10 ways to protect your premises against metal theft

clip_image002While the number of reported scrap metal thefts in the UK has dropped in recent years thanks to the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, scrap metal continues to be a valuable source of income for criminals.

The export value of lead, copper and other metals encourages criminals to regularly break into premises such as schools, construction sites, churches, offices, abandoned buildings and other public sites to strip metals and later sell them on to scrap dealers for a significant fee.

At its height, scrap metal thieves were targeting as many as 1,000 commercial properties in the UK every week. So how can businesses and commercial sites protect themselves?

  1. Have a risk assessment of your premises to work out which parts of your site hold valuable scrap metal and ensure that they are protected and monitored
  2. Make sure that any surplus of metal is hidden from view, or even painted a different colour so that it is camouflaged from thieves
  3. Install lighting in areas where criminals could potentially gain access
  4. Install CCTV as a deterrent and to aid in conviction after any incident
  5. Install heavy duty gates as a minimum. Choose from swing gates, sliding gates and bi-folding gates.
  6. Every site is different, but for those with heavy traffic throughout the day you might want to consider a turnstile, or an automatic barrier controlled by push-buttons, tokens, proximity cards or by on site manned guards.
  7. Property markers and signage, including invisible marking agents, are helpful in identifying metal that has been stolen and returning it to the owner
  8. Apply anti-climb paint to areas that allow thieves to access your roofing, for example drain pipes and guttering
  9. Clear away any bins, wheelbarrows, ladders or other moveable items which could be used by an intruder to gain access
  10. Encourage neighbouring businesses and nearby residents to report any suspicious activity to the police such as vans or workmen visiting outside of normal hours.

By employing as many of these techniques as possible you should be able to turn your business premises into a fortress which deters criminal activity and reduces the chances of your building being stripped by scrap metal thieves.

Whether your business operates from commercial, industrial or retail premises, Gateway Automation provides a variety of security solutions and can provide you with a free, no obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your security requirements. Alternatively, you can download a brochure here or for more advice on securing your businesses property from crime please contact us here.

How to prevent plant and machinery theft

clip_image002Construction sites are often full of high value plant and machinery and as such are seen as an easy target by criminals in the UK.

In fact a report from a leading insurer, Allianz Cornhill, puts the annual cost of the theft of construction plant such as excavators, compressors and cranes at as much as £800 million.

This theft not only occurs from temporary sites but also from static construction sites where plant machinery is stored.

An obvious tactic to cut down on plant theft is to make sure that keys are never left unmanned and nearby to machinery. The machinery itself should be stored away securely when not in use and where it is practical to do so. You should also make sure that lighting is increased during off hours, such as weekends, evenings and school holidays.

Plant machinery that is visible can become a clear target to criminals, however one way to put them off is to ensure that a quick get-away is off the cards.

Using perimeter gates, fences or automatic rising kerbs is a tried and tested method to prevent unauthorised access to vehicles, as are automatic gates.

At permanent or long term sites, it may also be worth investing in turnstiles (full-height) or waist-height) to limit access to permitted persons only.

Whereas many burglaries are unplanned and opportunistic, the size and weight of construction tools often means that related crimes are planned in advance. This means that a site which is well secured is less likely to fall victim to costly theft.

Gateway Automation provide a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure/.