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Key Considerations for Robust Residential Security
Key Considerations for Robust Residential Security

In the UK, one burglary occurs every 106 seconds. This means by the time you've finished reading this article, at least three will have taken place. Selecting robust physical security options to protect property boundaries and homes is essential to limit crime rates and deter opportunistic intruders. With 58% of burglaries said to take place while the homeowner is in, it seems that even the second wave of lockdowns, and an increased number of people confined to their homes, won't do much to eliminate the risk of burglary. Prioritise security for peace of mind Security is paramount, and in the case of new build projects, should be considered from the very beginning of the design process, not as an afterthought. When it comes to securing pre-existing buildings, there are countless security options which will ensure the perimeter is robust enough to withstand opportunistic attacks. It's also worth noting that security features don't have to be complicated. There are plenty of high-tech digital systems flooding the market, which can go a long way to reduce the risk of burglary and will provide peace of mind to the end user. However, this article will demonstrate how traditional security measures, such as high-quality perimeter fencing, can ensure practical safeguarding of properties for years to come.  Selecting robust physical security options to protect property boundaries and homes is essential to limit crime rates Timber! There are a number of different materials which can be specified to create a strong boundary. From metal railings, to timber fence panels, they will each help deter criminals somewhat. Wooden fence panels are a popular choice for their appearance, and the right product and installation can help to increase security.Our timber acoustic fencing can also reduce noise by up to 32dB and has a solid face with no hand or footholds, while still retaining the attractive natural timber aesthetic of a typical garden fence. However, maintenance is key, and one of the first thing burglars will notice is the condition a fence is in, rather than a particular style. Therefore, old, broken or rotten fence panels are a green light for opportunistic thieves. These can be easily broken or bypassed with minimal effort. When specifying fences as part of a new build housing development, we would suggest opting for high-quality timber, as this will ensure that it is protected against rot. Look for products with an extended guarantee or those that don't need additional treatment over the years. The condition of the fence should still be regularly inspected, and simple methods such as clearing piles of leaves away from the base of the boundary can help to prevent rot which weakens the timber.  Securing fence panels The recent rising cost of timber has led to a dramatic increase in fence panel theft, and panels that can be lifted from the posts are an easy target. Mitigate this risk by screwing the fence panels into the posts. This makes it much harder for the panels to be removed from the posts and creates a more secure barrier.  Concrete posts do offer benefits, but we always advise on timber posts for any fencing. They're strong, just like concrete, but they continue the same natural theme as the rest of the fence. Moreover, if you screwed the panels to concrete posts, they would most likely crack and become damaged, and then be at risk to the elements.  Astute design Design is also important. Installing fence rails on the inside of properties to prevent them from being used as climbing aids is highly recommended. Even better, using panels without rails on high-end developments is a clever tip if you want a secure fence with a high-spec look. Security features don't have to be complicated High fences with solid panels and no gaps in between make it considerably harder for potential burglars to climb over. They also offer better privacy to conceal rear garden areas from intruders, and are much sturdier than other alternative panels.  One common mistake is designing in features such as trees or children's climbing frames too close to the boundary. These can be used by burglars as climbing aids when attempting to scale the fence, making access easy. Investigate the surrounding area, which flanks the outside of the property boundary, as an unfortunately placed bin or bench can also help criminals gain entry. If the removal of these items is not possible, designing in a spiky bush can help deter intruders. It's also worth noting that gardens with numerous large features such as bushes or sheds can also negatively impact the level of security. A clear line of sight across the entire garden is highly recommended where possible. If this view is blocked, it's considerably easy for intruders to hide undetected. Front gardens  While tall, solid fence panels are recommended for rear gardens to prevent intruders from being able to see in and climb over, the opposite is true for front gardens. For street-facing gardens, a low fence or hedge is recommended to provide a clear view from the house. It also makes it much harder for intruders to hide from passers-by or neighbours, who can raise the alarm during a burglary. Another useful security technique to consider is a gravel drive. These create noise, which means the homeowner will know when it is in use. Pair this with a strong boundary fence, the likelihood of burglary dramatically decreases. This article only scratches the surface in unveiling the sheer volume of effective home security options on offer to protect homes and gardens. These investments can help minimize the risk of traumatic break-ins, while also simultaneously boosting the aesthetic of the property and its surroundings. 

