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What is the Best Bird Deterrent Wednesday 12th May 2021

The British Trust for Ornithology has estimated that bird-loving Brits spend in excess of £200 million every year on feeding wild birds in our gardens. The past 12 months, during which many of us have spent far more time at home due to the pandemic, has prompted renewed interest in our outdoor spaces. People have reported seeing more birds in their gardens and 54% have highlighted how watching birds, in their gardens and local areas, is a great way to relieve stress. But unfortunately - birds can sometimes be a nuisance or even become a health hazard.

Sadly, the UK’s bird population is in decline due to a variety of factors including the destruction of their habitats as a result of increased urbanisation. But people are very keen to do what they can to help stem the population decline.

At certain times of the year, typically when nesting to raise their young, some birds can become problematic. Nesting birds can cause property damage and some species (such as seagulls) can be noisy and their fouling can become a health hazard. When considering the best and most effective way to deal with nuisance birds it’s essential to know that it is illegal to intentionally harm or kill any wild bird species and its against the law to disturb, damage or destroy nests.

In this post we address some of the many questions people often ask about effective bird deterrents.

How do you Get Rid of Nuisance Birds?

There are a variety of bird deterrent products and systems available today. Most are designed to provide anti bird protection to specific areas and prevent birds from returning. Historically there have unfortunately been some very aggressive products, such as chemical gels, which caused harm to birds when they came into contact. But times have moved on and thankfully there are now a wide range of tried and tested, reliable bird deterrent products which are non-harmful yet highly effective.

In some situations nuisance birds, such as fast-breeding feral pigeons, have become a significant threat to human health and the environment. This has prompted organisations, such as local authorities, to take extreme measures including culling the numbers to bring them under control. In most domestic situations this radical approach would be both unacceptable and unnecessary.

Read on to learn more about effective bird deterrent products and techniques along with valuable guidance that will help you overcome your bird nuisance issues.

What is the Most Effective Bird Deterrent?

Although there are many bird deterrent products available today there are three key types which are most widely recognised as effective:

  1. Bird Spikes
  2. Bird Free Gel
  3. Bird Netting

Bird Spikes

When professionally installed, bird deterrent spikes can effectively prevent birds from perching. Typically manufactured from weatherproof polycarbonate they are commonly used along roof edges, guttering, on ridge tiles, building ledges and windowsills. They are also commonly used on commercial signage, lamp posts and CCTV cameras.

bird deterrent spikes on pergola and guttering
Bird Spikes Protecting Pergola and Guttering

It is worth noting that various types of bird deterrent spikes exist for protection against specific species. While polycarbonate spikes are a highly effective pigeon deterrent the plastic spikes are easily demolished by the razor-sharp beak of a gull. For this reason, anti-seagull spikes use stainless steel spikes mounted on a polycarbonate base.

It is also worth being aware that all forms of bird spikes can become unsightly as they weather and age, especially due to wind-borne debris which collects in the spikes.

Bird Repellant Gel

Some bird deterrent gels are simply a sticky substance that’s pumped from a mastic gun onto the surface requiring protection. This type of gel is commonly used to prevent birds from perching on windowsills as it remains soft and sticky, which birds don`t like, so it discourages them from landing. This type of deterrent can be effective if sensibly installed. But heavy rain and bad weather can cause this form of gel to run off the applied surfaces and down the walls of buildings which looks unsightly and erodes the effectiveness of the deterrent.

Another form of highly effective bird repellent gel exploits the fact that birds, unlike humans, can see ultraviolet light. Bird Free Fire gel contains a mix of natural, food grade oils which emit UV light. Birds can see this emanating ultraviolet light which to them, looks like fire - hence the name. This has an immediate deterrent effect, preventing birds from coming close to it.

bird free fire gel why it works
Bird Free Fire Gel - Why it Works

BirdFree Fire Gel is supplied in low profile pre-loaded dishes which make it easy to install in all manner of situations. The gel is pumped into the dishes under high pressure, forming into an almost solid mass which has been widely proven to withstand even the most extreme weather conditions, from heavy rain to persistent snow, in all manner of locations around the world. The low profile dishes are just 10mm high, which means that when they are installed on ledges or rooftopss above eye level, they are virtually invisible. The gel is totally inert and harmless and doesn’t present a fire risk.

