Can security systems be sensitively added to historic buildings?

The UK has a remarkable wealth of buildings from different historic periods, in a variety of architectural styles, built using a wide variety of materials. Many are protected by the UK’s listing system, which protects them from change.

These structures present unique challenges for the facilities managers responsible for their maintenance, safety and security. Whilst it may be vital to monitor for intruders and control access, it is also critical to avoid any damage to the building or to add anything visually instrusive.  There are also, of course, particular problems assocaited with buildings used regularly by large number of visitors These include securing the building from damage, guarding against theft and ensuring the safety of crowds. All of these elements place an even greater burden on security system planning.

With almost 40 years of experience in installing security systems in historic buildings, The Bloomfield Group is expert in such projects. It has carefully installed systems in some of the most important buildings in the UK.

Here are some of the frequent questions asked by managers of historic buildings:

Our historic building has particularly fragile, delicate, interior surfaces. How can we add a system to monitor visitors?
With an extensive understanding of the fabric of historic buildings, it is be possible to design and install a CCTV system which is both discrete and non-destructive, sensitively introducing hardware, only where necessary.

Our staff cannot monitor systems continuously, so how could CCTV help us?
Much less time is now required to check surveillance. With new, advanced computer server software, users are able to find what is being searched for on digital recordings within 6 clicks of a mouse, often less. Finding an incident and saving it for future evidence now takes minutes rather than hours.

Our building was cabled years ago with coaxial cable attached to analogue cameras. To upgrade the system, would be need to scrap the one we have?
Not necessarily. Where it is sound, we are often able to re-use old cabling and couple it with the latest HD cameras, digital recorders and control software which can be used on all platforms – desktop, tablet or mobile phone. This minimises any intervention to the building fabric and disruption to operations. New cameras and systems are usually much more discrete than older equipment.

The Bloomfield Group has worked closely with custodians of historic buildings to design and install the latest security systems in the most sensitive of environments – we regularly collaborate with facilities managers to plan discrete access control and HD CCTV systems which do not damage the fabric of the structures.

Institutions we work with include:
Oxford University,
Banqueting House (London),
Tower of London,
The Reform Club
Powys Castle

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