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Why You Need a Ground Anchor


Anchors have a long history. The earliest known anchors were simply rocks and many of these rock anchors have been discovered, dating back to the Bronze age. The ancient Greeks used a variety of anchoring systems including baskets of stones, sand-filled sacks and even logs filled with lead. The availability of Iron enabled development of what is widely recognised as the traditional, fluted form of anchor which is known to have been used by the Romans in the 1st century and the Vikings in the 10th. The anchor became viewed as a symbol representing safety which was adopted by Christians as a representation of hope. In this post we examine security ground anchors which fundamentally perform the same function as the anchors used by our ancient forebears. They prevent something from being moved from it’s anchored position, keeping it safe and secure.

What is a Security Ground Anchor

Ground anchors are commonly used for a variety of applications. Winch ground anchors, for example, provide a robust, immovable anchor point that enables winches to be used in situations where there are no alternative anchor points, such as rocks or strong trees. Play and swingset ground anchors are used to secure play equipment, climbing frames and slides safely in place. And there are some seriously robust forms of ground anchor used in civil engineering applications, capable of withstanding incredible loads.

Security ground anchors are specifically designed to provide an immovable anchor point to which various items of value can be securely attached to prevent them from being stolen or used by unauthorised people. Security ground anchors are available in a variety of designs, sizes and strengths which fall into two primary categories:

  • Bolt down Ground Anchors: As the name indicates, this form of security ground anchor is securely bolted to an immovable substrate.
  • Concrete-in Ground Anchors: These are embedded ground anchors which are securely concreted into position.

Security ground anchors perform the same basic function as the rock anchors used way back in the Bronze Age. They provide security for whatever is anchored to them.

Why You Need a Security Ground Anchor

Security ground anchors are widely used to secure anything which might be appealing to thieves or vandals. Motorbikes and scooters are amongst the valuables which typically benefit from being securely anchored in place. It’s perhaps shocking to learn that, in the UK, more motorbikes are stolen every year than are purchased new. Reports indicate that over £3 milllion worth of motorcycles are stolen by organised criminal gangs every month. And 80% of stolen motorbikes are taken directly from owners’ homes.

Caravan theft is another growing crime in the UK with an estimated 1200 caravans being stolen in 2019. Brazen thieves simply hook up their vehicles to peoples parked caravans, often in their homes and then drive away - in broad daylight.

Much like caravans, boats in boatyards have also attracted the attention of organised criminals who know that security is often very lax in these situations. Boats out of the water are often stored on trailers so all the thieves need do is gain entry to the boat yard, hook up the trailer to their vehicle and drive away.

Changes in waste collection routines resulting in bi-weekly collections has fuelled a growing demand for additional waste bins and this has fostered a growing trade in stolen wheelie bins. Criminals are exploiting this growing demand by supplying stolen wheelie bins at far lower prices than those charged for new bins by local councils, which can be in excess of £150.

Quad bikes, ride on mowers, compressors, farm equipment and various types of plant and machinery are all attractive to criminals who are constantly on the lookout for easily stolen, valuable items which can be readily resold.

Growing crime statistics are the reasons why we all need to take extra special care of anything that has value but needs to be left outdoors. Security ground anchors provide a robust mechanism for securing our valuables, preventing them from being taken without permission.

How to Choose the Best Ground Anchor

When thinking about the best ground anchor for your needs there are a few questions that you should consider:

  • What do you want to secure?
  • What’s the value of this item and what will it cost to replace it?
  • What level of security do you need?
  • How will you attach your valuable item to the anchor point?
  • Do you need a bolt-down ground anchor or can you install a concrete-in ground anchor?
  • Where do you want or need to install your ground anchor?

Giving some consideration to the value of the item or items you want to secure provides a useful indication of how much you should set aside for security. A good rule of thumb is to spend around 10% of an item’s value on security.

Chains and padlocks are typically used to securely attach valuable items to ground anchors. It must therefore be ensured that the ground anchor and chain are matched to be certain that the chain guide in the ground anchor will accommodate the chosen size of chain.

And when thinking about the level of security you need it makes sense to consider products which are accredited by Secured by Design in the UK. The Secured by Design product based accreditation scheme is the Police Preferred Specification and standard for all security products so you can be confident in any products which have achieved approval.

Concrete-In Ground Anchors

Embedded or concrete-in ground anchors are inherently stronger than those which are attached by bolts or screws. This makes them the most popular choice for anyone seeking maximum security.

They can be installed into unmade ground, paved or asphalt surfaces or existing concrete bases such as a garage floor. Installation requires the excavation of a suitably sized hole into which the ground anchor is situated and set into fresh concrete. This process takes a little effort but is very simple to carry out.

As noted in the previously listed considerations, it’s important to think about exactly where you need your ground anchor installed as some ground anchor designs protrude above the ground and therefore present a trip hazard.

Here are the 3 main types of concrete-in ground anchor:

u tube concrete in ground anchor
U-Tube Concrete-in Ground Anchor

Fully encased “U” tube style ground anchors. These are flush with the ground surface, presenting 2 holes through which the securing chain is passed. A small downside of this design is that the chain holes can become clogged with dirt and gunge.

big boy telescopic embedded ground anchor
Big Boy Telescopic Concrete-in Ground Anchor

Telescopic ground anchors. This clever design sits flush with the ground when not in use and therefore presents no trip hazard. Our Big Boy ground anchor, which has achieved Sold Secure Diamond certification for motorcycles is a great example. It offers a 70mm chain guide which will accept super high security 19mm chains.

taurus bull ring concrete in ground anchor
Taurus Bullring Concrete-in Ground Anchor

Embedded, concrete-in ground anchors with above the ground protrusion. These present a small trip hazard (for example our Taurus Bullring ground anchor has an above-ground height of 35mm) but can be safely driven over.

Bolt-down Ground Anchors

Bolt-down ground anchors are fixed in place using bolts of screws. They are typically attached to substrates such as concrete or brick and block walls. It should be noted that bolt down ground anchors are not suitable for use in tarmac or paved driveways. The fixing strength is largely determined by the substrate and the quality of fixings used. It’s beneficial to use security fastenings when installing bolt-down ground anchors to prevent them from being easily detached. Some fastenings can be secured by hammering ball bearings into the hex drive sockets or installing security head covers.

The main types of bolt down ground anchor include the following:

Ground Anchor Recommendations

We recommend selecting and installing the best ground anchors to meet your needs. It’s one of those security precautions which will last for many years, providing peace of mind and rigorous security for any valuables that need to be left outdoors. We also, recommend using robust ground anchors inside garages, sheds and storage locations as this adds a valuable additional layer of security which, if thieves gain access, will prevent them from stealing your motorcycles, scooters, bikes and other valuables.

If you need any help or advice regarding ground anchors, wall anchors, padlocks, chains or any other aspect of security please give us a call on 01273 475500. We are always happy to help. 

This message was added on Wednesday 31st March 2021

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