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Wireless Detectors Protect Church From Metal Thieves

Optex Europe : 24 November, 2010  (Application Story)
Expensive lead used on church roof is being protected from the actions of metal thieves using BoundaryGard detectors from Optex Europe with built-in auto-diallers to inform security control and key holders
Two rural churches blighted by thefts of lead from their roofs are being protected by innovative wire-free detectors from Optex Europe.

 With metal prices still rising, churches and other historic buildings are increasingly the target of thieves, usually at night. One such church, Stistead in Essex, has been targeted on a number of occasions, with lead going missing on two consecutive nights, costing more than £8,000 each time to replace.

Paul Bradshaw, Managing Director of Braintree-based Bradling Security, was asked to find a solution: "We have installed internal alarms at a number of churches in the past, but the project in Stistead was the first to protect the roof," he says.

"We chose the VX402R detectors from Optex Europe to create a virtual perimeter preventing anyone accessing the roof, and since the system was installed, there have been no further attempted thefts."

The system Paul specified includes a GSM dialler as the church does not have a phone line (partly because of expense), and wires would have been unsightly on such an historic building. Paul explains that in looking at the site and taking into account the type of property, an unobtrusive wire free intruder system was preferred: "Six key holders are alerted should an alarm sound, and as this is a rural area they are able to respond more quickly than guards. Other than some fine tuning, there have not been any false alarms," he adds.

A similar system has also been installed at St Mary's Church in Bocking, where four flat roofed areas had lead stolen over the space of a couple of weeks: "As word has spread around the diocese of how effective these Optex detectors are as a preventative measure, so has the demand for our solutions increased," he says. "The vicars and the communities are safer in the knowledge that their churches are secure. We are quoting on a number of other churches in the near future where the Optex VX402Rs will be part of the solution."

Paul Nicholas, Sales Manager for BoundaryGard says that when the budget is limited but reliability is still essential, BoundaryGard provides an excellent front-line defence against intruders: "The flexibility of having wireless detectors means that they can be installed even in the most challenging of environments," he says.

The VX402R employs multiple detection pattern technology developed from Optex Europe's long-range external detector range that prevents false activations from small animals and birds. Two discrete detection areas are created and only when an intruder is detected in both areas is an alarm output provided.

The detectors utilise 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 x 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.

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