Security tips for listed and heritage properties

Heritage properties are sadly popular targets for crime. In 2021 English Heritage found that an estimated 18.7% of all listed buildings had been physically affected by crime. That represents over 70,000 properties.

Listed property security

Over the last few years we have been helping many owners of listed and heritage properties protect their premises from fire, theft and damage. This has included helping national heritage organisations such as The National Trust.

In working with them, we’ve had to balance the absolute security and protection of the site and staff with a sensitivity to the listed and heritage building’s features, history and aesthetics. It has led us to compile these security considerations to help owners of such properties better protect their premises and possessions.

Key assets

Consider what elements of the property or items need to be protected and what security weak spots surround them. Assess here the various ways an intruder could gain access and what could help or hinder them at different times of the day. This information will help to identify ways to make entry and exit from that aspect of the property difficult and full of obstacles for a potential intruder.

Consider the people on site

Be it you as owners or your tenants, staff or volunteers, it is important to ensure personal safety isn’t put at risk in the event of a break-in. Security systems can provide highly detailed information to pinpoint where exactly a break-in has occurred. This technology can alert people on site, or those in a remote monitoring station, so an immediate response can be co-ordinated safely.

Factor in the property’s aesthetics

You will no doubt have period features that need to work with the system and not be altered by it. Technological developments are creating more intelligent and less obtrusive security hardware. Wireless systems are just one example and reduce the need for significant cabling installation in the property.

Look holistically at the security of the property

The protection of a listed property often requires a number of different components eg security lighting, fire detection, intruder detection etc. A more affordable and effective level of protection is sometimes achieved by looking holistically at the premises rather than piecemeal (ie one element one year and one another). Newer systems now integrate and communicate with each other. This can often bring savings and a more intelligent and effective level of protection for the property.

Seek professional guidance

Sadly intruders are becoming ever more sophisticated in their efforts. The good news is that the security industry is also evolving to bring greater levels of protection to listed and heritage properties and new technologies and systems emerge every year. It pays to seek professional guidance with those who have a responsibility to keep up with all the latest developments and who can give you an objective view on how to best protect your property. The National Security Inspectorate is a good source of guidance. It is the leading UK professional body in the sector with professional standards and accreditations that its members have to comply with.

For more information about our security work with heritage properties, please contact the sales team on 01483 791500.

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