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How to Safely Secure Your Perimeter

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It’s important to protect both your home and your workplace from unwelcome intruders. Workplaces, such as storage yards and warehouses, along with our homes, are always inviting targets for would-be burglars.

The Office for National statistics have recorded year-on-year increases in theft and robbery and the uncertain economic climate is only likely to fuel further criminality. If you have never previously given much thought to securing the perimeter of your property now`s the time to pay attention and take stock of your security failing. Here’s what you need to consider in order to beef up security around your property perimeter.

How to Secure Your Perimeter

Securing the perimeter of your property, be it a workplace or residence, requires that you are fully aware of all areas of your property boundary and you have identified all of the high risk areas. Armed with this knowledge you should be able to select the most appropriate and effective perimeter security precaution.

Here are the steps involved in securing your perimeter.

  1. Carry out a perimeter survey, examining all areas of your property boundary. A drawing or a plan can be helpful, especially when dealing with larger properties.
  2. Identify all entrances, doorways, gateways and openings.
  3. Identify areas which are not overlooked or clearly visible from the road or from the property. These are most vulnerable to attack. 
  4. Make a note of the details and location of any perimeter fencing that’s in place (e.g. the fence height).
  5. Similarly, note the details and locations of any perimeter walls (note the wall heights).
  6. Determine whether there are any flat rooftops that are potentially accessible from your property boundary.
  7. Note the locations of any potentially climbable drain pipes or poles.
  8. Having determined exactly what your property perimeter consists of and key areas of vulnerability, focus on the weaknesses (such as low walls or fences) and determine how best to bolster these.
  9. Select appropriate security precautions for each area of your perimeter and implement them all.

Secure Your Fences and Walls

Many properties use fencing, walls and hedges to define their boundaries. But low fences and walls offer nil security and gaps in perimeter boundaries are obvious security weaknesses.

Taking stock of your existing boundaries should have highlighted areas of weakness which need to be resolved. Gaps in fencing should be filled and any damaged fence panels should be replaced. Similarly, if you have an inadequate garden wall then this will need attention. Presenting a well maintained, robust property boundary to the outside world immediately acts as a deterrent to would be intruders who see that the property is well looked after, so they are likely to seek an easier target.

If your existing fencing or wall is too low then you might consider increasing its height by adding a trellis. 

perimeter security products

Fence Toppers and Wall Toppers

Adding spiked fence toppers or wall toppers to your boundaries introduces a strong deterrent to anyone who might consider climbing over. A highly effective form of anti-climb fence spikes which are also available for walls is Prikka Strip (or Prikla Strip). These are low cost, plastic security spikes which deter intruders and are highly effective in keeping neighbourhood cats away. Importantly, these plastic spikes are much safer than more aggressive metal spikes, which is why they are recommended by the police.

Anti-Climb Paint

If you need to protect a high boundary wall from being climbed then anti-climb paint is the answer. Anti-climb paint is also highly effective on poles, drain-pipes or other surfaces that might attract climbing attempts.

Anti-climb paint is often called anti-burglar paint or anti-vandal paint. It’s a form of petroleum-gel based, non-drying paint that’s applied thickly to walls and surfaces to prevent climbing. By remaining slippery this simple security precaution prevents would-be intruders, burglars and vandals from gaining purchase and scaling your perimeter.

It must be remembered that anti-climb paint can potentially stain clothes so it’s advisable to present warning signs telling people that a surface is coated in the material. It is generally recommended that anti-climb paint should be applied only above a height of 2.4m. 

Secure Gateways and Doorways

Gateways and doorways immediately attract would-be intruders so it’s essential that these entrances are rigorously protected.

Make certain that your gates are closed and locked and that the gates are high enough to deter intruders. The previously mentioned fence topper spikes are also highly effective on top of gates. You should always be using robust locks on your gates as weak locks are easily overcome by professional criminals. In addition, you might consider installing security cameras, monitoring your entrances. These might be triggered by proximity detectors that will pick up any significant movement and start recording video. Proximity detectors can also be used to trigger alarms, alerting you to movement at your gateways. Security lights, pointed at your gateways and triggered by movement, are another low-cost but highly effective perimeter security precaution.

Doorways require special attention as these are most often the entrance paths used by burglars. Many of the precautions that apply to gateways also apply to doors. Ensure that your doors have robust locks and hinges and use proximity detectors to trigger security lights and possibly security cameras. Door security chains offer an additional level of security protection and door security bars are another highly effective intruder prevention device.

flat roof security using roller barrier

Prevent Access to Flat Roofs

Flat rooftops are commonplace throughout the UK. Flat roofs are typically used on home extensions and industrial estate workplaces. But flat roofs often present attractive vantage points for thieves who might use the platform to gain access to an upper floor window. Also, children will often climb onto flat roofs simply for fun. 

If there is the possibility that children might be tempted to climb onto your flat roof then you need to consider a non-aggressive barrier that will prevent them, without harming them. Anti-climb rollers provide an effective anti-climb barrier without possibly causing harm. Roller Barrier, designed and manufactured by Insight Security is the best anti-climb roller solution available today. Many local authorities now use Roller Barrier around schools, mental health facilities, public parks and buildings and Roller Barrier has also been widely and effectively used in prisons.

But if there is no concern that harm might be caused to youngsters and vulnerable people then a more aggressive, visible, physical barrier might be appropriate. Metal anti-climb spikes provide both a strong visual deterrent as well as an effective physical barrier. Razor Channel ‘W’ form metal anti climb spikes have been specifically designed to protect flat roofs, boundary walls and the outer edges of parapets, balconies and ledges.

Prevent Climbing of Pipes and Poles

Perimeter vulnerabilities that are often overlooked include drain pipes and poles. When you surveyed the perimeter of your property did you note the location of all drain pipes and poles which could provide property access vantage points? 

Drain pipes are often climbed by thieves in order to reach upper floor windows. This access route is often used by burglars in the summer months, when windows are more likely to be left open. Similarly, poles adjacent to a property or property boundary, perhaps supporting street lighting or cameras, provide vantage points for would-be thieves.

Anti-climb paint, previously highlighted, can sometimes be effectively used on drain pipes and poles to prevent climbing. Other options include spiked collars, available in various designs, suitable for both drain pipes and poles. These present a strong visual deterrent as well as an effective physical barrier. Another option for drain pipes is to completely enclose them in anti-climb downpipe covers. These not only protect pipework from being climbed they also protect drain pipes from damage.

What You Must Avoid When Securing Your Property

When implementing effective perimeter security you need to be aware of your responsibilities. Basically, you must not install anything which can potentially cause harm and you must warn people about the precautions that are in place.

  1. Make certain that people are warned, via appropriate signage, of the precautions that are in place - such as anti climb paint.
  2. Be certain that the precautions you install do not present a risk of injury to any innocent passers-by.
  3. Don’t install security measures which form a man-trap.

Physical anti-climb barriers should generally not be installed below a height of 2m and for aggressive forms of anti-climb spikes a minimum installation height of 2.4m is required. The presentation of appropriate warning signs is strongly recommended and may be a legal requirement.

If you have any questions or concerns about your perimeter security we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll give you some free, expert advice.

This message was added on Thursday 18th July 2019

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