Sheep in wolf’s clothing: Inadequate security products posing as the real deal

Updating the perimeter security at Blean Primary School

It is a fundamental duty of care for any business with enhanced security requirements, such as utilities or industrial sites, to protect their staff, visitors and assets. Failure to install adequate perimeter security and access control could result in placing staff and business at unnecessary risk of theft, vandalism, disruption or serious injury. It is critically important that the security needs of your company are carefully considered and you procure products fit for purpose. Recently, this has become more difficult as despite the wide variety of products available not all will meet the security standards required for your premises.

Few high security manufacturers and suppliers presently offer solutions that meet the stringent standards set by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB). The lack of certified physical perimeter security and access control products means it is essential that LPCB certification is confirmed before specifying a product. Using products tested and certified by LPCB and certified to an LPS1175 Security Rating assures their security performance.

LPCB’s LPS 1175 certification is only granted to products that have successfully completed meticulous testing procedures. The ratings awarded range from basic enhanced protection to maximum security applications; from SR1 (lowest) to SR8 (highest). Products will undergo rigorous testing to achieve a security rating, and as such very few companies manufacture perimeter fencing and access control products with an SR4 or higher rating. The intensity of attack testing increases at different security rating levels: SR1 involves 10 minutes of testing with minimal hand tools such as a screwdriver, knife, pliers etc. To achieve an SR5 on the other end of the scale, products need to be able to withstand 30 minutes of attack time, from hostile manual tools to powerful portable electric tools, such as electric circular and reciprocating saws. While these are cutting edge tools, they are readily available to anyone with serious intent.

The LPCB provides a useful free-to-use website, redbooklive.com, to keep buyers up to date about which products hold current certification and which ones have been suspended. Attaining an LPS 1175 rating is just the beginning, standards must be kept up to date and are checked with yearly audits by the LPCB. Failure to maintain these standards will result in suspension of a product’s rating. Reassuringly, redbook is frequently updated and includes news of products where certification has been withdrawn or suspended, making a redbook check an essential part of the specification process.

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