Monday, 29 November 2010

Four ways to improve security of your home

If you live in an area likely to be targeted by thieves, particularly if you have an open driveway, there are many options as to how you can improve security to deter thieves or trespassers including:
1. Installing automatic residential driveway gates to keep out unwelcome visitors.
2. Adding anti-ram raid bollards and parking posts.
3. Fitting motorised driveway chain barriers.
4. Having manual or remote operated garage doors fitted with secure locking systems.
Whatever your requirements it is essential that only a properly qualified installer is used to ensure the equipment fitted meets the requirements, is reliable and above all, safe to use.
For more information call Atlas on 01753 696166 or visit

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Security gates help keep criminals out

Burglary hot-spots can be made safer with the effective utilisation of security gates. Potential intruders will often be put off from entering properties that appear secure.
This has shown to be the case in Leeds and other UK towns and cities where officials have found that the fitting of secure barriers has effectively cut crime.
The very presence of security barriers or gates is often enough to deter individuals from trespassing as it suggests that the building behind the barrier is likely to be very secure and therefore too difficult for the average thief to attempt to enter.
Atlas can provide security solutions for residential or busines properties, whatever their size or location. Browse the website and check out our installations and satisfied customers before calling us on
01753 696166.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Increase your peace of mind with security gates

If you want to increase your home security, fitting automatic gates can help to deter burglars.
While there are many security measures that can help to prtotect your home from vandalism and theft, it is important to back these up by sticking to certain rules.
Always lock doors - even if you are in. The fact that you are at home will not deter many burglars so keeping all entry points secure is a sensible precaution.
If there is a security system fitted, restrict the code to those members of the household that need to know and, as with your credit cards and computer, don't use an obvious code like a birth date.
To find out more about security gates call Atlas on 01753 696166 or visit our website. 

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Atlas Deliver Gate In Record Time

Atlas had just six weeks to design, manufacture and install a sliding gate for a new supermarket in Streatham High Road. A complex job that would usually have a theree month minimum design to installation timescale.
Needed to restrict vehicle access to a car park during the stores non-open hours, the gate has two leaves each 4 metres wide by 80 centimetres high. When the gate is open, the leaves 'telescope' and move to one side leaving the full 8 metre carriageway available for vehicle access.
When the gate is closed, no vehicles can access but pedestrians can enter through the space vacated by the gate. Fixed bollards restrict vehicle access through this opening.
The gate is operated by miniature hand held remote control and the system is connected into fire and security installations.
Telescopic gates, which can be designed to retract into a space less than one third the width of the opening, are ideal for applications where the security offered by a sliding gate is required but space is limited.  

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

An answer to the ban on clamping

The Government's newly announced ban on clamping and towing on private land is expected to come into force early next year.
Companies that currently employ clampers, or don't use them but suffer with unauthorised parking, will become even more vulnerable to valuable parking spaces being occupied by unauthorised vehicles.
The answer to what is destined to become a growing problem is the installation of  automatic gates, or rising barriers for commercial premises. They can be installed in almost every location where unauthorised parking might be a problem including offices, industrial units, schools, public houses and hotels as well as church and community halls.
Not only will these precautions stop that driver prepared to park anywhere off-road that is convenient and free, it also ensures authorised vehicles can be parked in a safe and secure environment.
If you would like to know more about installing gates or barriers contact Joe Baker at Atlas.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Ealing's traffic light switch-off reduces delays

The trial switch-off of traffic signals at two junctions in the London Borough of Ealing has increased junction throughput, cut congestion and reduced pedestrial wait times, a review of the work has found.
Ealing turned off traffic signals at the junctions last Autumn and installed mini roundabouts to regulate traffic flow.
A review of the trials found that the volume of traffic passing through the junctions has increased by 6-12%, average queue lengths have been cut by two-thirds, and typical pedestrian wait times have reduced by half. Ealing is unaware of any serious collisions taking place at the sites.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Richmond scraps emissions-based parking charges

