It goes without saying that Prestige Doors are committed to security. Our core business is making sure that your business, or home, is securely shut and that you and your property are safe from intruders.
However, there’s only so much a security shutter or sectional door can do. Security is everybody’s responsibility all of the time. You might have the best security available, but if a member of staff lets in an unauthorised visitor, that investment counts for next to nothing. So what do we recommend as ways to augment and consolidate your security measures?
It’s incredibly easy for intruders to gain access to a building during working hours, particularly in the morning or at the end of the lunch break. Simple manners dictate that we hold the door open for the person behind us and interlopers have been known to take advantage of that and simply follow an employee into the building. Train staff to ALWAYS ask to see ID if it’s not immediately visible. Ensure that they understand that ‘piggybacking’ (gaining access by following a colleague without punching in the security code or using a pass) isn’t acceptable. There are many training manuals and courses available to suit your size of business.
Having CCTV cameras is a clear visual deterrent which sends out a clear signal to burglars that you take security seriously. There is one drawback to having incredibly obvious cameras though, they are vulnerable to attack and reveal their own blind spots. We recommend using high quality, robust cameras to cover all main points of access to your buildings, but also using more discreet cameras to cover blind spots, passageways, alleys, car parks and office spaces. Modern digital technology allows you to gather superior quality images even in low lighting conditions and store the data remotely.
Again, like CCTV cameras, a visible alarm system will deter burglars and intruders. Silent alarms come highly recommended too, however, these are less affective at preventing break-ins, while they do improve the apprehension of criminals who are caught in the act. Maintenance is incredibly important when it comes to affective alarms. As with the Boy who Cries Wolf, too many false alarms and it will be ignored or worse, become an irritant to your neighbours.
Installing doors that are just too hard to get through without a key or code are the best way of deterring criminals. Burglars like an easy life, which is why they took to crime in the first place. They like to get in and out before they attract too much attention from passers by and the police. Solid shutters create an environment where a great deal of time and effort must be expended on gaining access to the property.
There’s plenty of help out there, you just have to ask for it. Your local police station will have a Crime Prevention Officer who will be happy to visit your offices, commercial buildings and even your home to give you advice on effective methods of deterring criminals. They will be able to tell you the areas you should be concentrating on. The manufacturers and installers of security systems, cameras, lighting and doors will all be happy to give you a consultation to discuss what you need.
Campbell Jones competing in the 1963 Grand Prix
When Personal Security Compromises Public Safety
A housing development in central London has this week had its security doors removed as a consequence of health and safety concerns raised by the Fire Brigade and local council.
Residents of the block had been concerned about the homeless, strangers and potential criminals obtaining access to their property and so installed security doors in the lobby. To anybody this is obviously a wise decision provided that the doors met or exceeded all the requirements for a large building which had numerous residents.
However, the increased sense of security meant that people began to leave property, items such as bikes, prams and pushchairs in the corridors. In fact, so much property was left that the local council deemed it to be a health hazard as it would likely cause an obstruction in the event of an emergency. The council wrote to the residents, yet because of the intransigence of some of the householders, the council was forced into the position where they had to remove the secure doors, meaning that it was no longer possible to leave the obstructions in the passageways.
Safety Compromised by Obstructions
John Campbell Jones, a former F1 driver and resident of the building said: “They spent a lot of money putting all these doors on, which do make people much more secure, and then someone leaves a few things outside and, instead of someone knocking on the doors and telling us, they take the bloody doors off again.”
Residents who did comply with the notice to move their property to a location where it would cause no obstruction were told that it was too late, and because others hadn’t complied, it was now the council’s only option to remove the doors.
The council’s housing chief, Pat Callaghan, said “Items that are stored in lobbies are a fire risk and can physically obstruct and restrict the means of escape from a building, greatly increasing the risk to residents if required to evacuate during a fire.”
Ms Callaghan went on to point out that her council’s Community Safety Team had visited and other security measures had been taken.
Security and Safety
Fitting security doors, fire doors and security shutters will all have not only an appreciable effect on the physical security of your home or business, the psychological effects are marked too. Simply installing solid looking doors and shutters reduces crime and attempted criminal activity. However, no matter how secure you feel, you always need to be aware of this affecting your behaviour. Fire doors need to be kept clear and easy to open from the inside at all times. Internal fire doors in corridors should be kept closed (but unlocked) to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. If internal fire doors are routinely kept open they should be fitted with a door retainer that releases the door automatically if there is a fire and clearly marked that they will close automatically in an emergency.
After a number of recent fires at locations such as nightclubs in the UK, France and US, it’s timely to remind people that no matter what kind of premises you are securing, emergency exits should be clearly marked, kept clear at all times and any staff who work on the premises should know the evacuation procedure.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for garage door installations here at Prestige Doors. When garage doors get old and worn, they aren’t just unattractive, they’re a safety security risk too, which is why it’s important to have them well maintained.
Safety and Security
It’s easy to be mistaken into thinking that if you don’t keep a car in the garage, that an old faulty or damaged garage door that is now stuck or hard to open is a positive in relation to security. But consider that in an emergency, the garage could be your quickest means of escape. If the door can’t be opened easily, those minutes could be the difference between a safe escape and tragedy.
A well fitted, good looking garage door isn’t just a practical security measure. A really solid looking garage door is going to put potential intruders off before even testing its security. We’ve written before about the power of ‘thinking like a burglar,’ that is thinking critically about your home security and looking out for things you do that would give unwanted strangers a way into your home. Among the things they watch out for is poor maintenance. A poorly kept hedge, a broken fence or an overgrown lawn and especially a ugly old garage door all attract burglars’ attention and increase your chances of becoming a target.
Expert Installation Maintenance and Repair
As well as expert installation, we carry out routine maintenance and we have a 24 hour call out in the event of our doors becoming damaged, either by accident or attempted break-in. This is a service we offer both our domestic and commercial customers so if your business relies on easy access we can be relied upon to make sure there is as little interruption to your business as possible.
It’s impossible to say exactly how long any installation will take as every job is different, however, we aim to carry out all work required as quickly and efficiently as possible. The best way to find out what we have to offer is to call for a quote. We will discuss the best options for you, our maintenance and parts and labour guarantees.
The government’s Document Q outlines what builders and door fitters need to be aware of when installing windows and doors.
The most recent update came out in October 2015 and instructs tradesmen on the latest minimum standards that are required when fitting doorsets.
Once accredited, professional door fitters and builders can then use them to secure buildings where individuals live and work. Document Q also stipulates the size of aperture that should be allowed (260mm x 40mm) and that it should be constructed or located in such a way that prevents hands or tools from being easily inserted. This way it makes it much harder for any would-be intruder to get keys or other valuables that might have been left within reach of the door.
Garages and Connecting Doors
Of course the most secure doors only need to be located on exterior entrances, however, if you have a garage that has a connecting door to the interior of your home or business, it would be necessary to install either a PAS24:2014 rated garage door or, if that’s not possible, the connecting door would need to meet the standard instead. (that’s not to say you need to replace all of your windows and doors, however, if you have any remodelling or reconstruction carried out, the builders or fitters will need to comply with the latest Document Q requirements.)
In the case of HMOs, whether the building is being converted or refurbished, Document Q requires that not only the main access way needs to meet PAS24:2014, but the doorset to each individual domicile also needs to meet the UK Accreditation Service requirements as well.
It has to be said that doors that reach or exceed PAS24:2014 are extremely secure, recently several police forces throughout the country have had to reconsider their techniques when entering properties as the doors have stood up so well to their efforts to knock them down.