DHF ‘s Gate Safety Week focuses on the dangers posed by badly installed, poorly maintained automated gates The Master Locksmiths Association, the UK's leading trade association for the locksmith industry, has pledged its support for a rapidly growing campaign to make unsafe automated gates a thing of the past. The MLA is amongst many influential groups in the security, enforcement, inspection, education and safety sectors which are backing Gate Safety Week (October 10 - 16). Campaign focusing on automated gates The campaign is being organised by the DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) in a bid to focus attention on the dangers posed by badly installed and poorly maintained automated gates. The DHF is the trade body representing the leading suppliers, installers and maintainers of powered gates, traffic barriers and powered access control automation equipment. There have been nine deaths in the UK and Ireland - six adults and three children - several serious injuries and countless near misses in tragic accidents involving badly installed and poorly maintained powered gates and barriers. Properly installed and maintained powered gates are perfectly safe to use. But it is estimated that only 30% of the 500,000 automated gates in service in the UK are, in fact, safe. Promoting automated gate safety Steffan George, the MLA's Director of Business Development, said, "The MLA enjoys a close relationship with the DHF and so we're more than happy to promote this vitally important message of automated gate safety. With MLA locksmiths doing more and more in terms of general security work, and a number getting specifically involved in installing powered gates, we're keen to promote the message of ensuring all gates are safe, and are therefore pleased to back Gate Safety Week 2016." There have been nine deathsin the UK and Ireland involvingbadly installed and poorlymaintained powered gates andbarriers Recent significant developments within the powered gate industry mean that this year's Gate Safety Week campaign will be even more hard-hitting than previous campaigns. 2016 saw the launch of a new industry code of practice designed to reduce the safety risks associated with powered gates and traffic barriers to as low as is reasonably practicable. All DHF members must abide by the Code of Practice for the Design, Manufacture, Installation and Maintenance of Powered Gates and Traffic Barriers (DHF TS 011:2016) which provides a framework to ensure a gate is safe and therefore complies with the law. The DHF TS 011:2016 code of practice The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is using DHF TS 011:2016 to audit installers and maintainers in its new powered gates certification scheme. NSI, the UKAS-accredited certification and inspection body which audits security and safety providers, hopes to announce the first accredited companies under its scheme at Fencex, the perimeter security and access control exhibition, on Wednesday October 12. To mark Gate Safety Week at the exhibition, DHF will be exhibiting on Stand 52 and will be spreading the word on powered gate safety with the slogan Safe Gates Save Lives. DHF training officer Nick Perkins will be undertaking a Q&A session on gate safety at Fencex. This will be followed by an "open surgery", again with Nick offering his thoughts and knowledge on this vital subject. Save
The summer holidays are the ideal time for maintenance work, both to the building itself and to security installations Theft, vandalism and arson attacks are common occurrences in school buildings during the holidays, but with adequate planning and security measures in place, risks can easily be minimised. It’s also a great time to check over security and safety, and indeed get security upgraded in preparation for pupils returning. Dr Steffan George, Development Director of the Master Locksmith Association gives his advice on the subject. Security and safety assessments Firstly, assess damage to the building and put any necessary work into action well before the end of term. Things to look out for in terms of deterioration and breakage include doors, windows, roofs (missing tiles, slates and broken roof lights), wall cladding (vertical tiling and timber boarding etc.), alarms, locks and exterior skirts to the base of temporary classrooms. Secondly, consider whether the building needs extra alarms and security, and where. It’s a good idea to place alarms within areas where expensive IT equipment is located and for additional peace of mind, secure the equipment to desks. If new equipment is being installed or delivered it should not be visible from the outside and empty packaging must be discretely disposed of so it doesn’t entice opportunist criminals. Specific secure storage can be created for high value IT equipment for example. A holiday access policy isa good idea, with clear securityinstructions covering alarms,access routes and times, andthe management of keys Site boundaries are also important. While checking that gates are fitted with suitable locks may be an obvious step, you must check the full perimeter of the site. Fencing should be fully intact with no bolts, hinges, handles