Securing Healthcare Facilities
Securing Healthcare Facilities

COVID-19 has sparked a flurry of criminal activity across the country, with a particular increase in petty crimes perpetrated against UK healthcare facilities. Bike theft, slashed ambulance tyres and stolen oxygen canisters are just some of the misdemeanours which have significantly grown in frequency since the coronavirus lockdown began in March 2020.  Given the constant, essential work carried out by health services, it’s clear the utmost must be done to protect its physical assets, and staff, from physical attack. Fundamentally, it’s the responsibility of the facilities managers and specifiers to incorporate and carefully balance physical security strategies around healthcare sites to protect patients, visitors, property and assets. The challenge is that many of these sites are continually increasing in size and complexity to meet the higher demand from the population. Fencing, gates, storage enclosures and access control are part of a solution in securing this service sector to enable it to operate effectively 365 days a year. Effective access control Hospitals are fast-paced environments where life and death outcomes often hang in the balance of only a couple of minutes. Efficient, seamless access is therefore key. All gates and access points around the perimeter must be assessed and considered and these access points should be installed and controlled centrally, or regularly monitored. Fencing, gates, storage enclosures and access control are part of a solution in securing this service sector Consider the types of vehicles that require access; the appropriate solution should ensure that, where necessary, emergency vehicles can get in and out of the site unhindered. Effective design for maximum security If automated gates are specified, underground operators are highly recommended to remove any visible signs of surveillance on display. When designing pedestrian and vehicular access: gates should be DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant. Crucially, the design of fencing and gates must accommodate rapid evacuation and access for emergency services. With regards to the car park, it may require rising arm barriers or bollards to secure it. These solutions control access and separate pedestrians from vehicle traffic whilst protecting different buildings, such as specialist units and emergency wards. Promoting wellness through aesthetics Creating a welcoming environment is a core priority when specifying security options for hospitals. Razor or barbed wire may be effective deterrents to potential trespassers, but they create an intimidating and unwelcoming aesthetic, far removed from the sense of wellbeing these developments should promote. A solution that offers both visual appeal and high levels of security is vertical bar security fencing or welded mesh panels. Both provide strong boundary protection and excellent visibility for surveillance, while offering greater protection than other alternatives. Recreational areas  For areas requiring a 'softer' appearance, such as gardens and outdoor recreational areas, timber fencing is an ideal option. Timber has a natural, welcoming appearance and promotes a sense of wellbeing and privacy. As well as offering a pleasing aesthetic, it can also provide a high level of noise protection. This makes it well suited for acoustic fencing, which can improve recreational and recovery areas by protecting them from high levels of noise, transforming them into little oases of calm ideal for recuperation. Outdoor storage areas Hospitals and other medical facilities produce a large amount of medical waste which requires secure outdoor areas and bin stores to hold hazardous materials on-site before they're taken away. Hospitals have a responsibility to ensure these areas are secured using risk-appropriate fencing to avoid potentially dangerous materials getting into the wrong hands. Risk assessments Creating a welcoming environment is a core priority when specifying security options for hospitals Risk assessments are key to ensuring a risk-appropriate solution is installed. For facilities at risk of criminal activity, products accredited by standards including Secured by Design or the Loss Prevention Standards Board’s LPS 1175 are proven to reduce the likelihood of crime. It’s also best practice to locate storage areas in areas away from climbing aids such as lamp posts or trees. The fence should also be high enough to deter attempts at climbing. There are many effective and easy-to-install options on offer when it comes to specifying security for healthcare infrastructures. It is important that each site is judged individually. Every institution is different and will require a unique plan of security structures to ensure it is safe for all personnel.

Automatic Gates: Making The Right Investment For Access Control
Automatic Gates: Making The Right Investment For Access Control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for mail and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing while obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc while sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for maneuver. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

Latest Gallagher Security news

Gallagher Makes An Agreement To Distribute Invixium Products For Access Control And Integrate Command Centre With IXM WEB
Gallagher Makes An Agreement To Distribute Invixium Products For Access Control And Integrate Command Centre With IXM WEB

Gallagher, a pioneer in access control and perimeter security solutions, and Invixium, a premier manufacturer of innovative touchless biometrics, jointly announce a global agreement where Gallagher will distribute Invixium products for access control. This distribution agreement aligns with Invixium's and Gallagher's continuous efforts to modernize and adapt physical security in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This agreement also follows the successful integration of Gallagher’s command center with IXM WEB. Healthy access solution The new integration unlocks the full potential of Invixium temperature screening, mask detection and face recognition while wearing a mask. The joint solution, provided by integrating Gallagher’s command center with IXM WEB, delivers a complete answer for visitor screening, access control or healthy workforce management, including temperature screening, mask detection and more. The command center platform will notify administrators of elevated body temperature The command center platform will notify administrators of elevated body temperature or mask-related access events in the Alarm Viewer. Along with Invixium's flagship healthy access solution, Gallagher will re-sell Invixium products to provide their global customers with a range of products to satisfy their most demanding health and safety requirements. Securing healthy buildings "Gallagher is proud to offer our customers innovative solutions that meet today's demands," said Mark Junge, Global General Manager for Security at Gallagher. "This partnership is one of many activities that allow us to remain at the forefront as a security provider, and we look forward to offering our customers new technology options that complement our security platform and deliver a safer, healthier future.” “This distribution agreement with Gallagher allows Invixium to expand our global reach and respond to the needs of customers that demand high security,” said Shiraz Kapadia, CEO & President at Invixium. “Our Healthy Access biometric solutions integrated with command center permit Gallagher customers to manage Invixium products from within command center easily and secure their healthy buildings for the future.”

