Securing Your Property – Alternatives to Security Guards4 min read

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Daniel Tannenbaum

Daniel Tannenbaum is a Digital Marketing Consultant based in London. He writes regularly for and TechRound and was nominated for The Drum's Rising Star Award 2017.

There are many reasons for needing to secure an empty property of any nature. Both residential and commercial premises often find themselves needing temporary or even more permanent solutions to be secure against any unwanted intrusions and entries. Manned security, i.e. security guards is of course one of the most effective solutions of securing properties of all types. However, this can be expensive and will need ongoing, continued payments to pay for the security officer(s).

Some properties simply need a security officer, a security team and even guard dogs, for example large sites in busy areas at risk of squatters and vandals. Additionally, for those that can afford it, there are few better options than dedicated security staff, trained to remove any trespassers and unwanted visitors.

Alternatively, it is possible to secure a property without having a person or team of people in place. Effective barrier and electronic security solutions, often supplied and fitted by experts in the relevant field are highly effective methods of deterrent and prevention of entry for all nature of derelict and vacant properties. This includes long term empty premises such as old public houses and cinemas as well as shorter term vacancies such as those awaiting tenants and commercial premises undergoing renovations.

Barrier Security Solutions

Barrier security is arguably the most cost-effective method of securing properties. This tends to entail fitting panels and coverings over vulnerable points of the property in question, such as over the windows, doors and weak walls. The boards and coverings are usually made from ply or hardwood or in other cases steel.

Fitted using special anti-tamper fixings, these panels are incredibly hard to break, making the property in question very difficult to enter. They also add a layer of deterrent, making it clear that the property is empty, likely with nothing of value inside. In many of these cases where boarding up is used, the utilities (such as water, gas and electric) will be stopped [decommissioned] so in the off-chance of anyone entering, the premises will be very difficult to use in any way.

Perimeter fencing is another popularly used option for protecting properties and this too comes in various forms. By protecting the perimeter of a property as well as the property itself (through boarding up or similar), the grounds will be made that bit harder to enter before the property is even reached. Fences and perimeter protection comes in various shapes and sizes depending on the nature of the site, the longevity of the requirement for fencing and the level of protection needed.

Electronic Security

Electronic security used to cover little more than a basic alarm system and a few cameras, which would not necessarily be cheap and affordable. Nowadays however, things have moved forward, with no shortage of options available to suit all budgets.

CCTV – Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are an efficient way to deter intruders by making the cameras prominent. They also allow the proprietor to successfully secure convictions should the perpetrator or trespasser be apprehended and brought before a court. There are various types of cameras available including overt options which provide strong deterrents and covert options which often work for face capture and premises who do not wish to have cameras visible.

Alarm Systems – These include both proximity alarms (those that are activated when there is movement detected within a set proximity) and intruder alarms with the latter being much more popular an often cost-effective. Intruder alarms are well-known to most and work on a simple basis; they are set and activated upon the property being made vacant, for example at the end of the work day. Should anyone then activate the sensors when the alarm is ‘armed,’ the alarm sounds and depending on whether or not it is monitored, the police or a security company will be alerted to attend and investigate.

Access Control Systems – These are electronic means to control the access to a site or set location. For example, a building site or solar farm may wish to only allow employees and tradespeople to enter at set times. In these instances, each member of the team permitted access can be provided with a code or fob which allows them access to the site in question.

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Daniel Tannenbaum

Daniel Tannenbaum is a Digital Marketing Consultant based in London. He writes regularly for and TechRound and was nominated for The Drum's Rising Star Award 2017.