Preventing thefts through secure storage

Thanks to the time and effort expended by a large number of public spirited residents we have a very active Neighbourhood Watch scheme operating in my area. Trouble is that it appears to do little to deter both the opportunistic and more organised thieves who of late have become more brazen often operating in broad daylight under the noses of residents. With no town gas supply, not surprisingly the most frequent thefts involve stealing home heating oil, but recently there has been a notable rise in thefts of grass mowers and power tools from outbuildings. The thieves probably calculate a ready market exists for their ill-gotten gains as spring approaches.
Insurance will ease the pain but standard policy excesses and loss of no claims bonuses can still leave you hundreds of pounds out of pocket. So what can you do?


Obviously don’t leave out buildings and sheds unlocked or leave windows open. The objective is to put as many security barriers in place as possible to foil the sneak thief and deter the more determined and better equipped criminal. Fit quality locks or padlocks and if possible steel lock covers to prevent access with bolt cutters. You can also buy anti-jemmy door hinges for a few pounds. If you have very expensive equipment like generators and ride on mowers consider extending your home security alarm. These days modern technology means this can be done wirelessly.
If despite your best efforts thieves do gain entry all is not lost (literally). My own mower is chained to the wall using two 15mm eyebolts. As for power tools and other expensive equipment the answer is to lock these away in a secure steel cabinet or tool vault. Depending on the size the Probe Industrial cabinet range provides security for lower value items. For added security you can utilise the heavy duty Oxbox or Tuffbank van boxes made from heavy gauge steel plate that have bolt down features and anti-jemmy lids.
Spending a couple of hundred pounds to safeguard against theft is worthwhile when balanced against the cost and hassle of replacement. The police also advise that thieves will return time and again to properties they consider easy prey so now is the time to be proactive so you don’t become a victim.

Key boxes ensure secure access to your home.

I was driving into the village where I live on yet another miserable rainy summer’s day when I passed a schoolboy walking the mile and a half road from the last bus stop into the village. Ordinarily I would not stop unless I was very well acquainted with the individual as sad to say these days such acts of altruism can and often are misinterpreted.

However as I looked back in the mirror I could see the lad was battling the elements so I pulled up and reversed back to offer a lift. It turned out his family had arrived in the village only recently and as he could not remember the house name he gave directions that led me to it. There were no cars on the drive or any signs of activity so I asked if his parents were around. They were both at work but he said he had a key. He thanked me for the lift and headed off but having had kids of my own I held back from driving off whilst I saw him safely inside.

Key Cabinet

The heavens chose that moment to unleash a torrential downpour while the poor lad was searching first his pockets then his schoolbag looking frantically for his key. Nothing I could do but watch and wonder what I would do next if he has lost the key. After what seemed an age he triumphantly held the key aloft and waved by which time he and the contents of his bag were clearly soaked.

For working parents it must be a logistical nightmare to arrange daytime care and supervision of the children and so called latchkey kids are all too common. To provide security and eliminate the risk of children or even parents losing the house key the security industry has developed some excellent weather proof home key boxes that you can mount outside the door to ensure a key is always to hand. They have combination or digital locks to control access and are also useful if you need to admit carers or workmen whilst you are away from home.

 

Adoption of new Hazard Substance labels

As a follow on from my earlier comments regarding the correct use of COSHH rated hazardous substance cabinets I should have added that if using a general purpose COSHH cabinet the need for correct labelling to identify the actual class of materials stored still applies. Use of the old black “Cross” designating “Harmful” is being phased out in favour of more specific pictograms so that the hazard posed by the contents is clear and unambiguous. The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is a UN inspired scheme intended to establish a standardized global system to harmonise all the various national and regional hazard communication systems around the world that apply to the control and supply of hazardous chemicals. The GHS when fully rolled out will act in much the same way that the ‘Orange Book’ provides a global framework for the transport of dangerous goods.

This makes absolute sense given our modern global marketplace and Europe is one of the first to adopt the GHS via the CLP (Classification, Labeling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures). This Regulation is entitled “Regulation (EC)No 1272/2008” and supercedes Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC.

There is a generous transition period so the old hazard labels on your existing cabinets and existing warehouse stock are acceptable. The plan is to achieve a full transition by 2015. If you are using General purpose COSHH Storage cabinets although the “Cross” label denoting “Hazard” may already be attached but you may be best advised to source the appropriate CLP hazard label specific to the contents for example Flammable, Toxic, Corrosive, Explosive, Environmental Hazard etc to satisfy the Health and Safety and Fire Safety legislation.

Although the CLP legislation is quite detailed and complex for product Safety Data Sheets and labeling of the chemical container or its outer packaging that may involve displaying several pictograms this is not necessary on a hazardous storage cabinet where only the general hazardous class is required.

A summary of the new label pictograms is given below. Note that there is a different set of CLP harmonized labels required for use in the transportation of Hazardous goods. For the full text of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 go to

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:353:0001:1355:en:PDF

Physical Hazards


Health Hazards

Environmental Hazards