crime rate.
  • Discounts may indicate you’re over paying – Though some insurers offer a discount, for all the properties we tested the cheapest quote was from an insurer that doesn’t!

The premium problem

Premiums are the result of an equation. The equation looks at a number of variables including risk and your personal claim history in order to assign a cost of insuring you, benchmarking you against a sea of other people who have equally been assessed and paid into the collective insurance pot.

Premiums by their very nature tend to increase over time and the small, often non-existent discounts give some indication as to how ineffective traditional security systems have become at preventing theft. Traditional home alarms are not the deterrent they once were and it feels like insurance companies know this…

intruder-alarm-insurance-premium-discounts

Smart trumps traditional every time

We’re making home security accessible to everyone. Cocoon requires no installation, prevents false alarms by learning the rhythm of your home and delivers a meaningful response to intruders.

As in any industry, it takes time for “industry standards” to catch up with innovative technology. In 2014, if you tell your insurer you have an alarm, most require that it is installed and maintained by an NSI or SSAIB approved company. Cocoon requires no installation or on site maintenance so this requirement is out-dated.

The choice is entirely yours but you now know that with Cocoon you could be better off compared to the high installation and maintenance costs of an ineffective traditional alarm system.

For those of you where your insurer requires that you have an alarm we’ll do our bit to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new wave of smart technology at preventing theft and in time redefine the insurance “industry standard” for home security.