or damaged sections which could work as footholds for easy access. A professional MLA-approved locksmith can carry out a security and safety assessment on all locks and access routes, advising you on suitable fittings. It’s important to ensure that they not only provide a good level of security, but also meet insurance requirements. Planting is another aspect which is often overlooked in terms of security. Large or overgrown trees or shrubbery can provide unnecessary areas of cover for intruders and lead to blind spots on CCTV coverage. It’s especially important to check that this greenery does not cover security fencing as this would provide an easy access route for a potential intruder. If part of the building is being used over the summer holidays by clubs, staff or community groups, it’s important to ensure this poses as minimal a risk as possible to the security of the building. A holiday access policy is a good idea, with clear security instructions covering alarms, access routes and times, and the management of keys. The use of master key systems can help ensure that only access to the designated areas is allowed with the keys provided. Summer holidays - Ideal time for maintenance and security installations The summer holidays are the ideal time for maintenance work, both to the building itself and to security installations, but having workers present unavoidably poses extra risks to security. If work is being done to security products such as alarms, it’s important to consider how long they will be out of action and put a contingency plan in place. It’s also a good idea to have these workers wear security badges as opportunist thieves could pose as contractors to gain access. Security shutters and grilles are another great way of boosting security. If they are already installed, it’s important to ensure they are operating correctly and fitted with suitable locking devices. A lot of MLA-approved locksmiths can advise on this and recommend the most suitable grilles and shutters. Finally, while security is an important consideration in any school, safety is the primary concern when the school reopens. Checks should include verifying the functionality of fire doors, checking emergency exit doors have the correct escape hardware, are working correctly and are not compromised, checking all signage and fire risk assessments are in place and, where necessary, updating fire risk assessments. A person within a school will be responsible for safety and an MLA approved locksmith can assist them in making sure a building is safe as well as secure in accordance with existing fire regulation wherever possible.
Maintenance is very important in terms of security. Damaged locks & chains are things opportunist thieves look out for According to recent research by The Crime Prevention Website, one in three households have a shed that is easy to break into, providing a prime target for thieves looking for a high value opportunity, or even tools to gain access your home. Dr Steffan George, Development Director of the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) – the leading trade association for the locksmithing profession highlights common security flaws and tells us how to avoid them. Securing the door and windowsThe first place to start is with the door. Attach mortice security bolts to the top and bottom, ensuring they are well fitted so that they cannot be ripped away from the timber. If your shed door (or frame) is too small and thin for a mortice lock, invest in a good hasp, staple and padlock.Ensure windows are fitted with working locks. Extra security measures include grilles and welded mesh sheeting which can be fitted on the inside, and netting or reflective sheeting can be used to stop a potential thief from seeing objects inside. Protecting the outside of the shedAdditional security can be added inside the shed too. You can get steel containers which fix securely to the floor, or ground anchors and padlocks. Security products independently tested for outbuildings can be found and a MLA approved locksmith can help advise what grade of security you need.Maintenance is often forgotten but very important in terms of security. Damaged locks, chains and hasps and staples or windows are things opportunist thieves look out for, so perform regular and thorough maintenance checks on all areas of outbuildings. Additional home securityIf your outbuilding is attached to your home, it’s vital that you check any linking doors for damage too. If you do notice any wear and tear on locks or fittings, get in touch with a professional to help you replace or fix them using the correct products.In addition to window and door security, consider installing alarms, outdoor security lighting and CCTV systems, all of which will alert you to intrusion immediately and work as deterrents.The MLA advises that you get in touch with your local MLA approved locksmith who will be able to perform a complete security assessment of your home and any outbuildings, advising you on a full range of security measures that not only offer you peace of mind within your home, but will be in line with your home insurance requirements.