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Summer warning

Not taking in consideration the changing requirements of security systems in the longer hours of daylight can put properties at risk, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is warning businesses and members of the public.

The return of British Summer Time on Sunday March 25 marked the end of long nights and the arrival of brighter days.

James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA, says: “Although winter has historically been a more productive time of the year for opportunistic criminals, a complacent approach to security during the lighter months can also cost businesses, as well as individuals, considerably. With Easter, bank holidays and the summer season to look forward to, this time of the year usually sees more people away on holidays or generally spending more of their time outdoors, often leaving properties vacant for longer hours, putting them at greater risk.”

However, by adopting straightforward security measures, it is possible to dramatically reduce the likelihood of these incidents occurring, the trade body adds.

James Kelly says: “Firstly, it is important to ensure that all gates, doors and windows are properly locked at all times. This applies both to sites left vacant or to occupied properties, especially during warmer evenings when you may be tempted to leave doors open to improve air circulation. Remember also to check all your physical security equipment such as locks and barriers to make sure they are still effective, and replace any damaged or poor quality items.

“Should your home or business have electronic security measures in place such as CCTV, also remember to adjust the settings to match the change in natural lighting times. If remote monitoring and lighting are controlled separately, for example, ensure you put the timer forward to match British Summer Time. Left out of sync, the lighting may come on at a time when it is not required as natural light will still be available, unnecessarily affecting your electricity bills. By the same token, ensuring that adequate lighting is in place is still essential. Too much light in the wrong place, for instance shining directly into cameras and blinding them, is far from advisable, so always check your camera positioning and adjustment to make sure you are getting the best possible quality image at all times.

“Finally,” he warns, “if you are leaving buildings unattended for long periods of time during the Easter or bank holiday seasons, the same precautionary measures you would apply in winter should still be followed, such as closing the curtains but leaving a light on, to deter intruders without allowing them to look inside your property, or ask a trusted neighbour or family member to keep an eye on your estate whilst you are away”.

“There are plenty of security measures available on the market to help you secure your home or business, such as locks for windows and doors, bells or monitored intruder alarms, CCTV, property marking systems and/or security lighting, however, the quality of such measures is paramount to sure their effectiveness in keeping would be intruders away from the premises. Before choosing which solution is right for you, you should consider how the burglar could gain entry to your property, and seek expert advice where necessary.”

The BSIA website provides details of member companies that comply with relevant British and European Standards. Search for a member at www.bsia.co.uk/company-finder


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