Articles by Stuart Glen
In the UK, one burglary occurs every 106 seconds. This means by the time you've finished reading this article, at least three will have taken place. Selecting robust physical security options to protect property boundaries and homes is essential to limit crime rates and deter opportunistic intruders. With 58% of burglaries said to take place while the homeowner is in, it seems that even the second wave of lockdowns, and an increased number of people confined to their homes, won't do much to eliminate the risk of burglary. Prioritise security for peace of mind Security is paramount, and in the case of new build projects, should be considered from the very beginning of the design process, not as an afterthought. When it comes to securing pre-existing buildings, there are countless security options which will ensure the perimeter is robust enough to withstand opportunistic attacks. It's also worth noting that security features don't have to be complicated. There are plenty of high-tech digital systems flooding the market, which can go a long way to reduce the risk of burglary and will provide peace of mind to the end user. However, this article will demonstrate how traditional security measures, such as high-quality perimeter fencing, can ensure practical safeguarding of properties for years to come. Selecting robust physical security options to protect property boundaries and homes is essential to limit crime rates Timber! There are a number of different materials which can be specified to create a strong boundary. From metal railings, to timber fence panels, they will each help deter criminals somewhat. Wooden fence panels are a popular choice for their appearance, and the right product and installation can help to increase security.Our timber acoustic fencing can also reduce noise by up to 32dB and has a solid face with no hand or footholds, while still retaining the attractive natural timber aesthetic of a typical garden fence. However, maintenance is key, and one of the first thing burglars will notice is the condition a fence is in, rather than a particular style. Therefore, old, broken or rotten fence panels are a green light for opportunistic thieves. These can be easily broken or bypassed with minimal effort. When specifying fences as part of a new build housing development, we would suggest opting for high-quality timber, as this will ensure that it is protected against rot. Look for products with an extended guarantee or those that don't need additional treatment over the years. The condition of the fence should still be regularly inspected, and simple methods such as clearing piles of leaves away from the base of the boundary can help to prevent rot which weakens the timber. Securing fence panels The recent rising cost of timber has led to a dramatic increase in fence panel theft, and panels that can be lifted from the posts are an easy target. Mitigate this risk by screwing the fence panels into the posts. This makes it much harder for the panels to be removed from the posts and creates a more secure barrier. Concrete posts do offer benefits, but we always advise on timber posts for any fencing. They're strong, just like concrete, but they continue the same natural theme as the rest of the fence. Moreover, if you screwed the panels to concrete posts, they would most likely crack and become damaged, and then be at risk to the elements. Astute design Design is also important. Installing fence rails on the inside of properties to prevent them from being used as climbing aids is highly recommended. Even better, using panels without rails on high-end developments is a clever tip if you want a secure fence with a high-spec look. Security features don't have to be complicated High fences with solid panels and no gaps in between make it considerably harder for potential burglars to climb over. They also offer better privacy to conceal rear garden areas from intruders, and are much sturdier than other alternative panels. One common mistake is designing in features such as trees or children's climbing frames too close to the boundary. These can be used by burglars as climbing aids when attempting to scale the fence, making access easy. Investigate the surrounding area, which flanks the outside of the property boundary, as an unfortunately placed bin or bench can also help criminals gain entry. If the removal of these items is not possible, designing in a spiky bush can help deter intruders. It's also worth noting that gardens with numerous large features such as bushes or sheds can also negatively impact the level of security. A clear line of sight across the entire garden is highly recommended where possible. If this view is blocked, it's considerably easy for intruders to hide undetected. Front gardens While tall, solid fence panels are recommended for rear gardens to prevent intruders from being able to see in and climb over, the opposite is true for front gardens. For street-facing gardens, a low fence or hedge is recommended to provide a clear view from the house. It also makes it much harder for intruders to hide from passers-by or neighbours, who can raise the alarm during a burglary. Another useful security technique to consider is a gravel drive. These create noise, which means the homeowner will know when it is in use. Pair this with a strong boundary fence, the likelihood of burglary dramatically decreases. This article only scratches the surface in unveiling the sheer volume of effective home security options on offer to protect homes and gardens. These investments can help minimise the risk of traumatic break-ins, while also simultaneously boosting the aesthetic of the property and its surroundings.