The London Borough of Richmond has scrapped its pioneering emissions-based car parking charges following a change of political administration.
Richmond's new cabinet member for traffic said the policy had been "complicated and confusing" and had not cut emissions.
Many drivers found the complexity of the system difficult to understand when parking and paid the wrong tariff. There has also been no clear evidence that the result has resulted in changes in vehicle ownership as had been hoped.
The Borough introduced the emissions-based residents parking scheme in controlled parking zones in April 2007. Permits ranged from £50 to £300 according to the emission class of the vehicle.The principle was extended to all on- and off-street council-operated parking in October 2009.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

BPA Introduce Points-Style Initiative

The British Parking Association (BPA) has introduced a points style scheme of sanctions to ensure Approved Operators comply with its Code of Practice for managing parking on private land.
The scheme runs in a similar way to the points system for driving licences. Parking operators will be issued with points up to a maximum of 12 for contravening the BPA Approved Operator Code of Practice. If the maximum points are reached, the operator will automatically be fast-tracked to the BPA Council for a displinary hearing, which can result in expulsion from the scheme.

Benchmark Testing

Benchmark, the only independent source of security product testing data, has introduced a new website to allow installers, specifiers and consultants easier access to independent product performance test data. The new site includes simple-to-find tests and assessments from the publication.
Tests on the site include full ratings and results, and are split into CCTV, Access Control and Intruder Detection sections.
The site also includes Benchmark's Security Index, a quick guide to all the productsthat have achieved Recommended and Outstanding status, with quick links to the full tests.
Further information from:

Friday, 18 June 2010

SIA launch new website

The Security Industry Authority has launched a new 'easy access' website which they say makes it easier and quicker for viewers to find the right information.
The comprehensive update includes a redesigned interface and site structure, as well as a step-by-step guide that walks potential applicants through all of the steps involved in applying for an SIA licence.
A training provider search tool by geographical region and licensable activity is also one of the new features.
The site can be viewed at

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Parking industry welcomes legislation for clampers

The British Parking Association (BPA) welcomed the news that the Crime and Security Bill had been given Royal Assent.
The clamping provisions of the new Act introduce company licensing for clamping companies who operate on private land. Previously only individuals were required to be licensed. The BPA lobbied the govenment for this change to pursue its objective of raising standards for motorists who park on private land.
Under the plans, to qualify for a license all clamping companies must be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), and abide by an enforceable Code of Practice such as that used by the BPA's Approved Operator Scheme.
The BPA successfully tabled an amendment to the Bill to introduce an independent appeals service for motorists who cannot get redress from the clamping operator.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Atlas alarm over conflicting regulations

In a Business News article Atlas Group managing director Joe Baker has sounded the alarm over "a bewildering array of conflicting regulations and lack of policing" of the automatic security gate installation industry.

The article is the first salvo in a series of measures planned by Mr. Baker to bring home to the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament and, if necessary Brussels, that the "incomprehensible, unworkable and unenforceable" regulations are putting lives at risk.

Click for full article:


Sunday, 16 May 2010


Many people who attend NHS hospitals expect car parking to be free. However, given the limits on space, the costs involved and the demand for spaces, car parking needs to be managed properly. Charging is often the most effective way to do this.
Recognising this, the British Parking Association has published a Hospital Parking Charter which is designed for both NHS Trusts and car park operators. The aim of the Charter is to strike the right balance between being fair to patients and others, including staff, and making sure the facilities are managed effectively for the good of everyone.
The BPA is encouraging NHS Trusts and car park operators who manage hospital car parks to sign up to this charter and to abide by its letter and spirit.
Further information from the BPA at or Tel: 01444 4320022.


The consumer magazine Which? has produced a guide to parking. It includes sections on Parking Rules; Where To Park; Parking Tickets; Right To Appeal; and Park, Pay & Display.
Further information from Which? at or 0800 432 0022.

