Home Security in Period Properties

Period properties combine class and style with both character and history, but can prove a challenge for security, especially if you are living in a listed building with restrictions or conservation area regulations. One of the main challenges can be home security, as period and heritage properties often have outdated security systems, making them easy targets for criminals. Modern security solutions can be introduced to increase the security of your traditional property and these are worth the investment. It is also possible to install security measures that work with the aesthetics of your property and its setting, without disrupting its visual appeal.

 

Home Interiors Chandelier on ceiling. Luxury Vintage Chanderlier

 

Window Security

Period properties have older windows such as wooden-frame sash instead of the lockable, double glazed uPVC windows that modern houses often have. You should consider looking at specialist sash-window locks as these will provide higher levels of home security. However, these might be subject to restrictions so you should always check with your local council’s conservation officer first before making any changes. You could also consider installing collapsible grilles for the insides of your windows; these may disrupt the period aesthetics but they do fold away when needed. These retractable security grilles are a good deterrent for burglars and also offer a higher level of security.

 

White Window

 

Door Security

Period doors can often be very thin, and therefore can be vulnerable to crime. If you have wooden doors, you could consider turning them around so that they open outwards instead of inwards, as this makes it harder for thieves to kick them in.

Georgian homes were built during the 18th Century and are often very symmetrical with large solid front doors, whereas Victorian properties were built during the 19th Century, identifiable by their red brick, large bay windows and gothic architectural style. Victorian front doors were representative of wealth within the community, presented through colourful, patterned tiling in the artwork on the door. If your door is from the Victorian or Georgian era, it may  not be as durable or sturdy as more modern doors to protect from intruders, with an increased risk of age and wear making it vulnerable to break-ins.

There have been advancements in door security for period properties, with improvements supported by the government’s Building Regulations. Doors should meet or exceed the British Standard PAS24 and locks should conform to British Standard 3621 . You should check that your new front door meets the latest minimum British Standards in aspects of glass for security, thermal ability, energy-efficiency and safety qualities. Modern security systems can be installed to your period front door and property, ensuring that its original charm and elegance is sustained to achieve a period aesthetic without compromising security. In order to protect your period property, the main doors should have a door viewer, such as clear glass or a window next to the doorset, a door chain or limiter. A door chain or limiter is not always necessary and there can be alternative ways to identify visitors, such as electronic audio-visual door entry systems.

Furthermore, a good locking system will ensure that your home is secure, by having locks built in with bars, bolts and support structures to strengthen the body of your door. Locks available for timber doors are considered far superior and stronger than those for uPVC, composite or aluminium doors, as these can be worked into the door and provide you with the flexibility to choose from a range of high-quality door locks. If you do not have a timber door, there are options for improving uPVC door security, these can be secured by design accreditation and police approved. Examples of these include: anti-snap locks, uPVC door handles, door chains and sash jammers to improve the security of the door, these prevent the door from opening if the lock is broken or opened. High bolts or dog bolts can also be fitted to an opening door, as when it is closed hinge bolts will prevent the door from being forced open off the hinges.

 

Mortice Locks

There are many options to increase security solutions through the use of locks for period doors, such as mortice locks. Mortice locks are fitted inside the edge of the door, these make it difficult to break into as most of the locking mechanism is contained inside the door frame. They are visually pleasing as less of the locking mechanism is visible, and therefore do not compromise the style and aesthetics of your original period home.

 

Door handle with knob

 

Deadlocks

You could also consider using deadlocks or deadbolts as a secure locking system, manually operated using a key. When a deadlock is unlocked, it is held in the withdrawn position. These are much easier to unlock in emergency situations, such as fires overall providing higher safety measures.

 

Modern Security Solutions

You could consider installing modern technology and security solutions into your period property, whilst retaining its grandeur and style. A requirement of home technology is to install alarm systems, alarm bell boxes and CCTV systems, all of these can be hidden if you do not want them to affect your house’s period style. Modern lighting is also ideal for preventing burglaries and you can find specialist security lights in a period style or adapt outdoor lighting with a standard movement sensor.

You could also consider fitting spy holes, door chains and bars to your period front door, carefully designed to retain your door’s style but also to prevent intruders. You could consider replacing the spy-hole with a security camera or smartphone app for peace of mind. Wireless technology can be an asset to period properties and can be easily fitted without damaging its original features. You can also use remote monitoring and viewing from your smartphone to identify visitors without affecting your personal security. It is also possible to automate security functions and control them remotely from your smartphone or computer. Discretely styled monitoring equipment and wireless technology can allow higher levels of security for your home, whilst retaining the period aesthetic and in some instances, you won’t fall under planning legislation.

 

Top Tips for Ensuring Home Security for your Period Property

  • Hide all keys, especially away from the letterbox as a device could be used to hook keys through.
  • Install a visual burglar alarm and outside lighting.
  • Ensure you have good rear and outside fencing to protect your property.
  • Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property, e.g. trim high hedges.
  • Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise. The system where you can register your valuable to reduce crime.
  • Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
  • Avoid becoming a victim of a distraction burglary, if you’re unsure of who is at your door, don’t open it, check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from.
  • Use automatic timer-switches to turn on your lights and radios when it gets dark.
  • Use the Royal Mail’s ‘KeepSafe’ service, they keep your mail for up to two months while you’re away to prevent mail sitting on your doorstep as a sign that you’re away.