Bird Netting

Modern bird netting is specially designed keep birds out of a protected area without the risk of trapping birds or causing them harm. It can provide effective anti-bird protection, but is costly, requires specialist installation and can become unsightly, especially if debris collects in or behind it.

bird netting over rooftops
Bird Netting Over Rooftops

What Will Keep Birds Away?

As noted, there are various ways to tackle the challenge of problem birds, some more effective than others. People ask a variety of questions about various techniques, such as:

  • Will aluminum foil keep birds away?
  • How do I keep birds from pooping on my patio?
  • Does Vaseline keep birds away?
  • What will keep birds away from porch?

The specific situation and bird-nuisance challenge influences the choice of technique to keep them at bay.

Protecting Against Nesting Birds

Installing anti-bird netting can be a practical way to prevent birds from accessing attractive nesting areas such as rooftops or ledges. But, as noted, windborne debris can accumulate in the netting, making it unsightly. Netting installation must be rigorously carried out and routinely inspected as any gaps will potentially allow birds to gain access and take advantage of the netting as a form of protection against predators.

Protecting Crops and Gardens

Ripe, soft fruits, such as cherries, are a favourite feast for birds, which is why cherry orchards, during the growing season, deploy bird netting to protect their valuable fruit.

Scarecrows are a traditional form of visual bird deterrent that can be temporarily effective, often used to protect crops, gardens and allotments. Movement is key aspect of effective visual bird deterrents. Suspended foil strips and old CDs, which reflect light and move with the breeze, are commonly used in gardens and on allotments.

Garden structures, such as pergolas, can naturally attract perching birds resulting in bird mess where it isn’t welcome. Bird spikes or a more discreet bird repellant, such as the Insight Security Bird Free Fire Gel, will prevent birds from taking advantage of the perch opportunity.

To prevent birds from perching on a moored boat, on a river or in a marina, there are a variety of highly effective wind powered movement based bird scaring devices available.

wind powered rotating bird scarer for boats
Wind Powered Rotating Bird Scarer for Boats

What Sounds Scare Birds Away?

Audio bird deterrents can be effective but it’s important to be aware of noise prevention requirements and the possibility of causing annoyance. At some airports and military establishments, a loud explosion type bang is commonly used immediately prior to a plane taking off, to temporarily clear birds away from the runway and prevent a bird strike into a jet engine, which could cause a serious problem.

People often ask whether wind-chimes will deter birds. The sound made by wind chimes may have a temporary deterrent effect but isn’t likely to last. Other audio bird deterrent techniques include playing bird distress calls through loudspeakers. While this can be effective it can also seriously upset the neighbours!

What Are Birds Afraid Of?

There are many different bird breeds, some of which are predators while others can be their prey. Birds are generally afraid of loud and sudden noises, shiny moving objects, humans and various predators including other birds and foxes.

Some venues, such as football stadia, deploy birds of prey immediately prior to the start of matches, to clear the area of pigeons, seagulls and other nuisance birds.

Birds are naturally fearful of fire, which is exploited by the previously mentioned Bird Free Fire Gel. They can also be frightened by stormy weather and other life-threatening hazards, either instinctively or due to their learned experience.

Do Fake Owls Keep Birds Away?

Owls are recognised as birds of prey and will potentially frighten off pest birds from an area that they have marked as their territory by laying down scent. A real owl is scary to most other birds and is likely to frighten them away.

visual bird deterrent owl
Visual Bird Deterrent Model Owl

Fake owls, such as those manufactured from plastic, may look impressively realistic to humans but are not likely to provide a long-term deterrent to nuisance birds. Like scarecrows and other forms of static visual bird deterrents, nuisance birds become familiar with them very quickly which reduces their deterrent effect.

