Good morning Ian,
Please accept my apologies for contacting you out of the blue but there have been quite a number of recent break-ins to domestic garages in the Kingswells area, so the Crime Reduction Unit with Police Scotland here in Aberdeen would like to pass on some crime prevention advice to help prevent any further incidents. Please find that advice below and please feel free to pass this information far and wide to your community:
General advice can be found at:
There are some anti-theft devices such as ‘garage defenders’ which are designed to prevent unauthorised access via forcing the up-and-over doors, the most common type of garage doors;
Although we’re not allowed to recommend any particular item, we can advise that any item bearing the ‘Sold Secure’ or ‘Secured By Design’ logos has been tested to fairly stringent levels, is probably at or near the top of the market for quality and is Police approved.
For sectional garage doors, it may be worth considering the use of bolts or padlocks fitted to the inside of the door runners. Older double doors, often made of wood, can be secured by fitting them with a deadlock and drop bolts on the door which closes first.
Also, a small battery powered alarm such as this might help if it’s not feasible to have the garage covered by the domestic system:
as it can produce a very loud siren which should make it uncomfortable to stay within the garage and hopefully alert you or neighbours to the fact that the garage has been entered. These alarms are not expensive and are armed or disarmed the same way that modern cars are locked and unlocked, by use of a small remote control. If the house has an intruder alarm and the garage is part of the same building shell, it might be worth considering extending the alarm to cover the garage too.
Likewise, any valuable items such as bicycles should be secured to the fabric of the garage or to the ground by means of a ground anchor or smaller items can be secured in large steel cabinets or storage boxes. Consideration should also be given to securing these boxes to the ground or fabric of the building b way of deeply seated bolts.
When using padlocks, we would recommend the use of the type made of toughened steel, ideally with a built-in alarm, and with a closed shackle. This makes cutting the padlock more time-consuming and, with a closed shackle, makes it more difficult to insert a cutting tool to cut the shackle, which is almost fully enclosed in the body of the padlock. Another consideration is that hasp and staple should also be made of toughened steel and the screws holding the hasp and staple to the door or doorframe should be as long as possible, to make them as strong as possible and they should be of the non-return or ‘clutch head’ screws to make them difficult to unscrew without the proper specialised tools, which thieves tend not to carry with them. Padlocks can be augmented by using key operated mortice bolts, top and bottom, on the same pedestrian doorhttp://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/products/bolts_stops_and_accessories/mortice_bolts
Other considerations could be that all windows should be fitted with net curtains or similar on the inside, to prevent thieves from seeing what’s inside. Single glazed windows can be made more secure by fitting a metal grille or window film on the interior surface. These films come in many styles, from translucent, patterned or completely opaque but any used should be at least 100 microns thick. This will make it more difficult to break and will hold the broken glass in place, making it more time consuming and risky for a thief as they will have to pull the glass pieces out by hand and risk getting cut and leaving blood/DNA at the scenehttp://www.windowfilm.co.uk/residential/security
Security signs advising of the above measures, prominently placed, can also have a deterrent effect on criminals even attempting to force entry to a garage.
Also, it might be worth considering laying gravel about the garage as the noise of someone walking on gravel may well alert someone in the house to an intruder outside, especially on still nights. Good lighting is also effective, so if possible install a Passive Infra-Red (PIR) operated floodlight to cover the garage. An intruder breaking the beam will activate the light and possibly alert someone in the house or a neighbour to the presence of a prowler. These light should be sited as high as possible, to give the maximum spread of light and to avoid damage by thieves wanting to take them out of operation, but consideration should be given to avoiding disturbing neighbours unnecessarily with false activations.
Finally, consideration may be given to planting prickly bushes outside garage windows to provide a natural barrier to accessing the window. Such plants as pyracantha, rose, berberis and blackthorn are perfect for the task.
Please note that the information provided in the hyperlinks above is intended for illustration purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation by Police Scotland. Also, although there may be some costs involved in implementing the advice included in this message, these costs should be considered alongside the potential costs or repairing damage or replacing stolen property.
If you would like any further advice on how to avoid becoming the victim of theft or other crimes, please feel free to give us a call at the Crime Reduction Unit on the Police Scotland non-emergency number of 101.
Crime Reduction Officer,
Crime Reduction Unit,
North East Division,
Nigg Police Office
230 Abbotswell Crescent, Nigg,