If you don’t use your garage to store a car, but use it as a utility room, games room, workshop or gym then you may find that side hinged garage doors are a much better solution than the more usual overhead garage doors.
The beauty of side hinged garage doors is that they operate exactly like a normal door. You can open them wide to allow all the light and air in that you want, or you can just open them a crack if you want to come and go discreetly. If you’re more likely to have people, including children and pets, passing through the garage door than cars, then their ease of use is all important. Side hinged garage doors also have the advantage of having very few moving parts, so maintenance is minimal and easily carried out. If the garage that needs a new door has an irregular or arched lintel, side hinged doors are a far easier, and therefore much more cost effective, solution to fitting the structure needed to install an overhead garage door.
Side Hinged Garage Doors Have Many Advantages
When we think of side hinged garage doors we usually tend to think of old fashioned wooden coach house style doors with big wrought iron hinges and little windows lined across the top. And that style of garage door has been a popular style for a long time, fitting as it does with the particular style of house, outbuilding or converted stable it was originally fitted too. However, fewer people are using their garage to store the car these days, instead using their garage as a convenient storage space, utility room, games room, gym or media entertainment centre. With that in mind, a side hinged garage door is far more practical than overhead options.
Side hinged garage doors are more adaptable than most other forms of garage doors too. You can choose whether to have the doors split at the centre of the doorway, or have a 1/3 -2/3 split in either direction, and a choice of left or right hand lead doors. This basically means you can have a standard size door to one side, and a double standard width to the other. You have a great choice of materials too. Wood used to be the manufactures choice in the past because when outbuildings and stables were being converted to be used as a garage to keep a car in, metal overhead doors didn’t exist. Today side hinged garage doors are available in a wide variety of materials including wood (in a vast array of sustainable timbers, and colours) metal (single skin or foam or fibre insulated double skin) and UPVC. Each of these materials has its own unique properties, so the choice of material, colour and finish is either aesthetic or down to the homeowner’s personal preference.
For a design feature that has such an impact on the overall look of a property, garage doors are sorely overlooked. Perhaps it’s because they are purely practical, and don’t have the same connotation in our psyche that a friendly front door has. Nobody throws open the garage doors to welcome their guests or harks back to a golden era when you could leave your garage doors unlocked all day and not worry about people robbing you blind.
But people should make more of their garage doors. They offer a vast expanse of frontage upon which you can make your stamp. Gone are the days of the incredibly loud up-and-over doors with the dangerous looking counterweights suspended on exposed wires. Up-and-over doors are still available, but they are quiet and their mechanics are safely secured behind coving.
Instead of buying the basic model, the door that keeps rain and the casual recidivist out, provided you remembered to shut it in the first place, home owners are thinking about what really suits their property and offers genuinely appreciable security. Many of us don’t use our garages to keep our cars in when we’re not using them. Rather, we tend to use them for storage and other purposes. With items such as bikes, sports equipment, freezers and tools kept in the garage, they become yet more tempting to thieves, meaning that garage door security becomes much more of an issue than it’s ever been before.
Fancy Looks With Functional Form
One of the most secure types of garage door for the domestic market is the sectional garage door. Not only does it offer superb security against break in, but it also comes in a huge variety of finishes, materials and colours, making it a superb choice if aesthetics are as important to you as security.
They don’t only offer great security and attractive looks though. Depending on the materials used, they can be single skinned, meaning they are light weight and effortless to operate, or they can be double skinned with a foam or fibre insulation, this is particularly important to householders who use their garage as a gym, games room, or space outside the house for pets.
Alongside steel and aluminium, sectional doors can also be manufactured from UPVC and timber. Windows can be fitted, either in the top sections to allow light in but not the gaze of prying eyes, or incorporated throughout the door to create an attractive, bright, airy feeling inside. Sectional garage doors are primarily manually operated. Their weight is countered with tension and torsion springs meaning that they will be operable in a power outage, but should you so choose, you can also but motorized sectional garage doors if security is top on your list, but effortless opening is also a key feature you are shopping for.
Being located on the south coast, Prestige Doors has a wide variety of clients from domestic, rural, commercial, industrial to urban and corporate. Every customer has individual, unique needs but there are always universal truths that every homeowner, estates manager and retail outlet owner should be aware of.
When it comes to security, the appearance of your exterior doors is paramount. If a door looks sturdy, well maintained and brightly lit when anybody approaches after dark, the chances of them taking any further interest are much lower than if a door or shutter seemed to be ignored, decayed, rusted or unsecured.
At this time of year, with the clocks changing and nights getting longer, people are spending less time outdoors, they’re keeping their curtains closed and paying less attention to the goings on in their neighbourhood. The way people are affected by the environment plays a huge part in ambient security, that is, if a building looks secure, well maintained and shows signs that there are people around who are paying attention, then potential intruders are far less interested in making further investigations. When it’s dark, the opportunities for incursion increase, with fewer people around from dusk till dawn, burglars have more time to spend both planning and executing a break-in without being observed.
Throwing A Spotlight On Break-Ins
Security lighting plays its part here. Since observation is such a disincentive to the burglar, ensuring entrances are well lit pays dividends. But, in areas that are out of sight of the street or neighbours, additional lighting still has a part to play even if you don’t have cameras that are constantly monitored. Out of sight is very much in mind when it comes to getting access to your property. If secondary entrances and fire escapes are obscured from general view they are all the more appealing. Doors that look sturdy with visibly solid locks and hinges that are illuminated as soon as anybody approaches are a valuable display of security.