What Smells do Birds Hate?

Historically, sight and hearing have been considered the most important senses used by birds. But recent research has demonstrated that birds also have a well developed sense of smell. Olfactory organs in birds play an important part in triggering group actions due to powerful chemical Pheromones released by other members of their group. In nesting areas the pheromones are retained in the materials used in and around the nest site, as well as in the waste materials excreted by the birds. This is one of the reasons why it’s vitally important to remove all debris from a site and treat the area with a strong biocide before introducing any form of bird deterrent.

When considering bird deterrents people ask a variety of questions about whether certain specific smells will keep birds away, such as:

  • Does cinnamon keep birds away?
  • Does peppermint oil deter birds?
  • Do birds like the smell of vinegar?
  • Will coffee grounds keep birds away?
  • Will Apple cider vinegar keep birds away?
  • Is there a scent that will keep birds away?

Although a bird’s sense of smell is now recognised as important it’s unlikely that a single aroma, such as cinnamon or coffee grounds, will provide effective deterrence.

bird free fire gel dishes protecting covent garden rooftop
Covent Garden Rooftop Protected with Bird Free Fire Gel Dishes

BirdFree Fire Gel, from Insight Security, is a totally safe and harmless inert gel type substance that incorporates a number of natural, aromatic, food grade oils in its formulation including: peppermint, cinnamon and black pepper. These, in combination, present an aroma which birds dislike. The olfactory deterrent element of the product is, however, only secondary to the primary deterrent element which is the fact that the ultra violet light, coming from the gel, is seen by birds as a naked flame and therefore an area of danger which they will naturally avoid.

If you have any questions regarding dealing with bird issues remember that we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll give you some free, expert advice.

This message was added on Wednesday 12th May 2021


Bird Repellent Gel - Easy Installation Wednesday 17th March 2021

Our ‘Bird Nesting Season’ extends from February until August although in reality some birds can start to nest earlier and beyond. The busiest nesting period in the UK is from the 1st March until the 31st August but this varies according to species and other factors. Many wild birds are therefore on the lookout for viable nesting sites where they can safely raise their young. All birds, along with their nests and eggs, are protected by law (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981) making it an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird, to take or destroy their nests or recklessly disturb wild birds or any nests containing eggs or young.

But some birds, especially pigeons and seagulls, can be both a nuisance and significant health hazard. Both pigeons and seagulls are well known for the mess they make wherever they flock. Rooftops, balconies and other structures can become covered in festering bird excrement which is well known to be a significant health hazard. What’s needed is a safe way to easily and cost-effectively repel nuisance birds in the first place, without causing them any harm, by discouraging them from nesting and roosting where they are not wanted.

Bird Repellent Gel

Bird repellent gel, sometimes called Fire Gel, is the answer. In the 1970s a researcher who was testing the ability of pigeons to discriminate colours discovered, by accident, that birds can see ultraviolet (UV) light. Ultra violet light is outside the human-visible spectrum, falling between visible light and x-rays.

Further research into bird vision capabilities revealed that many bird species can see UV light. It was discovered that, other than night flying birds such as owls, the eyes of most birds are actually more sensitive to UV light than they are to visible light. It was also discovered that many birds have plumage that reflects UV light.

Bird repellent gel exploits this aspect of birds vision capabilities. It is manufactured from a totally natural, non-toxic formulation of food grade oils that emit UV light, which humans can’t see but to birds looks like flames. This is what gives this highly effective bird repellent the well known name of ‘fire gel’, because to birds it looks like balls of fire which they will always avoid.

Bird Free Repellent Gel Deployed at Kensington Roof Gardens
Bird Free Repellent Gel - Deployed at Kensington Roof Gardens

Bird Repellent Gel Installation

Our Bird Free Fire Gel is supplied in packs of pre-loaded, low-profile dishes making installation quick and easy. There are now 3 primary methods for reliably fixing these dishes in place. For flat surfaces the dishes can be simply attached using a blob of silicone sealant as adhesive or, on ferrous metal surfaces, our magnetic dishes are the ideal solution. We now offer a third fixing solution that’s optimally designed for pipework, scaffolding and railing installations.

