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Church Combat

by msecadm4921

As metal prices rise, churches and other historic buildings find themselves the target of lead thieves.

Sonic Security UK, a NSI Gold installer, selected BoundaryGard detection products from Optex Europe, to combat intruders at a Lincolnshire church. This followed the theft of a large quantity of lead from its roof. Systems Assessor of Sonic Security UK, Mark Johnstone says: “After one failed attempt to steal lead from its porch and roof, at the second attempt the thieves were successful in removing large strips of lead work from the sloping roof of the church. Keen to prevent this from occurring again, I was approached to assess the site to determine how best to protect it. Looking at the site and taking into account the type of property, I suggested an unobtrusive wire free intruder system, which has been our speciality for a number of years. Since we required the technology to give coverage over the front and the rear roofs we selected the Optex VX402R, the larger back box enabling us to install an 868 wireless transmitter and allow the unit to operate at 3 volts.” The VX402R employs multiple detection pattern technology developed from Optex Europe’s long-range external detector range. Two discrete detection areas are created and only when an intruder is detected in both areas is an alarm output provided.

The detectors use patented Double Conductive Shielding of the Pyroelectric Element, which is in effect a double filtering and shielding of visible light and RFI such that only infrared energy reaches the Pyroelectric Elements.

The VX402R has a detection pattern of 12 metres by 12 metres. The detection pattern of 90 degrees with 12 metre range can be rotated through 180 degrees allowing flexible mounting of the unit, and the wire free kit version includes receiver with audio and visual indication that can be used either stand-alone or integrated into an existing security or lighting system.

“Using wire free technology meant that we did not have to run cables through and around a historical building, but this was not without its problems,” Mark continues, “the thick walls meant we had a weak signal, and so we had to incorporate methods to boost the signals.

“In total we installed four units, along with a number of high output sounder units. The units were installed at the recommended height because the roofs have a slope to them; this meant they could be installed at low level so as not to be seen from the main road. When walk-testing we were able to adjust each unit to give the best coverage over the roofs whilst taking into account where the birds roost and could cause false alarm activations.

“I’m happy to say that we have not had any false activations from these units. We are located in a very rural part of the country and due to the amount of churches that are suffering with the ongoing threat of theft, we shall be attending more churches in order to help them,” concludes Mark.

Paul Nicholas, Sales Manager for BoundaryGard adds: “Where budgets are tight but reliability is still essential, BoundaryGard provides an excellent front-line defence against intruders, and the flexibility of having wireless detectors means that they can be installed even in the most challenging of environments.

“Installers effectively now have a product that they can use outdoors that provides the same high-performance detection they have come to expect from the detectors they use inside their homes,” he concludes.

Also available in the BoundaryGard range is the VX-402REC, which allows the installer to record a warning message customised for each site. Sequential messages with higher degrees of warning given at various intervals can also be recorded, with the volume of each warning enhanced by wiring a second speaker into the detector.

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