Gallagher Command Center And Invixium IXM WEB Software Integration Offers Contactless Biometric Temperature & Mask Detection
Gallagher Command Center And Invixium IXM WEB Software Integration Offers Contactless Biometric Temperature & Mask Detection

Gallagher Security, a globally renowned company in access control solutions and Invixium, a premier manufacturer of innovative touchless biometric solutions, have announced software integration between Gallagher Command Center and Invixium’s IXM WEB software. As part of their COVID-19 response, Gallagher and Invixium collaborated to develop an integrated, user-friendly solution to address the global market's immediate, health-oriented needs. IXM TITAN with Enhancement Kit IXM TITAN with Enhancement Kit is Invixium’s flagship biometric reader and hallmark of its COVID-19 solution, which delivers simultaneous face recognition and elevated body temperature detection at the medial canthus (tear duct). Through this integrated solution, TITAN will now communicate health events, such as temperature screening and mask detection, to Gallagher’s security management platform, Command Center. Alarm notification events, such as elevated body temperature or the absence of a face mask, will be captured in Command Center’s Alarm Viewer. Seamless integration with Command Center Seamless integration allows users of Command Center to perform biometric enrollment and device management Furthermore, this seamless integration allows users of Command Center to perform biometric enrollment and device management directly within the Gallagher software, along with two-way synchronization of cardholders and access groups. This integration also supports multiple access card assignments (up to 10 cards per cardholder), so businesses that issue more than one card to the same person can fully employ TITAN’s card-reading features. Touchless face recognition and temperature screening “At Gallagher, we place high importance on offering our customers high-security solutions that meet their ever changing needs,” said Mark Junge, Global General Manager for Security at Gallagher Security. Mark adds, “This drive has put us at the forefront of security providers and led us to integrate with Invixium, whose rapid, touchless face recognition and temperature screening (while wearing a protective mask) solution adds highly sought-after features to our portfolio. We are excited about the additional value this integration contributes to creating a safe and assured future for our customers globally.” User-friendly, intelligent solutions “COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for security manufacturers,” said Shiraz Kapadia, CEO & President of Invixium, adding “As a company focused on creating healthy, safe environments for staff and visitors, this deep integration with Gallagher serves as a testament to our commitment to ensuring security through user-friendly, intelligent solutions. We look forward to continuing our work with Gallagher to build a healthier, more secure future.” The features of this integration are available from Command Center v8.30, a Gallagher REST API License is required, and IXM WEB version 2.2.57.0, an Invixium IXM Link License is required.

Gallagher Security Releases Security Advisory Showing Support For Customers Following Disclosed Vulnerability
Gallagher Security Releases Security Advisory Showing Support For Customers Following Disclosed Vulnerability

Gallagher Security’s strong commitment to cyber security sees them frequently communicate best practice recommendations to ensure that customers have the knowledge and tools necessary to keep their sites secure and protected against cyber-attacks and malware threats. Gallagher security advisory The global security manufacturer this week promptly released a security advisory, following the public exposure of the Default Gallagher MIFARE DESFire and MIFARE Plus keys. This act means cards using the default keys could be cloned or emulated, resulting in a site’s security becoming compromised. Customers who have followed Gallagher’s long-standing hardening guide, which recommends the use of site-specific keys, are not affected by this disclosure. Ensuring the continued security of our customers’ sites is our top priority" “Ensuring the continued security of our customers’ sites is our top priority,” said Mark Junge, Gallagher’s Global General Manager for Security, adding “Following the discovery of this exposure, we immediately began communicating with our global team, our network of Channel Partners, and our customers regarding the mitigation options available to them, including our key migration feature released in Command Centre v8.30 earlier this year.” Communicating information on security risks Mark further stated, “Communicating information about any security risks, as well as providing timely advice and recommendations is of vital importance to us. Our published hardening guide has for many years provided in-depth advice of defensive measures for customers to aid in mitigating possible risk.” The vulnerability only affects sites using a default MIFARE DESFire or MIFARE Plus key. It does not affect Gallagher MIFARE DESFire with a site-specific key, Gallagher Mobile Connect credentials, US Government FIPS201 PIV cards, GovPass, or MIFARE Plus with a site-specific key. Concerned customers should contact their Channel Partner or local Gallagher representative for further support and advice.

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