Bird Free Gel - New Cable Tie Attachment
New Cable Tie Attachment System for Bird Free Gel Dishes

This latest simple fixing solution firmly attaches to the base of the bird repellent dishes, offering a contoured flange which neatly sits on any form of tube, pipework or railings. Slots in the mounting assembly allow cable ties to firmly secure the dishes in place. Once fixed in-situ the lid of the dishes is then removed and the bird repellent is immediately effective.

 

Lifting the Lid on Bird Repellent Gel

As noted, the final stage when deploying dishes of bird repellent gel is to remove the lid from the dishes, exposing the fire gel. When removing the lid it’s important not to compromise the security of the dish mounting, which isn’t a problem when the dishes are attached using cable ties but can be more challenging when using the adhesive of magnetic mounting options.

To help with this aspect of installation and deployment we are now offering the Stiq installation tool. This neat device simply fits over the bird repellent dish, allowing the dish to be held securely in position while the cover is removed, avoiding any undue pressure on the dish-mounting bond. The Stiq installation tool is what’s needed to speed up the reliable deployment of multiple bird repellent gel dishes on flat surfaces.

STIQ Installation tool for Bird Free Gel dishes.
STIQ Installation tool for Bird Free Gel Dishes

Benefits of Easy Installation

Bird free fire gel has been available for some time, but previously it has been supplied in a gel form which was found to be quite messy and not very easy to install. Pre-loaded, low-profile dishes overcame the messiness issue and this latest cable-tie based installation and fixing option further expands the product’s usefulness.

As noted, the new fixing option makes it easy to to secure dishes to existing pipework, railings and scaffolding. So if you have a balcony that’s popular with the local pigeon or seagull population it’s now easy to protect your valuable space from becoming a bird’s toilet. And if you have scaffolding, pipework, railings or other structures that attract unwanted birds, putting people’s health at risk with their bird mess, easily attaching some bird free fire gel dishes will keep them away.

 

If you have any questions regarding dealing with bird issues remember that we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll give you some free, expert advice.

This message was added on Wednesday 17th March 2021


How to Protect Solar Panels from Birds Wednesday 3rd February 2021

Rooftop mounted solar panels are everywhere these days as businesses and homeowners strive to use sustainable solar technology to generate the electrical power we all need. Solar energy is a clean, efficient power source which is exactly what’s required to combat climate change. But solar panels are not only an excellent, sustainable source of energy, they are also recognised by birds as effective shelters and nesting spaces which is becoming an increasingly challenging problem.

Birds nesting under solar panels is a significant issue throughout the UK with pigeons amongst the worst offenders. The required gap between solar panels and the roof is unfortunately an ideal space for pigeons to build their nests. And unlike most birds, pigeons nest all year round, seeking locations which are safe and sheltered from the weather, to lay their eggs and raise their young. Rooftop mounted solar panels provide exactly what they need.

In some regions, especially coastal, seagulls cause problems for those with rooftop solar panels. Unlike pigeons, gulls like to breed in colonies and once they’ve nested in a particular location they and their young will return, year after year. They build large nests from twigs, moss and grass which can block gutters and potentially cause flooding.

And the problem is not limited to pigeons and seagulls. Migratory birds, such as starlings, might descend on a building, en-masse, taking advantage of the protection provided by a roof-mounted solar panel array. While their stay might be short-lived the amount of mess and damage caused by a large flock of migratory birds can be enormous.

