According to Aviva, 25% of the three million properties vandalised in 2010 were empty properties, meaning that the issue of protection for a property which is not in use – whether temporary or long term – is something which should be of primary concern to property owners.
Thankfully, there are plenty of security options available – from on-site security or remote surveillance, to wooden or steel screen and shutter protection, any of which can be effective for a range of properties across many locations and situations. But of all these options, what is that makes steel security screens one of the most popular choices for empty property security?
Fit for purpose
Steel security screens are available in a range of different types, some of which are particularly suited to identified purposes:
- Perforated Steel Security Screens – offer a perforated design which allows light and ventilation into the property. These are ideal for construction site security, as work can carry on behind the screens, for properties pending sale as viewings can take place in natural light. Perforated screens are also beneficial when airflow through a premises for damp prevention is required.
- Sitex Security Screens are fitted from the inside of the property and offer maximum security with minimum damage to the exterior of the property -ideal within conservation areas or where physical impact on the property needs to be kept minimal.
- Solid Steel Security Screens form an impenetrable barrier and are particularly suited for the long term locking up of a property or premises.
Finding a steel security screen which is fit for purpose does not just apply to the right screen for access points, as they also offer security solutions for other aspects of the property, such as securing meter boxes from tampering or vandalism.
Fitted for purpose
Steel security screens are difficult to breach not only due to their construction, but also from the various methods available for installation which allow them to be fitted in ways which maximise the security offered. To ensure this, SafeSite offers a full installation service, with the options of:
- Interior or exterior fixing and even fitting over existing glass, depending on situation and premises.
- Custom fitting: having the screens cut and fitted to the exact measurement of the window reveals offers extra security as there’s no room for other tools, such as a crowbar, to be inserted to gain the leverage needed to pull the screen off or to gain access to the property. The custom-fit option also means that awkward to access or irregularly shaped voids, which might otherwise be impossible to protect, can be fully secured.
- Fixing using anti-tamper screws: these are offered in a choice of design to limit attempts from would-be intruders to get past the screens and can also prevent the removal and theft of the screens themselves (as steel offers a recycled metal value). Anti-tamper screws offer two type variations:
- One way screw systems which cannot be unscrewed without specialist equipment, or
- Specialist screw-drive design to the head of the screw, for example the aptly named Snake Eye (or Pig Nose) screws which offer two holes for securing, so that a standard screwdriver will not fit. These specialist screws come in a range of design types to afford maximum security.
Responsible security – reducing, reusing and recycling
One of the lesser known facts about steel security screens is that they not only offer a responsible way to secure a vacant property, they also offer an environmentally-responsible option too. In line with Europe-wide targets, the UK is working towards significantly reducing the amount of resources going into landfill each year, and instead has a mandate for reducing, reusing and recycling as many materials as possible. As a metal which does not biodegrade, steel is a material which offers high potential for re-use and is one of the few metals which can be continually recycled without suffering any deterioration of quality or performance. So, the use of steel security screens for property protection also offers the environmental benefits of being 100% recyclable at the end of their working life, fulfilling the environmentally-friendly mandate by:
- Reducing: the recycling of steel from security screens significantly reduces the amount of non-biodegradable materials into landfill.
- Reducing: In turn, using recycled steel reduces demand for primary resources (materials) to create new steel.
- Reducing: also reduces the amount of energy reduced in creating steel products as re-melting steel from scrap metal uses less energy than the production of new steel.
- Reusing: recovered steel replaces 100% of the equivalent in new steel – so every tonne saved from landfill can be recycled to create a tonne of new steel. Although new steel may still be used and combined with recycled steel to accommodate the properties of different grades of steel, reusing steel in this way reduces environmental impact considerably.
- Recycling: steel security screens can be recycled by melting down and incorporating into other steel products or components.
Additionally, when it comes to reusing steel, although the SafeSite steel security screens are fully customisable and can be cut-to-fit, standard size screens can be reused across sites as appropriate, reducing user-costs as well.
Due to their steel construction which, unlike wood, can withstand high temperatures before igniting, steel screens do not add to fuel to any fire risk to the property, so premises are more secure against arsonists as well as vandals and trespassers. Additionally, this greater fire protection may have an impact on insurance costs (which are generally higher for vacant properties).
Finally, one of the other benefits of Steel Security Screens from SafeSite Facilities is that these are offered with immediate installation, ideal in emergency as well as long-term situations. A prompt installation service helps to reduce the accessibility time and temptation factor of a property being left empty and accessible for theft, trespass or other anti-social activity, so contact SafeSite when site security is needed.