Protection Against Lead & Copper Theft
Churches have always been a target for theft. More often than not, it was the valuable items inside churches that were the prizes most thieves sought to steal but in recent years the target has increasingly been that of the lead and copper on church roofs
The scrap value of lead has risen significantly in recent years, doubling in some countries such as the UK, so the value of lead on any building’s roof, not just that of a church, is now measured in thousands of Pounds. However, it is not just the value of the lead that has to be replaced once it’s been stolen – the roof and building may have suffered additional damage by the thieves during the robbery so that too has to be put right at additional cost.
Many church roof lead thefts are conducted by thieves who use large vans or trucks to transport their haul away, very often operating during daylight hours and passing themselves off as genuine contractors working on the building. Passers-by and neighbours can therefore unwittingly be witnessing a theft in front of their very eyes and not even realise it!
To quote the United Kingdom as an example, the main insurer of churches (Ecclesiastical Insurance) saw a significant rise in claims for lead theft from churches in just a 2 year period. In 2005 they received 80 claims which cost them £300,000 and in 2007 they received 2,000 claims which cost them over £6 million!
As a result some churches who have suffered repeated thefts have not been able to secure sufficient cover for the true value of the new installation of lead, forcing some churches to opt for cheaper materials on their roofs so as to be less attractive to theft in the future. In many cases, however, such action puts the whole character of these often wonderfully historical buildings at risk of being spoiled. Surely not the best, aesthetical solution. Read more about church roof protection in the UK.
Our Flexiguard™ security system as an ideal anti-theft device for lead on church roofs. A Flexiguard cable is installed along the church roof, laid under the lead itself. Any attempt to remove the lead and an alarm signal is triggered. Simple but effective. It also does not spoil the aesthetics of the building as would be the case with cheaper roofing materials.
The same principle of application applies to other metal objects targeted for their scrap metal value such as manhole covers in roads, paths and pavements.