Friday, 30 April 2010


Without getting involved in the legalities of any particular case involving death or injury caused by automatic gate systems, I am keen to highlight the bewildering array of conflicting regulations and lack of policing.
As an installer who regularly works on high profile public sector contracts, I am worried about prosecutions bringing my industry into disrepute and disarray.
It is worth attempting to explain the current, confused regulations. BS EN 13241 is the safety standard for installation, testing and ongoing compliance of automatic gate systems and the standard is now a legal requirement for all gate systems. The obstacle detection system must be tested and accredited to another standard, BS EN 1760-2, which governs quality, durability and failure monitoring to ensure the gate will not function unless the safety system is in good working order. Confusingly, several other standards apply, BS EN 12978, BS EN 12453 and BS EN 445 (test), which are in force.
In my view, these regulations are incomprehensible, unworkable and unenforceable. Moreover, the very people who are supposed to enforce them seem unaquainted with any of them.
It is a fact that no systems installed in the UK before 2008 comply with the existing regulations. More seriously, the vast majority of systems installed since then do not comply because the regulations are largely ignored by installers, many of whom are semi-skilled and have no training. Indeed, potentially lethal automatic gate systems are available on the internet that can be installed by anyone with the ready cash - no questions asked.
If the requirements of BS EN 13241 were to be strictly observed, several hundreds of thousands of existing installations would have to be dumped and replaced.
Also, let us not forget that all systems have to be designed in conjunction with a formal assessment to identify and avoid traps, guard shear points and to protect against impact etc.
In some parts of Europe, if repairs are required on an exixting automatic gate that does not comply, then the entire system must be made compliant. Would Atlas be at fault if we carried out a repair without insisting that the completed system is brought into compliance?
Well, apparently not, but that is only the opinion of the Trading Standards Officer for one of the areas in which we operate.
Joe Baker
Managing Director Atlas Group

Installations should comply with:
BS EN 12978:2003+A1:2009
BS EN 13241-1:2003
BS EN 1760 -2:2001+A1:2009
BS EN 12453:2001

Thursday, 8 April 2010


The banks are rushing to phase out cards that also offer a cheque guarantee, usually £100 or £250. This will hit many small businesses who rely on the cards to ensure they will be paid.
What are the options?
1. Insist on payment in cash - an easy way to lose business.
2. Accept a cheque and hope that it doesn't bounce.
3. Paying whatever the banks demand for a chip and pin machine.
The problem with option 3 is that, in the current economic climate, the cost for a small business could easily put them on the brink of bankruptcy.
lloyds for example charges up to £30 per month + VAT to rent a card reader. Add to this 3 percent for credit transactions and 50p per item for debit cards - plus £150 to £200 set up charge. Mobile readers can cost even more.
It could easily cost a small business £800 a year which might be the difference between surviving or going under.
These costs compare to 60p to £1 per cheque with no other overheads.
According to the Payments Council research among businesses accepting guaranteed cheques showed that they made up only 10 percent of all the payments they received.
However, this represents a significat number of firms relying on the guarantee. Let us know what you think.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Turn off your WiFi

Data protection and management specialists Credant Technologies has warned laptop users to turn off their WiFi signals before stowing theirlaptop in the boot of their car or stashing their laptop in the office cupboard or desk drawer, apparently out of sight of thieves. With BTOpenzone recently announcing it had passed the million WiFi access point mark in the UK and with cellular carriers boosting their coverage, WiFi use is expanding very rapidly

But this expansion is accompanied by an increasing availability of low-cost keyfob WiFi detectors, as well as quite sophisticated directional detectors, both of which can be used by thieves to detect the presence of an out of sight laptop. There may not be many of these detectors in the UK at present - but it is only a matter of time.

Credant suggest that the real focus of identity thieves is the company laptop, which, as well as being a saleable item in its own right, can also contain valuable company data that can potentially be sold to the highest bidder online.

And because many of the latest laptops have a set time - sometimes up to 30 minutes - before they go into sleep mode when the laptop lid is shut, it makes shopping centres in particular around 6pm on weekdays a prime source of notebook computers just waiting to be stolen.

That person waving their car keys around, ostensibly trying to find their car, may well be looking for cars emitting a strong WiFi signal.

