Category : Door Hardware
Date : 19/01/2020



Your first job is to perform an external security assessment of the environment around the building, the garden and the house's immediate perimeter. Wherever you live, the procedure is the same but circumstances may change external survey content and scope.

When you live in a flat on the 15th floor you may not need to look at fences and garden sheds, but there may be other issues to consider, such as a cycle cupboard on the landing outside of each flat.

An external survey's main purpose is to step back and take a look at the house and the immediate environment. Record any problems as you identify them, and take a few minutes to consider any possible countermeasures and list them. The following examples of countermeasures can help you think along the right lines, but never forget that you have a specific lifestyle so that you are the best person to recognise particular issues and find relevant, justifiable and realistic countermeasures.

Wander the surrounding roads and take note of your overall impression. Is it general light industrial units with some housing, run-down shabby residential, or perhaps affluent belt of commuters?

That is the feeling the rest of the world gets when they get to your home. This analysis also provides valuable tips about your house protection with a little thought. For instance, while the meanings are rather stereotyped, different appearances may mean different things:

Industrial may mean lots of people around 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, but abandoned after 6 p.m. and on weekends and bank holidays, making life easier in the quiet hours for the burglars.

Shabby residential may mean a declining neighbourhood with high unemployment and no pride in society, and where crime and vandalism are commonplace. But this is just one interpretation – it could just as easily represent a major employer's recent closure, weak financial management and local authority corruption, or it could cover an up-and-coming region where property values are expected to shoot through the roof.

You also get an insight into the knowledge of the area and residents. Be careful what you're saying; don't by asking too many questions annoy or upset people. Aim for dialogue and wait until later to write down what they're telling you.

Affluent commuter belt means big, well-kept, expensive houses with wealthy residents – but think like a thief, that could mean a lot of valuable possessions, husband away at work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday, wife at home when the Mercedes is in the drive.

Checking out when they come and go is worth checking. Even the garden can be profitable; up to $5,000 for a ride-on mower, and up to $3,000 for each specimen carp from the pond. The broad and mature garden offers an abundance of protection for a burglar. Mr and Mrs Big-House are likely to take at least two holidays a year, the equivalent of four weeks when no one is home. For that garden machinery, it's worth coming back with a truck – if anyone asks, ' We're taking it for repair. ' The drawback is, it is undoubtedly alarmed!

New starter homes means young residents. Probably both are out at work, though with a new baby, mum might be at home. Young and fashionable, so they might have the newest electronic goods and gadgets. The downside is that the starter homes are clustered tightly together with small gardens, no mature plants and hedges, so it would be easy to hear or spot criminal activities.

Rural might mean a mix: some smaller homes, worth checking out for money and portable valuables; some large country houses packed with antiques. Most of the big homes have an alarm, but a few do not. If an alarm sounds it will take the police to reach the property for at least five minutes, which is why they use silent alarms. Rural properties often have outbuildings, providing a variety of valuables that are easily accessible, from gardening machines to cars, costly horse riding (e.g. saddles and bridles) to sports equipment (e.g. skis and fishing gear), and exotic animals to tool boxes. No cars going by and no nearby neighbours is a huge benefit for a burglar.

Watch for warning signs as you walk outside, watch for vandalism, fly-tipping, graffiti, broken glass and other minor crime. This is called ' signal crime ' because it is a signal of the area's criminal activity, potential lack of community trust and reluctance to speak out to prevent crime. Generally speaking, there will likely be more serious crime where there is obvious crime that is not noticeable to a casual observer, and typically crime breeds crime.

Who's around? You should be looking to see who's going around the area. Criminals don't wear badges or uniforms, but you get an idea of the type and number of people moving about. When people mature, cultures often begin to mature.

The pattern of activity on new estates may be that dad leaves for work every weekday, then mum and the kids leave to go to school, then mum comes home alone and the cycle repeats itself in reverse shortly after three in the evening. Twenty years later the movement pattern in that community will radically change with the kids at university. It eventually reaches a point when all of the tenants are gone and there is no movement trend. We just come and go as we wish, because they no longer have to fulfil daily obligations.

Checking who's around at different times will recognise riskier periods for you and your belongings. Your house will be fairly safe in the young community between eight thirty and say ten in the morning as too many people are moving about. Criminals don't want to be seen and reported so they usually won't be active during this time.

When you live near the local football stadium, you might find that there is a high crime rate after the match on a Saturday, as drunken louts spill out of the stadium in inseparable high spirits, vandalising cars and gardens and attacking people as they walk to the railway station to go home.

Identifying movement patterns and the type of people moving around at different times can help you identify threats and risks accurately in a given area.

At Architectural Design Hardware we can offer security products and locking solutions to suit your needs. 

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