London is home to a vast range of property types, some of the most common being terraced, semi-detached and detached houses. Some of these properties have been designed with ‘gaps’ in between them. Semi-detached and detached properties with unrestricted side access, and terraced houses with passageways in between them, are particularly prone to security risks. Here we take a look at those risks and offer suggestions as to how they might be mitigated.

Semi-Detached and Detached Properties with Unrestricted Side Access

Home securityProperties designed with a driveway or path between them that provides access to a rear garage or garden need attention from a security point of view. You will need to work alongside your neighbour to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Unrestricted access between these types of properties allows intruders to approach the rear of the property and climb over into the garden. Under cover of darkness, this will unlikely be seen from the street, making it even more of a risk.

The solution is to close the gap between the properties by installing a tall metal gate that falls in line with the fronts of the houses. The gate will need to be tall enough to prevent climbing. Because the gate is at the front of the house, there is increased likelihood that any attempt to breach it will be spotted from the street.

It is best to have the gates visually open (i.e. not solid) so that the area behind them can be kept under observation from the street. They’ll need to be designed to prevent forcing and climbing, but not with spikes on top as they could cause injury to someone who is innocently trying to gain access. The choice of lock is important; a British Standards approved, corrosion-proof padlock with the appropriate security rating is your minimum.

An outside security light above the gate will put any potential intruder in the spotlight at night, and will also assist homeowners with access too.

Be aware that any structure that exceeds two metres or borders the public highway will require planning permission, as will any work undertaken within a conservation area.

If it does not prove possible to close the gap with new gates, then another solution is to strengthen the security of the existing access to the rear of the properties. Ensure any back gates are suitably secured with British Standards locks and that the gates are solid so that an intruder cannot see what there may be of interest behind them. In addition, make sure fences are adequately secure and add height where necessary by fitting a trellis.

Terraced Properties with Passageway Tunnels

It is not uncommon in London to see terraced properties with passageway tunnels between them leading to back gardens. Some even have the main entrance door located in the tunnel.

To boost security, the portal to the tunnel should be fitted with a locked gate that fills the entire portal so as to prevent climbing over it. The gate should be of sufficient quality, as should its lock, otherwise there really is no point to it whatsoever. So, check the lock conforms to British Standards. Ideally you’ll have a mortice lock. In addition, ensure it is not possible for the gate to be lifted from its hinges.

Tailored Advice from Seasoned Security Experts

Need advice on securing your London home? For more than six decades, Barry Bros Security has been providing tailored guidance on all aspects of security to London homeowners, landlords and business owners. We are here to assist you, so please feel free to get in touch or visit our London showroom.