 

Home Surveillance

 

References
https://www.thevictorianemporium.com/publications/advice/article/home_security_tips_for_period_properties
https://www.londondoor.co.uk/modern-security-for-period-front-doors/
https://www.londondoor.co.uk/period-front-door-ideas-to-complement-traditional-features/
https://nhic.org.uk/2019/03/8-points-to-consider-when-choosing-a-new-front-door/
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/443221/BR_PDF_AD_Q_2015.pdf
https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/choosing-door-which-type-door-most-secure/
https://www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/
https://www.locksmiths.co.uk/faq/upvc-door-security/
https://www.vibrantdoors.co.uk/news/?p=2020
https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/front-door-security-tips/
https://www.safety.com/door-security/#gref
https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/upvc-door-locks-problems-prevention/
https://broadswordsecurity.com/news/how-to-secure-your-listed-building-heritage-property/

Camping Safety

How to Stay Safe when Camping

 

Morning campers! Heading off into the wilderness with your family or pitching up with your friends at a music festival may feel like your packing up house and home with all your belongings stuffed into the car! But how do you keep all yourself and your belongings safe when camping? Take a look at our top tips below!

 

1. Padlock

 

To lock or not to lock? A padlock may seem like a good idea to prevent thieves entering your tent but more often than not they cause more harm than good. A big, shiny padlock on your tent may look like you are trying to protect something valuable to a thief and rather than deterring someone, it may heighten their interest. It only takes one swipe of a penknife to gain access to a tent and then your little home for the week is ruined and your belongings taken. It’s better to not draw attention to your tent so ditch the padlock!

2. Lock it in the Car

 

Keeping your valuables locked up inside your car is definitely safer than keeping them inside your tent. Although not 100% secure from thieves, a vehicle is much harder to access. Keep your valuables out of sight from the windows and park your car up next to your tent or in a secure car park! It’s also a good idea to ensure your car keys are stored in a safe place.

 

3. Hide Small Stuff

 

No car to keep your valuables in? Hide your belongings around your tent in separate areas. For example, hide your keys in your dirty laundry, your smart phones in a pillowcase and split up your cash to hide in different locations around the tent. So if a thief does find their way into your tent and takes some of your valuables, the loss won’t be as high.

If you’re set up in a rural location, another great way to hide your valuables is to put them inside a waterproof pouch and hide it under a big rock or in a crook of a tree, a thief is not likely to look in these areas when snooping around your tent. However, this obviously isn’t full proof as someone may stumble across it, or you may forget to retrieve it before you go!

 

4. Get a Portable Safe

 

A portable safe is another way to keep your small valuables safe and dry when camping. But it’s in the name, a portable safe is portable. If you do decide to take a small safe with you, don’t forget to secure it something big and heavy so that a thief can’t just walk off with it. It is also worth securing your larger items such as bikes or a portable fridge with a heavy chain as these are often targeted by thieves in campsites.

 

5. Choose your Campsite Wisely

 

Research the campsite and the local area before you go. It will be useful to know if there is security on site and whether the site is located in a safe area. You can look up the recent crime stats in the local area by heading onto the Police website. You simply enter the campsite postcode and the site will generate how many crimes have happened within a certain time frame and will give you a general indication as to what the crimes were, e.g. bike theft.

camping, sunrise

6. Location in the Camp

 

As well as the location of the campsite, it is worth pitching your tent up in a secure location inside the site. Find a well lit spot that experiences heavy foot traffic, these spots are often in eyesight of the shower block or the car park. A thief is less likely to target a tent that is well lit with an audience, just ensure you keep all valuables out of sight.

 

7. Get Friendly with the Neighbours

 

Make friends with your neighbours when pitching up your tent and help them out if they need it. Making friends with nearby campers will give you another set of eyes on your tent and belongings so they will recognise whether someone should be there or not. You can also return them the favour if you see someone you don’t recognise from their party, ask a simple, friendly question. If it is a thief it will strongly deter their actions if they know someone is watching them.

 

8. Creative

 

Get creative with your tent safety; attach something noisy such as a bell or tie a few empty cans to your tent zip. This way if someone tries to enter your tent when you are sleeping the noise should wake you up and alert you to a possible intruder. Another way to prevent someone from entering your tent is by tying the two zips together from the inside; preventing the entrance from opening as the tabs cannot separate. Just ensure you can escape quickly should there be an emergency!

 

9. Tent Safety

 

We have looked at keeping your tent and belongings secure when camping, but what about your safety and the precautions that should be undertaken when pitching your tent?

BBQ’s and toasting marshmallows go hand in hand with camping but you should always be alert when near fire to avoid accidents. All tents should be distanced at least eight meters away from a fire pit; this is to prevent your tent catching fire from any rouge flames and to prevent it spreading across the camp. It is also important to keep objects and debris away from the flames if someone were to accidentally trip and fall into the fire. Furthermore, never light your BBQ or fire pit in a closed in space.

camping, quality time, safety

Fires produce carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that is termed the ‘silent killer’, reputed this name as you cannot hear, smell or see the gas. Stay safe and only light your fires out in an open space, far away from your tent.

 

Tent strings and pegs are also something to watch out for, especially in the pitch black when making a dash to the toilet. Take a reliable torch and a few spare batteries with you so you’re not caught out when you need it most. You could improve the visibility of your tent in the night time further by adding fluorescent Guy Lines or by sticking reflective tape to your tent strings and pegs, which could save you and your neighbours a potential fall.

10. Wilderness Safety

Camping outside means facing insects, animals and the elements, make sure you’re prepared with a fully stocked first aid kit that includes insect repellent and plenty of plasters and bandages, no doubt you and the youngsters will exploring the highs and lows of the forest!

Research the nearest emergency centres near your campsite too, so if you or a loved one were to have an accident you already know where to go. If you’re going camping abroad make sure you know the local emergency numbers and brush up on a few basic emergency words in the native language.

 

 

http://www.campingwithstyle.co.uk/festival-camping-tips-keep-tent-safe-secure/
http://www.gocampingaustralia.com/camping-security-how-to-keep-safe.html
https://www.campingproshop.com/lock-a-tent-night/