Bird Droppings and Solar Panels

Bird droppings are not only an unsightly mess, they also represent a significant health hazard. Pigeon droppings alone can carry over 60 different hazardous diseases and some of these human pathogens can be very serious and potentially fatal. The accumulation of bird droppings on, around and under solar panels is therefore a significant health risk. Heating, ventilation and cooling systems, typically used on commercial premises, can suffer from the impact of bird fecal matter and feathers which present a significant health hazard to those who use the buildings.

solar panel anti bird protection
Solar Panels with Bird Free Fire Gel Protection

Importantly, the impact of bird droppings on the efficiency and life of solar panels is often underestimated. The top ridge of a solar panel makes an ideal perch for many birds which inevitably results in their droppings all over the face of the panel, blocking the sunlight. In some cases the impact has been so great it has made the solar panels virtually useless. Hard, baked-on bird mess is extremely difficult to remove and can cause significant and expensive damage to solar panel installations, including the cabling and connectors.

Bird Proofing Solar Panels

Various techniques are widely used for bird proofing solar panels. Traditional techniques typically involve various forms of physical barrier such as netting and mesh. Anti bird spikes are also commonly employed but if these physical barriers are not rigorously installed and maintained then birds will always find a way to overcome them.

It’s important to note that all species of gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. Its therefore illegal to intentionally injure or kill a gull or to damage or destroy an active nest or its contents. In Scotland and Northern Ireland it’s also illegal to prevent birds from accessing their nests and in Northern Ireland it’s illegal to disturb any nesting birds.

Ideally, a non-harmful, easily installed, low cost yet highly effective bird deterrent is needed. Bird Free Fire Gel meets all of these requirements.

Bird Free Fire Gel

Bird Free Fire Gel, sometimes called Bird Free Optical Gel or simply Bird Free Gel, is an extensively proven, harmless product that prevents all birds from nesting and contaminating solar panel installations and any other areas where birds are not welcome. It has gained a worldwide reputation as a genuinely effective bird deterrent that’s simple to install and very cost effective.

how bird free fire gel works
How Bird Free Fire Gel Works

How Does Bird Free Gel Work?

It’s important to note that, unlike other types of historically manufactured bird repellant gel, our Bird Free Fire Gel doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals which could poison birds or cause injury to their feet. It’s a natural product that’s entirely safe for birds, animals and humans.

Bird Free Fire Gel exploits the fact that, unlike humans, birds can see ultra violet light. The gel is specially formulated from harmless natural oils and food-grade ingredients to present what appears to be a naked flame to birds, hence the name ‘Fire Gel’. When birds see what appears to be a flame they naturally react by keeping clear, which is why this bird deterrent has an immediate impact. It also has a mild peppermint and black pepper aroma which adds to its deterrence capability as birds don’t like these.

bird free fire gel 15 dish pack
Bird Free Fire Gel 15 Dish Pack

Installation is simple, thanks to pre-loaded dishes, easily deployed around solar panels and other areas plagued by nuisance birds. And importantly, as noted, the deterrent has an immediate effect, causing birds to avoid the area due to the appearance of what looks to them like fire. And Bird Free Fire Gel remains highly effective, without the need for replacement, for many years. There are many examples of installations that have been in place for over 5 years, continuously repelling unwanted birds from perching and nesting.

 

bird free fire gel installed on railings
Bird Free Fire Gel Installed on Railings

As well as protecting rooftop solar panel installations Bird Free Fire Gel is widely used around the world by governments, rail authorities, hospitals, port authorities, airports, schools and a wide range of commercial organisations and premises. It is preventing birds from introducing health hazards and causing damage to a variety of structures and equipment including air conditioning and ventilation systems, bridges, telecoms equipment, car parking spaces and much more.

There are now many installations of Bird Free Fire Gel around the world where it has continued to deter nuisance birds for many years in some extremely harsh environments in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the USA. Even in high traffic environments where automobile fumes and other contaminants have deposited a black or dusty film over the gel, it continues to function as a highly effective, reliable bird deterrent.

If you need help implementing anti bird precautions around your solar panels or elsewhere, please give us a call on 01273 475500. We are always happy to help.

