Roof alarm prevents metal theft

31 July 2019

How one church’s roof alarm successfully prevented metal theft on three separate occasions.

Due to the high value of scrap metals such as lead and copper, churches remain exposed to the threat of metal theft. Over the years, Ecclesiastical has seen a shift in the perpetrators of these crimes from lone, opportunistic individuals to more organised gangs. As a result, the amount of metal stolen during an incident has increased significantly, as has the damage caused during its removal.

As the leading insurer of churches in the UK, we are acutely aware of the risks churches face and the cost and heartache caused in theft of metal cases. Working closely with the relevant authorities and specialist suppliers, we are exploring ways to try to reduce the incidents of metal theft. Currently, one of the most effective ways to reduce metal theft is the installation of a monitored roof alarm.

The impact of effective roof alarm systems

St Bartholomew’s church is one of the churches to have installed a monitored roof alarm from one of our approved suppliers. This proved invaluable when the church was targeted by thieves three times in quick succession.

One morning, the alarm-receiving centre (ARC) received alerts indicating that there was movement on the church’s roof. The ARC immediately contacted the nominated individual of the church to warn them of a potential attack. In the meantime, a neighbour had heard the sounding of the alarm and contacted the police who on arrival arrested several individuals, tools in hand.

Whilst the intruders had managed to lift some of the lead flashing, due to the alarm the thieves were unsuccessful in removing any lead from the roof and the damage caused was minor.

The following Sunday, the church was once again targeted and the ARC alerted. However, this time following activation and when the site was checked, the thieves had already fled. Due to the early activation of the alarm, no additional damage was caused to the church.

Finally, just three days later, the church was targeted for a third time. Similar to the first two attacks, the ARC was alerted and the church informed. Once again when the site was checked, no intruders were discovered and no damage caused. The alarm company visited the church the next day and discovered that one of the sensors had been physically tampered with and this was the cause of the initial alerts received.

Roof alarms

The main purpose of a roof alarm is to deter thieves, detect intrusion at the earliest opportunity and reduce the risk of a significant loss occurring. Whilst St Bartholomew’s did suffer repeated attacks over a short period of time, the damage suffered was minimal and the intruders were unsuccessful in their attempts to remove any lead from the roof. If you would like to know more please give us a call on 0345 777 3322.