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We’ve previously highlighted how the drainpipes on our buildings can often be used by criminals to gain access to upper storey windows. In one recent case a suspected metal thief suffered serious injury after falling 30 feet from a building when the drainpipe he was climbing gave way. In this post we focus on how downpipe guards prevent drainpipes from being climbed - especially by children.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) tells us that the most serious injuries suffered by children are due to heat related accidents and falls from height. Younger children tend to have a higher percentage of burns and scalds while older children are more likely to sustain fractures.
These statistics reflect how, as children learn about hazards, they gain the knowledge necessary to stay safe and avoid accidental burns and scalds. But they also show how, as their physical climbing abilities develop, they become increasingly confident. This increased confidence leads many youngsters to take risks which can unfortunately sometimes result in injury and property damage.
The development of climbing skills is natural for all humans. Soon after birth, a child’s natural instincts encourage exploration, investigation and climbing. Children climb for fun, they climb to explore, they climb because its thrilling and they climb to compete with their friends and siblings. The fact that children love to climb is one of the key reasons for climbing frames in kid’s play areas. Climbing is a natural way for kids to exercise and develop their motor skills and they love to climb high enough to gain an elevated view of their environment and look down on their friends.
Climbing is also a great form of exercise through which youngsters learn about their physical capabilities and limitations. It helps develop valuable skills including balance, determination and focus. Climbing can help youngsters develop their problem solving skills when figuring out how to climb successfully without falling.
Since children can and will climb almost anything that attracts them it shouldn’t be surprising that falling is one of the major causes of injuries. This is why climbing frames in children’s play areas are generally on softer surfaces which offer some degree of injury protection.
A number of reports from Cambridgeshire highlighted a worrying trend in children trespassing on rooftops. Children and teenagers were reported to be using drainpipes and nearby trees to climb onto the roofs of various properties including school buildings. The police issued Community Protection Warnings to a number of young people who’d been identified.
It has been highlighted how climbing onto rooftops via drainpipes is not only incredibly dangerous it can also cause significant damage. Property owners and landlords often need to replace broken drainpipes and repair roofing damaged by trespassing youngsters. And if repairs are not carried out soon enough then further damage is often caused by rainfall.
Another important concern is that if a child or another person was to injure themselves then the property owner or landlord could be held responsible. The Occupiers Liability Act 1984 sets out the rules and regulations which can help answer the question, “are you liable if someone falls on your property?”
The law states that occupiers have a common duty of care to provide a safe environment for any visitors, whether they have been lawfully invited or not. This means that anybody, including trespassers, should be able to expect to be reasonably safe at all times whilst on a property even if they are up to no good!
Its therefore entirely up to the property owner or occupier to take reasonable, sensible precautions to keep all visitors safe.
While warning signs can help deter people from climbing onto rooftops and they may be enough to meet the requirements of the Occupiers Liability Act, they are not an effective anti-climb barrier. What’s needed is a protective, unclimbable downpipe cover that prevents drain pipes from being used as climbing aids.
Our Anti-Climb Downpipe Covers provide robust anti-climb drainpipe protection and they look great.
Manufactured from weather resistant galvanised steel sheet these protective downpipe guards are neatly bolted to the wall, fully protecting existing drain pipes. Available in either galvanised or powder coated paint finishes, our downpipe covers are widely appreciated for their appearance and how this enhances a building’s aesthetics.
Here’s what a few of our customers have said:
Anti-vandal cover. Does the job. Preventing the little darlings from getting to the downpipes. Well worth the money.
Items arrived when they said they would, Items as specified and exactly what was needed. Thanks,
The drain pipe covers were as described on the web site and came when instructed. Easy to fit and look robust.
Excellent price and Excellent Service (27843)
Our anti climb downpipe covers are now widely used in a variety of environments from private homes to high security establishments such as prisons, police stations, secure hospital facilities and more. Schools are often troubled by pupils climbing up drainpipes to access rooftops, sometimes for mischief but often to simply retrieve balls. With our down pipe covers in place youngsters no longer have access to easily climbed drain pipes so there is far less risk of injury or expensive damage.
Our steel downpipe guards are much stronger than aluminium or plastic covers. The galvanised finish means they are able to withstand the rigours of our winter weather and with a durable paint finish will significantly enhance the appearance of a building while preventing potentially costly drainpipe damage and injury.
If you have any questions about our downpipe covers or if you have any special requirements remember that we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll provide you with free, expert advice.
This message was added on Thursday 9th December 2021
Need Help or Advice?
Call the Insight team
01273 475 500