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Steel Security Screens vs Timber Boarding Up

One of the best ways to safeguard your vacant property is to put it under wraps with external protection using security products such as steel security screens or timber boards. However, when it’s important to get the right kind of boarding for your needs and your money, how do you know which to choose?

Timber boarding vs Steel screens

Potential problems

Establishing exactly why you need to protect your property is a good place to start, as your main reasons may have a direct bearing on which type of security you choose:

Metal theft

According to Zurich Insurance, metal theft costs the UK over £1 billion per year, so even if your property’s empty of furniture and portable valuables, it could still be sitting pretty for opportunist and organised thieves, who will be on the look out for:

  • Copper boilers and piping
  • Electrical cables
  • Plumbing and piping infrastructure
  • Water tanks
  • Sinks – aluminium or stainless steel
  • Radiators

Remember that such thieves don’t generally take care when removing metals – they can cause significant damage in the process, another reason why it’s important that your building is protected from thieving intruders.


Squatters are also known to cause damage to property. By taking occupation of a vacant property, squatters can cause considerable damage to the building as well as significant costs to the owners, as evicting squatters involves the law courts. Since 2012 it has been illegal to break into a residential property with the intention of living there. This makes it additionally important to use boarding for security as it not only makes it difficult to enter but easier to prove that trespass has taken place. But as a result, of this new law, commercial buildings are now increasingly at risk from squatters, so it’s imperative that they are properly secured.

Vandalism and illegal activity

A vacant property can be a magnet for vandalism and illegal activity, such as drug dealing. Adequate security is imperative to protect your property and to prevent yourself from being liable in the case of damage or illegal activities causing problems or accidents to the local community or passers by.

So what are your choices?

Steel Security Screens

Available as solid steel or perforated screens, steel security screens are ideal for long term property security. Screens can be fitted to the outside of the property or an alternative, Sitex steel screens can be fitted to the inside of properties for additionally effective security.

Benefits of steel security screens


  • Galvanised steel offers effective protection against thieves, vandals and squatters, as well as arsonists. It can withstand the majority of forced entry methods.
  • Screens can be fitted within a day, depending on the size of the property.
  • Steel screens are clearly visible and act as a deterrent.
  • Solid screens, rather than timber boarding, makes the premises dark inside, which makes it less appealing to squatters.
  • All screens are fitted with tamper proof screws, as an additional deterrent.
  • Screens are constructed from 1.5mm thick steel and made to measure for your windows.
  • Perforated steel screens are the useful option to consider if you are going to continue to need internal access to the property (particularly if there are no utilities such as lighting working inside).
  • Screens can be customised to fit a variety of windows, doorways and access points.
  • Screens can be hired or purchased, depending on your needs.
  • Suitable for residential, commercial and industrial property.

Timber Boarding Up Screens

The more traditional and cost-effective way of boarding up a property, timber screens also offer plenty of protection for an empty property, particularly where this is likely to be in the short term, such as when it is awaiting repair and refurbishment or demolition.

Benefits of timber boarding


  • Timber screens provide a visible deterrent.
  • All timber screens are fitted with anti-tamper screws.
  • Timber can be readily cut to size and customised to fit all types of window reveals.
  • Timber boarding is readily held in stock, ready to be customised and fitted immediately to offer security after removal of squatters or following damage caused by fire, vandalism or accidents.
  • Timber board ups also offer quickly available protection from the elements, following any previous break-in or weather damage.
  • Timber board ups are available in a range of thicknesses, so that all types of windows, doorways and property types can be adequately secured.
  • Timber boards can be purchased or hired. Hiring timber board ups is ideal as a cost-effective security method if your property has glazing damage which is being repaired in the long-term.
  • Ideal for residential, commercial and industrial property.

Of course, the great benefit offered by both types of security boarding are that they are supplied and fitted by the skilled professionals of SafeSite Security Solutions. Our expert team can survey your site anywhere in the UK and offer advice about the property, security needs and the different screen types, to help you choose the right type for your property and your budget. So wherever you are, if you need to protect your property, ask SafeSite Security Solutions.

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