Whilst COVID has had a devastating effect on our economy, interest in caravans and motorhomes has probably never been higher and meeting that demand is something of a challenge for both manufacturers and dealers.
Unfortunately caravans and motorhomes have always been a target for thieves and as demand increases so does the attention of thieves. Technology is also giving them a helping hand, as they are now able to start and drive away motorhomes without actually having a key for the vehicle!
It has therefore never been more important for dealers to review their security arrangements to thwart such attacks and keep your business safe and thriving in the coming year. We have used our knowledge of the market place and talked to Insurance surveyors and these are some of the things that dealers ought to consider: -
• Perimeter security - palisade fencing, although the fixing bolts can be vulnerable to being cut off, or Anti Climb fixed Mesh security fencing.
• Consider security posts - security post quality varies, so we would recommend those that have passed the Sold-Secure Attack Test.
• Entrances - palisade gates with hinge protection locked with Close Shackle Padlocks, ideally to at least CEN Grade 4 . Lockable retractable or drop down security posts behind gates. We would also recommend padlocks are protected with a welded steel shrouds to slow down thieves cutting them off.
• Monitored CCTV – needs to be fitted by an SSAIB or NSI approved installer, the Remote Visual Response Centre (RVRC) must be accredited to BS5979 & BS8418:2015. The system must transmit the received images via GPRS or IP over a fixed broadband & the system must be status checked every 2 hours as a minimum. It may also be appropriate for site audio deterrent (speakers) by RVRC plus a system that includes remote viewing by you the dealer via smart phone (if feasible) as this assists with site response safety.
• Building Alarms – ideally Redcare GSM or Dualcom GPRS. Grade 2 or 3 alarm with Grade 4 signalling. Just to be awkward, due to 21CN network changes coming in, new systems will now have radio/radio (two mobile paths) or radio/IP (mobile and broadband). These should be:
• BT Red Care Extra, Advanced or Advanced Extra
• CSL Dualcom Gradeshift or Gradeshift Pro DP3
• Any other dual path Alarm Transmission System with performance level DP3 certificated to BSEN50136-1:2012
We would suggest alarm systems should gain level 1 police response achieved via URN (Unique Reference Number). Your intruder alarm installer will know the criteria of system required to achieve this.
It could also be appropriate to add to the compound security itself with point to point double height beams as an extension of building alarm systems. These will alert Alarm Receiving Centres to unauthorised site access, although generally police response is not possible until internal access is made to buildings. They are very useful if the CCTV system is not remotely monitored.
There has also been a rise in more opportunist theft of caravans during business hours, where the perpetrators simply drive in, hitch up a caravan and drive away before anybody has noticed or been able to prevent the theft. With this in mind, you should consider having front line caravans fitted with hitch-locks, effectively blocking in those displayed/parked behind, or barriers/gates or removable posts introduced within the site that still allow customers to enter a display area but stop the caravans being removed.
What security you need will very much depend on the type of site that you have and any alterations you are thinking of making to the security should be checked with your insurers, as your policy will contain conditions requiring you to inform your insurers of such changes. They may also have suggestions themselves and will sometimes have recommended suppliers or possibly be prepared to offer some risk management funding to help with any upgrades. One can but ask.