London is awash with an eclectic range of buildings, and the fact that period properties sit amidst the backdrop ultra-modern constructions is probably one of the capital’s most redeeming features.

If you are lucky enough to own a period property in London, whether it’s an 18th century Georgian townhouse, an Edwardian family home or a Victorian mews house, you’ll no doubt be precious about its alluring characteristics.

The trouble is some of these typical characteristics can prove to be a risk when it comes to security. Here we look at three of them, and give our take on what you can do to protect your property whilst maintaining the qualities you admire.

1.     Sash Windows

Wooden sliding sash windows are one of the most notable features of a period property. If you still have the original windows in place, you should be aware that the existing fasteners really cannot be relied upon. You should also note that the beading holding the glass in place is usually only pinned, meaning the glass could quite easily be removed.

Original sash windows are not only lacking on the security front, they are also notorious for letting in draughts and noise. The best course of action is to have them replaced with modern UPVC alternatives. There are some good companies in London that provide a bespoke service in made to measure sash windows that are sympathetic to period originals, yet provide all the benefits of modern double glazing and security. Look for sliding sashes certificated to British Standard PAS 24:2012 for enhanced security.

Another security measure is sash stops. These allow windows to be left open for ventilation but still secure. These should be fitted in pairs for maximum security.

2.     Concealed Entrances

A typical feature of Georgian townhouses is the below-street-level or concealed entrance. In London, many of these townhouses have been split into flats, with the basement quarters having their own access below street level.

As we discussed at length in a previous post dedicated to basement flat security, entryways that are concealed from street view allow potential intruders the benefit of added time and privacy whilst they attempt a break-in.

Securing doors with locks and cylinders that use restricted keys which can only be cut by authorised locksmiths is a wise choice, and there is plenty of further advice in our doors at a disadvantage post.

3.     Architectural Features

The ornamental and architectural features of your period property are its very essence. Of course, this means they will be much coveted by thieves who may seek to profit from them.

If your property is vacant, perhaps between lets or whilst undergoing refurbishment, then great care should be exercised to prevent theft of valuable features. Items that tend to be most vulnerable are stained glass, stone mouldings, chimney stacks, wrought and cast ironwork, plasterwork and Victorian floor tiles. Make sure you have all items of value individually listed on your insurance policy and that you security mark and photograph everything.

Remote monitoring via CCTV motion detection and intruder alarm activation is the recommended solution for unoccupied properties. If your building is listed and cannot be fitted with external audible alarms then remote monitoring really is the answer. (You can read more about listed building security in a previous post.)

If you own a period property in London and would like some tailored, expert advice on securing the very features that make it the charming residence it is, talk to Barry Bros Security. We have a showroom in central London, staffed by friendly, knowledgeable specialists. You can also give us a call or drop us a line. We look forward to being of assistance.