Why steel screens provide ineffective security
The use of steel screens is a common response to the need for security at vacant buildings.This method of security is now outdated and ineffective. Boarding up a property is expensive, causes damage and leaves a building vacant and vulnerable to a range of security threats. Steel screens also increase the risk of dilapidation and vandalism.
Installing steel screens on a vacant property sends a clear sign that the building is empty and usually also unguarded
Steel screens are notoriously ineffective at keeping intruders out. Their presence sends a clear sign to squatters, metal thieves and vandals that the property is not in use. Methods for removing steel screens are known throughout squatting networks. Once they have gained entry, any remaining steel screens can be employed by the squatters to safeguard them from forceful removal by the owner or the law. The owner must then go through the laborious and costly process of establishing rights of possession and enforcing an eviction order. During this time the owner will still be liable to pay the weekly rent for each steel screen in place on their building.
Steel screens detract from the neighbourhood and negatively impact the community
Properties boarded up with steel screens present an image of a neighbourhood in decline. Even when the vacated building may be destined for redevelopment, ultimately reviving or improving a neighbourhood, in the short-run vacated properties can significantly depress local morale and discourage people to visit the area.
This can further negatively impact local businesses and property prices in the area. Boarded up properties are also commonly associated with higher levels of crime
Steel screens usually have to be rented and this can quickly become expensive
Steel screens used to board up vacant properties are rented or purchased from security companies. On average renting steel screens will cost £7 per window and £15 per door per week. In addition, there will be installation and removal costs that have to be factored in. There is also usually a minimum contract term for which the screens must be hired, making it a less viable option for properties that are only vacant for short periods.
Boarding up a property causes damage
Installing steel screens nearly always causes damage to window and door frames. In many cases entire doors and windows have to be removed before the screens are installed. Alternatively, holes are drilled through window and door frames in order to fit the screens.
This creates the problem that door and window frames need to be replaced once the screens are removed. Steel screens also cause further damage while they are in place. They block out light and either significantly hamper ventilation or allow moisture and the elements to fully penetrate the building, causing erosion through internal condensation or mould respectively. Properties that are boarded up can face further damage caused by pest infestations or leaks that are unattended to, requiring additional repairs and detracting from the value of the property.
The better steel screen alternative
Oaksure provides a superior alternative to steel screens. Our live-in guards provide round-the-clock security for vacant properties, protecting the fabric of the building from further damage, preventing it from being targeted by thieves and vandals and completely eliminating the threat of squatters all at a fraction of the cost and without the negative stigma attached to steel screens.
We always advise against the use of steel screens.
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