Lighting areas where nobody is watching is equally true for outbuildings, garages and sheds too. If you don’t keep valuable property in your outbuildings then security may not be paramount to you. However, because burglars don’t like to draw attention to themselves they don’t travel around with crowbars and ladders on their shoulders. If they can find them in your shed which isn’t securely locked, they will use them to break into your home.
The Mark Of Good Security
Security marking your property and assets is an effective deterrent too. Most property is stolen to be sold, and unfortunately, people who buy on the black market don’t care where it came from. However, marking your property does make property much harder to sell for a price that makes the theft worthwhile, while also making its return to the owner much easier. Marking property also helps secure convictions. If thieves are caught with marked property in their possession a reasonable alibi is harder to create, which is another huge disincentive to steal clearly marked goods. Bar coded or addressed asset management stickers are an effective way to permanently mark your property in both work and domestic situations.
Neighbourhood Watch is much maligned as busy-bodies snooping on their neighbours but the system works. A simple sticker in the window that tells people that strangers will be noticed and observed is a simple but effective deterrent. Neighbourhood watches and small businesses should regularly invite their local crime prevention officer to speak to new members and staff. They can look at your current security and advise on basic mistakes, physical improvements and changing habits that could leave your home or workplace vulnerable.
In a recent statistic reached by gathering crime data from several metropolitan police authorities, as many as 50% of residential burglaries occur when the intruder gained access through an open, damaged or superannuated garage door.
People leave their garage doors open for a number of reasons, security isn’t an issue as they don’t keep valuable property in it, it’s inconvenient to keep opening and closing it every time they come and go, even letting the cat have somewhere dry to sleep if it starts raining all seem like ‘good’ reasons to keep the garage door open when it’s not in use.
Unfortunately, burglars see an open garage door as welcoming as an open front door or window.
“An open garage door is an open invitation to thieves,” says Chris Long, executive director of the International Door Association. “Thieves are also targeting remote controls that are not locked up in vehicles parked outside.”
Of course you wouldn’t leave your door keys in full view in your car, but it wouldn’t cross many people’s minds that the remote to their garage door is just as tempting. Today’s garage doors are far more secure than the old fashioned up and over models of yesteryear meaning that people are more likely to keep high worth goods, particularly sporting goods, in the garage, but they’re still not closing, maintaining and locking them properly.
Dash mounted remote garage door controls can easily be replaced with remotes that can go on keyrings, entry code and finger print ID units. These can be combined with open door alert devices which will tell you if your garage door hasn’t been closed properly. If you’ve ever been gardening, come inside, made a cuppa, got distracted and left the garage door open all night you’ll know how easy it is to overlook basic security precautions. With an open door alert a light will come on whenever the garage door is open. Even if your garage door is only open a crack the indicator will come on; you might not have noticed but a burglar might and if they can get a jimmy into the gap, they’ll soon follow it.
Numeric keypads eliminate the risk of lost or stolen keys or remote controls being used to access your garage. There’s no need to worry about getting keys cut or who has the remote, you can tell as many people as you want the code since you can change the code as much as you like afterwards. Imagine you’re going on holiday and you want the neighbour’s kid to feed your fish. You can tell them a code that you set for the duration of your break and change it again when you get home, meaning that if there were any danger of them letting the code slip, it won’t matter.
If your garage door needs updating, repairing, general maintenance or a complete upgrade to a brand new model then get in touch. Prestige Doors provide the same service for their domestic garage doors as they do to business clients. Services include, measuring, building and fitting, routine maintenance, and 24 hour call out. All our parts and labour are guaranteed so you can rest assured that with our garage doors, your garage is as safe as houses.
Improperly installed or maintained powered gates can pose a potential health and safety concern. Several deaths and many more injuries have been attributable to powered gates malfunctioning or simply being the wrong barrier for the purpose to which it was applied.
Powered gates are covered by the Supply of Machinery Regulations, but until recently there was much misunderstanding of how the regulations applied to gates as opposed to other types of powered machines. In 2012 the Door Hardware Federation and HSE issued their Guide to Gate Safety, Legislation and Standards.
The current European Standards are thought to be less rigorous as they are more concerned with industrial doors and aren’t designed to cover gates specifically. Regulations and specifications need to concentrate on eliminating the dangers of crush, impact, shear, draw, hooking, structural and electrical injury or defect. Eliminate these dangers and powered gates will be far safer to operate.
Installers and Maintainers are Held Responsible
Two companies involved in the provision of powered gates were prosecuted in 2014 following deaths that occurred in separate incidents over the same weekend in 2010, however, they weren’t the companies that originally fitted the gates but the companies retained to carry out maintenance. Following on from this, any company that is involved in the fitting and follow-up maintenance is extremely aware of the safety issues concerned and will always aim to exceed the requirements put in place by the European Commission and the HSE.
It should also be borne in mind that any company or individual who installs a motor onto a pre-existing powered gate becomes a powered gate provider, and hence will be subject to the legislation, even if they don’t connect it to a power supply. When machinery is CE marked it is usually the manufacturer that has to secure the safety certificates necessary to prove the product’s safety, however, in the case of powered gates it is down to the installer, this is because the device has to be specially measured, aligned and installed according to the site’s specific requirements.
Risk assessment is a vital part of the ongoing maintenance of a powered gate. Your installer or maintenance operative should carry out regular risk assessment and advise the owner of the property that the gate is on of any concerns that their examination reveals. It is then down to the owners to implement any recommendations that the maintainer identifies as necessary for to continued safe use of the gate. If the gate is found to be unsafe, then it should be disabled by the installer/maintenance inspectors so that it cannot be run automatically or remotely in order to prevent potential accidents from occurring.
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.