Walking down any high street in the UK today, you would find be hard pressed to find a shop without a roller shutter or an industrial door.
This is due to the increase in opportunistic crimes in many parts of the UK. With the Office of National Statistics reporting a 7% increase in shoplifting offences, it’s no wonder business owners are exploring all security options to protect their businesses.
Having identified the primary role of roller shutters in your business i.e. protect your stock, it’s absurd to hear the news out of Bolton, Bradford and other parts of the UK. Local councils are forcing shop keepers to take down roller shutters that have been put up for security reasons. They claim they are trying to ‘smarten up the district’ and ‘roller shutters damage the character of the high street.’ They order exterior roller shutters to be taken down, and alternative measures put in place.
Recommended measures include:
• Installing high quality IP CCTV cameras
• Hiring extra security personnel
• Installing alarms
These may be viable options if the shopkeeper hadn’t just paid for the installation of the roller shutters.
Failure to comply in the given time period, 28 days, is interpreted as breaking the law, causing an enforcement team to be called in.
Is it right for councils to prioritize aesthetics over security? Don’t they know that insurance premiums are high if your business doesn’t have roller shutters installed? And some companies refuse to cover you if you don’t have any shutters in place?
One way out of this impasse is the installation of exterior roller shutters but with custom graphics that displays imagery when the shop is closed. This option addresses the councils desire to keep the town looking attractive and the shop keeper’s need for security of his stock.
Moving on, this move by many councils highlights an important point that many small businesses gloss over.
The need to have planning permission before carrying out any work on/in your office building. Councils differ regarding what they deem important; be sure to reach out to yours and know your options.
In the event that your council refuses to allow exterior roller shutters, other options include:
◦ Collapsible gates
◦ Retractable grilles
◦ Steel doors
Roller shutters provide benefits beyond keeping burglars out. For many shops, roller shutters can help with temperature regulation. Many of them have excellent heat and sound insulation properties that allows them to keep stores cool in summer and warm in winter.
New technology such as better insulation materials and high speed opening mechanisms have allowed the roller shutter become a solution in the problem of energy consumption. It’s even been estimated by the UK’s Carbon Trust, that roller shutters can help companies make savings of up to 20% on the cost of heating and cooling. This is particularly important if your shop/building requires specific temperature control.
Roller shutters can be treated with materials that make them fire-resistant. They can then be used as automatic fire-break doors that close in the event of a building fire and starve the fire of oxygen, thus halting it’s spread. This also allows people to be safely evacuated and the fire quickly put out.
As part of a modern fire strategy, automatic fire shutters are an invaluable tool. In combination with sprinklers, alarms and smoke extraction systems, they can help save lives and prevent total destruction of the building.
Roller shutters are a vital part of any retail operation.
Vandalism, theft and fire are all situations where the shopkeeper’s livelihood can be wiped out in a matter of minutes. Roller shutters can provide the barrier that either stops or delays such an incident. Whether you are installing roller shutters to cut your energy bills or to tackle a vandalism problem, contact SRL Ltd for professional advice and experienced installation.