This message was added on Wednesday 3rd February 2021


Insight Security Videos Not to Miss Friday 1st May 2020

Here at Insight Security we are entirely focused on customer satisfaction which we consistently achieve by carefully selecting and offering only the highest quality security products and solutions at affordable prices whilst providing our clients with free, expert advice. Our Youtube video channel offers practical guidance in non-technical, plain English that helps people determine whether various security products are right for their needs and avoid wasting money on sub-standard products which don’t perform as required.

Here are just a handful of our videos, some of which are presented by our expert managing director, Ivor Blatchford. Remember that if you have any questions regarding products or how to deal with your own, specific security challenges don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01273 475500 - we are always happy to help.

Roller Barrier Non Aggressive Anti Climb Solution

Many people are unaware that if an intruder injures themselves on anti climb spikes they can find themselves liable for an injury claim. Roller Barrier provides a safe, alternative anti-climb solution that can be used to keep people in a designated area, prevent intruders entering and keep people from climbing into or onto protected grounds, buildings and equipment. This video describes exactly how Roller Barrier works. 

The non-threatening Roller Barrier design and inherent safety features makes Roller Barrier the anti-climb solution of choice in areas where children and vulnerable people meet and congregate. Many UK schools have now defined Roller Barrier as their preferred anti climb barrier. It’s also finding widespread use and appreciation in hospitals, mental health establishments, prisons and young offender institutes as well as around parks, alongside railway tracks and many other areas where an effective but safe anti-climb barrier is essential.

Bird Free Fire Gel

Bird Free Fire Gel is a remarkable bird deterrent that will effectively get rid of pigeons, seagulls and other problem birds without risk of causing them any harm. It’s a totally safe gel manufactured from natural oils and food grade materials which will not harm animals, people or the environment. Bird Free Fire Gel exploits the fact that birds can see ultraviolet light which we humans can’t see. The UV light reflected from Bird Free Fire Gel looks like a naked flame to birds so they will naturally steer clear. This is why the gel is instantly effective.

Watch the video to see how the product is immediately effective, preventing problem birds from perching once deployed.  

Best Shed Security Bar

We’ve recently talked about the need to make certain that your outhouse and shed security is as robust has possible. One of the key security enhancement recommendations is to employ a shed security bar to prevent access via the doors. The following video demonstrates the versatility of our shed locking bar system which is easily installed and widely used to beef up shed and outbuilding security. 

Shed security bars are available from stock in a wide range of standard sizes from 950mm (for doors up to 800mm width) up to 2000mm (for doorways up to 1850mm width). Contact us for bespoke sizes and pricing. 

Protector High Security Chains

In this next video, Ivor introduces the Protector range of high security chains, manufactured from high quality European steel. Our Protector 16mm and 19mm chains offer the highest levels of chain security on the market today, achieving Sold Secure Gold rating for caravans, motorbikes, ATVs, plant and machinery.

 

As is shown in the video, the 16mm, 19mm and 22mm chains are impossible to crop by hand, even when using massive 42 inch bolt croppers. It’s not surprising to hear that customers using the 19mm Protector chain include NASA and the UK Ministry of Defence. 19mm Protector high security chains are typically used with anchor points.  

Taurus Bull-Ring High Security Ground Anchors

As recommended in the previous video on high security chains, a high quality ground anchor provides the ideal immovable locking point. Ground anchors are available in two basic design formats, bolt down or concrete-in. 

 

The Taurus Bull Ring ground anchor is available in both concrete-in or bolt-down versions. Both are Sold Secure Motorcycle Gold rated and insurance approved. When installed, both models only protrude above the ground surface by 35mm, making them safe to drive over.

If you have any questions regarding aspects of business or home security remember that we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll happily provide you with free, expert advice.

This message was added on Friday 1st May 2020


Easing the Coronavirus lockdown for businesses Monday 27th April 2020

The Coronavirus lockdown is scheduled for review on the 7th May, at which time, the country will have been in lockdown for 6 weeks and a further extension of the lockdown is expected to be announced.

