Changing attitudes to home security – Why are people taking more pride in their perimeter?
Home improvement is no longer restricted to what’s behind the front door. The way people view their gates, fencing, garden and driveway, and the security of their property has become even more popular. The emergence of security products that can be installed by the home owner means that the garden gate is no longer the last thing that’s thought of, people want to secure their gate to protect their belongings and also to improve the look of their gates.
6 years ago I traveled to Belgium to visit one of our suppliers, Locinox. From the minute I stepped off the plane and started making my way out of the airport, away from the city into smaller towns and villages, it was notable how much pride people took in their gates. Even the smallest gate had what looked like a brand new lock on it and a gate closer to help it close smoothly, with some of the larger gates having intercom systems and electronic access control. When I asked the question to the manufacturer if this was the norm for their region they responded by saying it wasn’t restricted to the local towns and villages, that the idea of home security and looking after their gates, making them more secure stretched across Europe. The way they described how home and property owners in Europe took so much pride in their gates always stuck with me, with the first thought I had being, it’s very different in the UK! I was new to the job, maybe a little wet behind the ears when it came to my understanding of how things worked in the industry, but it was clear to be that the same attitude to our gates and property in the UK was very different.
Fast forward 6 years and the attitude to gate and perimeter security in the UK has completely changed.
The question is why? Why are people now more willing to invest in security? Why have attitudes changed?
Each person will have their own story as to why they have decided to buy a new intercom system, invest in a new gate or add a new lock to their gate but one thing is clear, people are taking their security more seriously.
Affordability and availability
The internet is a wonderful thing. Search ‘lock for my garden gate’ now and up will pop thousands of choices from hundreds of different websites. Ebay and Amazon provide a platform to sell pretty much anything. Toolstation, screwfix, B&Q offer an obvious route into the DIY market, and security hardware experts and resellers can all offer different options as to what they believe will be the best option for your gate. While there is still the mentality of looking for the cheapest deal, online buyers are more savvy these days, and if something is cheap then there’s usually a reason for it and they can see through it. If you want to find something you can usually find it. Websites are better and a good supplier will often give you all the information you need to buy and install the right lock for a particular product. While it’s still important to make sure you buy from a supplier who can advise and guide someone to the right product, the volume of companies offering security products means that no matter what your budget, you can find a product that will be an upgrade on a traditional gate latch with little to no security.
Yes, you can buy a lock with the click of a button, they are affordable and readily available, but one thing to note is that the quality of products has drastically improved. Sift through the rubbish, filter out the noise and you’ll find a huge range of products suitable for nearly every application!
Locinox are an industry leader, offering locks, gate closers and access control that are used by homeowners, security companies, gate manufacturers and gate automation installers. Borg locks and Codelocks offer a huge range of keypad access mechanical locks. Gatemaster can offer key locks, code locks and emergency exit locks, and Squire can offer coded and keyed padlocks that offer a security level previously unheard of from a padlock manufacturer. Exidor have a huge range of emergency exit systems. Add to that the available options for the actual gates and fencing, manufactured in a number of different materials and you have all the components to deliver a secure gate for the majority of budgets.
Keeping up with the Joneses
“to show that one is as good as other people by getting what they have and doing what they do”
Fashion, trends, and social media, they all influence what people do, and that is just as true when it comes to gates and access control.
Just this week an installation was completed for one of our clients, he had a fully automated aluminium gate at his home, part of a complete property renovation. One week later and a call comes in from a neighbour, he’s seen the gates installed and wanted a set himself.
Last week i was speaking to an installer we work with, he was explaining how they had just finished their 5th installation on the same road.
Most will claim they were going to do it anyway, will have a different design of gate, a different locks, an upgraded security system, claiming that they were going to get it done anyway, that ‘it’s different to what the other person had’ My view is that there’s nothing wrong with it. People see something they like and they want it. They hear a good idea, they want to better it. The conclusion is that as more people invest in their security, in new gates and security systems, the snowball keeps rolling, keeps getting bigger. It becomes popular, trendy, stylish, before the next trend comes along and it happens again.
This is clearly evident with gates. Aluminium gates in the UK have become so popular in the last couple of years, and designs and options are increasing and improving. You can even go as far as looking at colours. Everything used to be green or black, now everywhere you turn it’s anthracite grey. Next year it could be white, blue, orange, purple!
Ultimately, people are influenced by people It’s not always a good thing, but there are many times where it is. You see new products, new ideas, and focusing on the name of this article, Changing attitudes to home security – Why are people taking more pride in their perimeter? if it helps people to be more secure and aware, it can only be a good thing.