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How to protect your roof from metal thieves – Part 5

Forensic Tagging Warning Sign

As discussed yesterday, we believe that there are real problems with most anti-climb paint products. Their ineffectiveness was becoming a real problem for us, because we are very proud of our leadwork and don’t think that it should cease to be a viable roofing option because of thieves.

For these reasons and more, Maxiflow are proud to be proponents of the new Molecular Taggent Technology developed by RedWeb Security. We are confident that this technology provides solid solutions for the future viability of leadwork installations.

How does it work? Our Asset Marker grease can be applied by our licenced installers directly to your valuable assets. This is not limited to roofing materials; from a manhole cover to electric cables, we can invisibly coat your assets without altering their day-to-day appearance.

But what, you may ask, is the difference between our anti-theft products and others on the market? It’s simple: An indelible link from the criminal to the crime scene.

How is this achieved? Well, that’s the clever part. Asset Marker products are saturated with millions of microscopic ultra-violet beads, each of which have a DNA code that can be detected using forensic equipment.

Every batch of Asset Marker grease is encoded with a unique, individual signature. If you touch a surface coated with the grease, it invisibly transfers to you, your clothes and anything else you come into contact with.

What does this mean for metal thieves? Well, these crimes aren’t elegant procedures. Roofing materials, particularly lead, are very heavy. Transporting the stolen goods requires several people and a vehicle, all of which connect with the tracked asset, no matter how briefly.

All it takes is for one 1 x 50 micron particle to be detected anywhere on the criminal, their clothing or their vehicle and law enforcement teams have an unbreakable chain of evidence straight to the criminal.

We believe that educating the public about this technology and rolling it out across high-profile properties will help effectively dissuade criminals from marked areas.

Could YOU be sure that a single drop of incriminating evidence hasn’t followed you from the crime scene? Could you wash everything you own to the degree that we couldn’t find a tiny micron somewhere? Would anybody take that risk?

Thank you for reading, the previous parts of this article can be found below:

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How to protect your roof from metal thieves – Part 4

Prevent roof thefts effectively

This is day 4 of a week-long series of articles on preventing metal theft. Previous articles can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Some properties are unable to be modified to the degree required for a wholesale roof replacement. They may be protected conservation properties or they may have decorative leadwork features of important historical or artistic value.

In these cases, protecting the property’s roof has traditionally been much trickier, relying upon the classic methods outlined in section 1. However, recent technological advances have emerged which promise to make deterrents a lot more effective.

Most people are familiar with anti-climb paint, which has been in use across the country for several years. These products coat thieves in clothing-staining grease while they attempt to clamber up a protected surface, allowing police to subsequently identify the thieves.

The main problem with many of these products is that they are only effective in the immediate aftermath of a crime.

Police are rarely lucky enough to catch culprits red-handed, and the course of an investigation can take days, weeks or even months to produce any results. The thieves’ stained clothing can be quickly and easily disposed of, leaving behind mere traces of grease (which could have come from a thousand sources).

But what if that wasn’t the case? What if one tiny dot of dye in the criminals’ van could be incontrovertibly linked back to the crime scene?

In the last article in this series, we will be looking at one of the most technologically advanced security solutions on the market. Come back tomorrow to find out more!

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How to protect your roof from metal thieves – Part 3

Mulberry Day Service roofing lead replacement

This is the third part of our week-long series of articles on metal thefts. Click here for part one and here for part two.

Lead is a traditional material used in roofing and custom leadwork installations continue to be a high-prestige commodity, and for very good reasons!

Lead is one of the most versatile assets a roofer can work with, due to its incredible durability and the beautiful decorative touches it can add to any property. However, it is also one of the most valuable materials in the entire construction industry, making it a common target of thieves. Luckily, there are ways to gain most of the benefits of a lead roof with far fewer risks.

Recently, Maxiflow were at the Mulberry Day Service centre in Chester and we were able to offer them a custom solution to their roofing needs.

We were tasked with renewing the top-edge flashing around their atrium-style skylights and wanted to enhance the attractiveness of the feature. Traditionally, lead would have been employed for this purpose but we opted for a different solution.

We deployed an artificial lead system which looks strikingly close to the real thing and has no resale value, rendering it useless to thieves. This anti-vandal system offers competitive durability and flexibility, retaining many of the advantages of a traditional lead roof.

But what if such a solution isn’t practical for your property? Over the next two days we will be finding out the problems that are faced by heritage properties and how we believe they can be solved.

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How to protect your roof from metal thieves – Part 2

Prevent roof thefts effectively

This is part 2 of this article. For part 1, click here.

If you are thinking of ways to prevent access to your roof, there are several options that spring instantly to mind. Barbed wire and security lights are effective in most circumstances, because the majority of thieves are low-level opportunists who are easily deterred from accessing areas that appear secure.

However, from what we’ve seen, the current crop of metal thieves are significantly more organised than the average ‘chancer’ who attempts a crime just because he sees the opportunity.

The unfortunate reality is that traditional deterrents can be effectively neutralised by criminals who plan ahead. We saw a case recently where barbed wire had simply been cut away from the area it was protecting. Sites with security lighting have found it to be ineffective because it can actually help the criminals see what they’re doing!

Remember, if you can get up onto your roof, so can criminals.

So, what can you do to ward off savvy crooks from stealing your roof metals? The best answer may seem intimidating, but it’s surprisingly simple: Stay ahead of them with technology.

Continue reading this blog every day this week to find out how the latest roofing technology can effectively protect your property and deter criminals.

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How to protect your roof from metal thieves – Part 1

Maxiflow preventing criminals from damaging your roof

The theft of valuable metals from public and private buildings has grown into a major problem over the last few years in the UK.

Initiatives such as a Metal Theft Taskforce have been enacted by the Home Office, helping to throttle thieves’ revenue sources by cracking down on the existing supply chains.

Although measures such as these are sensible and practical, and very useful in increasing public awareness of the problem, they can be little comfort to the businesses owners who have had their livelihood threatened because of the extensive damage that has resulted from metal theft.

We have covered a large number of lead thefts on this blog, and we have witnessed everything from a flooded library to shops with gaping holes through their ceiling, demonstrating that buisnesses have more to fear from vandalism than mere cosmetic damage.

At Maxiflow, our motto has always been prevention is better than cure. When installing a new roof, we follow three simple guidelines:

  1. SECURE the property as far as possible
  2. MINIMISE potential threats
  3. TRACK criminals back to the crime

What do we mean when we say we can track criminals? How do we recommend our clients secure their roofs?

Each day this week, Maxiflow will be giving advice on how to protect your property from metal thefts.

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