Here are some suggestions to help businesses and organisations prepare now, to ensure they are ready to run instantly, as soon as restrictions start to ease.

 

 

 

What needs to happen before the lockdown can be eased?

The government have set 5 tests to be satisfied before the lockdown can be relaxed;

  1. The NHS is able to cope
  2. A sustained fall in deaths
  3. New infections dropping enough
  4. Adequate testing and PPE
  5. No risk of a second peak

Decisions taken by the government will be based on the best available scientific and health advice and when restrictions are relaxed, if the virus spikes again, lockdown could have to return with little notice.

Whilst limiting spread of the virus is the immediate and key concern, other factors also need to be considered, such as; the mental health of the nation, the escalation of domestic abuse and the impact of the continued lockdown on the UK economy among others.

There is no doubt that our way of life and business operation will be impacted for many months to come, and return to normal, may well only be achieved when a proven vaccination is available for widespread use.

In the short term, to support any easing of the current lockdown restrictions, UK policy is focussed on a Test, Track and Trace strategy

The UK government is hiring 18,000 human contact tracers and will encourage people to download an NHS app. which they hope to launch over the coming weeks
(Australia are taking a similar approach and are launching their own Contact Tracing App. this week, whilst Germany plan a similar type of App to launch in June)

Once the NHS App is implemented, the system should notify people when they have been in contact with a Covid-19 carrier, so that they can immediately isolate and stop it spreading further.

The mobile-phone based app, will utilise Bluetooth technology to log each time your phone moves near another persons phone loaded with the app. If one of those people is later diagnosed with Covid-19, you would get an alert warning you to get tested and to self-isolate.

 

How will the lockdown be eased?

Whilst at present there are no concrete UK guidelines as to how or when restrictions may be relaxed, looking at how other countries (and parts of the UK such as Scotland and Wales), are approaching an easing of the lockdown, here are some thoughts on what UK policy may entail;

Easing by Location?

There are certainly some parts of the country suffering more than others, which may be down to a number of factors such as; population density, average age levels, a large presence of ethnic groups, and so on, so easing measures according to location, could be a consideration.

Easing by Market Sector or Business / Organisation Type?

Whilst few if any businesses remain unscathed by COVID-19, market sectors such as Retail, Sport, Tourism & Leisure, Pubs & Restaurants and industries such as Hairdressing, Beauty and Fashion, among others, have experienced devastating loss of income since the lockdown started.

It seems logical therefore that some relaxation is needed as soon as practical to avert widespread failure of businesses in these sectors which could result in a subsequent significant rise in unemployment and a high level of business failures.

Inevitably, it will be easier to relax restrictions in some sectors than in others, but any relaxation will probably require businesses to modify the way they work, such as applying social distancing measures, etc. in order to protect staff and customers.

Easing by Population Age

Whilst everyone is potentially at risk of contracting the virus, the elderly are statistically at a higher risk than younger people, of it proving fatal.

Whilst relaxing restrictions for younger age groups may seem an attractive option, we should remember that many businesses rely heavily on the skills and knowledge of older staff members to operate effectively, and there are many people in the UK, passed retirement age, who out of choice or financial necessity are still working.

 

So which businesses or organisations are likely to be first to see some easing?

We don’t have a crystal ball, so there are no guarantees, but based on our conversations with other businesses and considering how other countries have approached relaxing restrictions, it seems likely that there will be an early focus on reopening schools, non-essential shops, restarting construction and boosting manufacturing capacity among others.

 

What changes may be needed to the way a business operates as any relaxation is introduced?

Maximising people safety and minimising the risk of spreading the virus, will be a key focus for any business or organisation reopening under any relaxation of the current restrictions. Requirements are likely to include some or all of the following;

 

  • Ensuring that social distancing can be maintained – between staff, between customers or visitors, and between staff and customers or visitors
    (in schools this could apply to pupils and teachers, etc).