A result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been fewer crowds gathering for outdoor events. However, sooner or later, crowded events will surge, as will the danger of injury or death from vehicle attacks. The threats of vehicular violence are still present even though collisions have become less frequent and traffic, in general, is at a significant low. Preparing for such instances remains a high priority, and institutions are seeking to take a preemptive stance to prevent major incidents before they happen. Vehicle security barriers Even amid the pandemic, manufacturers of vehicle barriers have not seen a major impact on their sales. “Half of the battle against aggressors perpetrating a vehicle attack is pre-planning,” says Greg Hamm, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Delta Scientific. He says Delta is fortunate to have long-standing trust relationships with many agencies, built over the last 46 years. “We're happy to see that demand for vehicle security barriers has not changed much – customers are preparing for the future when crowds will be present again, and probably larger than ever,” adds Stuart Glen, National Sales Manager of Jackson’s Fencing. “Lots of councils are using the downtime to install or upgrade security around town and city centers, which is promising.” Physical structures such as bollards, barriers, and barricades can stop a vehicle from entering a high-foot-traffic area. Temporary venues can deploy portable barriers. "We're happy to see that demand for vehicle security barriers has not changed much" Fully automated system The first consideration is the level of security required for a particular location. A parking garage for a foreign embassy or federal courthouse will require far more serious security measures than a parking lot for a mall. Other primary factors to consider include the frequency of vehicles moving in and out and whether there will be vehicle inspections performed or a fully automated system at the entrance. “A key challenge when protecting people from vehicle attacks is trying to ensure that the public are kept safe, but do not feel worried or overly aware of any risks,” says Glen. “People should feel protected and be able to move freely. Discreet measures such as bollards are ideal as they don't restrict pedestrian flow but are very effective in the case of a hostile vehicle attack.” Sparking future assaults The use of vehicles as tools of destruction has become one of the top concerns for security specialists Events and sports venues need increased protection as they are likely targets due to the high numbers of crowds. Places of worship are sadly another target that should be given extra protection, says Glen. The use of vehicles as tools of destruction has become one of the top concerns for security specialists. This tactic has grown popular regardless of ideology and is especially alarming when coupled with cars’ accessibility. In many places, individuals only need a valid driver’s license to rent a truck. News of a particular attack encourages or inspires other individuals to perpetuate the same form of violence. Unfortunately, this creates a feedback loop as more reports emerge following these tragedies, potentially sparking future assaults. Straightforward security solutions In the case of vehicle-ramming attacks, there are straightforward security solutions to protect patrons. Delta Scientific offers over 100 product designs, emphasising barriers that stop and destroy attacking vehicles. Delta’s barriers carry crash ratings from PU50 up to K54 and include sophisticated control systems that provide custom optimisation. Control systems feature the latest, most advanced protection technology. Early warning systems enable active security measures built into Delta products plus alert features to on-site security personnel. Delta Scientific’s High Security Protection and Barricade Systems are used internationally by governments, armed forces, federal agencies, private corporations, and other industries. Jackson’s Fencing’s range of solutions includes fencing, bollards, road blockers, and gates. They have been tested to PAS 68 standards and can stop a 7.5-ton vehicle travelling at 50mph (80km/h). The products come with a 25-year guarantee. Attractive timber appearance They offer crash ratings up to M50 and include both automated barriers and passive bollards In addition, their unique Linebacker PNR system is a cable crash fence, encased within a timber post and rail fence, offering a completely discreet yet highly effective vehicle security barrier with an attractive timber appearance. Facilities that require day-to-day employee and civilian access need permanent solutions installed to thwart daily terror threats, says Hamm of Delta Scientific. Solutions include wedge barriers, bollards, beams, and sliding gates with high duty cycles and excellent reliability coupled with appropriate crash ratings. Local fairs and festivals, parades, conventions, sports, and vaccination sites utilise portable barriers that can be towed into place and set up within 30 minutes. They offer crash ratings up to M50 and include both automated barriers and passive bollards. They can be plugged into a local 120v source and provide a portable solution that allows vehicle throughput by pushing a button. Vehicle-borne attacks Both temporary and permanent barriers are extremely effective, says Glen of Jackson’s Fencing. Temporary barriers can be deployed rapidly and removed when a threat has passed (for example, an event such as the London marathon, where large crowds gather), while permanent measures are used for sites that will always be a high-risk target. Glen says temporary barriers also generally have a more dominating appearance and wider footprint. Permanent measures are used for sites that will always be a high-risk target. Temporary barriers can be used immediately after a risk assessment highlights vehicle-borne attacks as a threat to a site before permanent measures are installed. They can help to identify the ideal positioning of permanent barriers – often it's a case of trial and error before finding a solution that works well for one’s particular needs. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided certification according to the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology Act (SAFETY Act) of 2002. Access control products This certification minimises insurance risks for organisations that deploy authorised Delta vehicle access control products to protect against terrorists and errant drivers. All products certified are covered retroactively back to 1984 and are now authorised to carry the SAFETY Act Designated mark. By minimising insurance risks to deploying authorised Delta vehicle access systems, this certification lets customers feel comfortable knowing that they have the full faith and backing of the Department of Homeland Security. A common planning deficiency occurs when designers choose non-certified barriers or barricades A common planning deficiency occurs when designers choose non-certified barriers or barricades. Certified equipment has been tested and proven to work under extreme conditions, thus giving planners the confidence they rely on. No area is more critical to the vehicle barrier selection process than testing. Without adequate testing, there is no assurance that the barrier will resist the threat. Independent testing company Testing is normally done by an independent testing company or government agency, such as the Department of State (DOS) and ASTM. Comprehensive reports of test results are issued and are available from the testing agency or manufacturer. A common misconception among the general public is that the barriers are ‘ugly,’ but this often comes from the appearance of temporary barriers that are installed for testing purposes before deciding on permanent measures. Temporary barriers often have a large footprint because they have no foundations and can be quite obtrusive. There are actually many discreet and attractive permanent solutions such as road blockers and stainless steel rising bollards, which allow flexible control over entry and security, and can be rapidly activated.