You may not be able to totally prevent your laptop being stolen, but only switching on the WiFi when it is really needed and, of course, encrypting the data on the notebook drive, will go a long way to preventing your computer becoming just another statistic, and valuable data possibly finishing up in the hands of a competitor.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Chichester to start charging for parking in rural towns

In line with most authorities in Britain, Chichester District Council has decided to begin charging for off street parking in the district's rural towns. This will not start until April 2011, by which time it is predicted the recession will be well and truly over (if you believe anything the government say) and the pressure on the local economy will have eased. This will follow the introduction of CPE in spring of 2010

The intent is to allow the first hour free and then 20p per hour. Not a fortune you may think - anyone who can afford to run a car can afford these charges.

Despite this, there has been massive resistance from local pressure groups and traders. Of course, there is no such thing as "free parking". The costs of running and upkeep all have to be found out of local taxation. However, if the user pays this means the burden falls more fairly on car drivers who really need to park. Now the car parks are full of non-shoppers - tourists, commuters, dog-walkers, and those working in the towns.

This means that shoppers cannot find parking spaces near to the shops and currently have to drive around looking further afield for a place to park, often in the loading bays on the main road. Delivery lorries are then forced to double park causing gridlock for long periods of time, as anyone who has visited the area can confirm. Not only are local drivers inconvenienced by the congestion, but also any prospective visitor or tourist, faced with gridlocked traffic, is unlikely to stop to make a purchase.

In Midhurst for example shoppers can buy meat, veg, chemistry, hardware, greetings cards, pet supplies, stationary, from the high quality shops. The closest alternative sources of local produce are 15 miles away in Haslemere or Petersfield, where parking charges are 60p for 20 minutes.

Revenue controlled parking is resource efficient, ecologically sound, and equitable. That another local authority has seen the light is excellent news for our industry.

Monday, 22 February 2010

New safety standard for automatic gates

Does your gate comply?
As a result of a number of accidents where limbs have been trapped by moving gates, a new safety standard - BSEN 13241 - has been introduced.

The standard has been designed to protect the end user and the installation, testing and ongoing compliance of all automatic gate systems to the new standard is now a legal requirement. The criteria which a swing or sliding gate must meet to comply are:

1. When coming against an obstruction the gate must exert a force of less than 400n. Above this figure and the drive unit must stop. To clear the obstruction the gate must then reverse within 0.75 seconds.

2. The entire leading edge must have an active obstacle detection system up to a height of 2.5 metres, and the system must comply with BSEN1760-2. This standard is designed to ensure the gate will not work unless the system is in full working order.

Atlas is ensuring all new systems comply and have an ongoing programme of advising customers with older installations of the new standard. A number, some over 10 years old, have already upgraded.

If there is any doubt about the compliance of your system contact Atlas. Our engineers are available to advise and quote for retro-fitting a safety package if it is needed.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

BSIA highlights benefits of Access Control

Following the British Security Industry Association's recent research into crime in the recession, the Association's access control section is highlighting the benefits that users can gain from access control technology. The research revealed that security remains a key investment for UK plc, despite the difficult economic climate, with 92 per cent of respondents retaining the same level of investment. In a summary report of the research findings, access control was featured as a popular security measure among the respondents.

BSIA access control section chairman, Mike Sussman, stated, "The research report makes for interesting reading and it is worth noting that 14 per cent of respondents are looking to invest in access control as a security measure in the near future".

There are many benefits of using an access control system. One of the main advantages is the provision of increased point of entry security to commercial and industrial sites and buildings, as well as residential premises, both single and multi-occupancy.

The Atlas Group is well placed to utilise the latest access control technology to the benefit of its customers.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Atlas has Elecsa Part P services to draw on

Elecsa has announced that over 6,000 approved contractors have taken up its part P scheme, a figure that, despite the recession, is increasing steadily.

As a member, Atlas has access to all the services Elecsa provide including technical advice and the provision of customer warranties.

Atlas managing director Joe Baker said it was essential that customers should feel that a company installing access control, whether a simple gate or a sophisticated electronic system, should have all the right credentials to ensure a high level of safety.

"Having the strength of Elecsa to draw on means that all our customers can be assured their access control system has been installed to the highest electrical specification."

Part P is incorporated in the Building Regulations and its requirement is that: "Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury". In short, electrical installations must be safe!