    This could involve providing distance marker guides (consider; floor tapes or marking paint, temporary barriers, traffic cones, etc.)

    Introducing in-store One-Way Systems to minimise close customer contact (consider temporary barriers and extra signage)

    Restricting the number of people in store at any one time (this may require use of nominated door staff and restricting the number of entry points)

    Limiting the number of employees at workplaces at any one time – this could mean introducing a shift working system, allowing selected staff to work from home, continuing to furlough some staff, etc.

  • Equipping staff with personal protective equipment such as face masks and disposable gloves, erecting clear protective screens at cash tills, and encouraging customers to pay by card rather than cash

  • Requiring customers entering certain stores such as pharmacies and supermarkets, to wear a face mask, as is required in some European countries.

  • Regular and frequent cleansing of all high touch surfaces including; door handles, hand rails, counters, store provided shopping baskets or trolleys, buttons or bells, telephones and computer keyboards, etc.
    Note; a surface cleansing sanitizer with a 75% alcohol content will be required to meet W.H.O and government guidelines.

  • Provision of hand washing / hand sanitizer and face masks for staff use - it should not be necessary (or operationally desirable) to use medical quality face masks, as this could lead to shortages of supply of essential high-performance masks for Frontline Carers and NHS staff

 

Could we see a new lockdown?

Following any relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, any sign of virus escalation could cause an instant reinstatement of the lockdown with minimal warning.

 

The Future;

In reality, we can expect to experience an uncertain lifestyle for many months to come. This really means, until a proven and widespread vaccination programme becomes available, or a proven treatment can be identified and made available to reduce the level of fatalities among those contracting the virus.

In the meanwhile, we must all continue to do what we can to minimise the risk of virus spread.

On a positive note, we should of course all remember and appreciate the many good things to have come from the current situation, including;

  • The innumerable good deeds performed by people, as reported via the news on a daily basis,

  • The generosity of the public to contribute to charities, and the NHS, etc, both financially and by volunteering their services.

  • The significant reduction of fossil fuel use (less car, ship, aeroplane travel, etc), which is actively reducing the level of pollution in our atmosphere

  • The creative and innovative ways that people have adapted to the lockdown

 

Although we are confident that our government are working really hard on plans to ease the lockdown, they currently appear unwilling to share their thoughts with businesses or the UK population.

The thoughts expressed in this article are therefore based on personal observations and assessments, which we hope may help other businesses in formulating their own plans and preparations for the future.

If you have any views or thoughts which you would like to share, we would be delighted to hear from you (please email; covid19@insight-security.com).

Meanwhile, please follow the government lockdown guidelines, and Stay Safe

 

Here are some practical links that you may find helpful;

Business Security Tips for Coronavirus Lockdown

Coronavirus Sanitisation Guidelines for Homes and Businesses

COVID-19 Surface Sanitiser (75% alcohol)

 

This message was added on Monday 27th April 2020


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Insight Security
Unit 2
Cliffe Industrial Estate
South Street
Lewes, East Sussex
BN8 6JL
Tel: 01273 475 500
Fax: 01273 478 800

Insight Security is a trading division of
Insight International Corporation Ltd.

Co. Reg: 2649410
Vat no: GB 587 6549 73



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Why should you buy from Insight Security?

  • It's easy to order from us and we're easy to contact...
    whether you need help or advice before or after you buy
  • Our proven, tried and tested products do what we say...
    which is why we can offer you a 'NO QUIBBLE GUARANTEE'
  • Fast Reliable Service... your goods will normally be delivered
    within 1 to 3 working days - call us if you need them urgently!
  • All our products are very competitively priced... but more
    importantly, we believe they offer you the Very Best Value!

...these are just a few of the reasons that most of our customers buy from us regularly and recommend us to friends and peer groups. So buy now with confidence - and join the thousands of happy customers we have helped over the last 20 years... and remember, if you're not sure what you need, or which solution is best for you, our specialist advisors will be pleased to help. Just call us on 01273 475500.