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How to vandal-proof your hall

I found this while I was going through some of my mother's old Guiding papers recently. I don't know whether she wrote the list herself, or if she got it from somewhere else. It is in her handwriting. I'm going to attribute it to her, lacking other information.

  1. Install outdoor lighting, controlled by time switches, set to turn on at dusk and off at daylight. The small increase in your electricity bill is offset by the greater security provided. It is a good idea to protect the lights with a wire guard.
  2. Security screens to go over windows, including the toilet area, come in various types, from one inch square mesh to security grilles specially made to fit your windows, and can serve the dual purpose of keeping people out and preventing or minimising damage to windows.
  3. Don't forget your doors, front and back. Use a solid-core door or a hollow door with lightweight steel such as galvanised, or install a security door on the outside of the existing door. Remember that the external door is not the only part that must be strong - a door is not secure if hinges, back and door joists are below standard. Don't waste money by installing cheap doors or locks. Ask your local locksmith for advice, and have all doors keyed alike so that only one key is needed for all doors.
  4. Block off access to under the hall. Mesh may be the solution, as you must still allow plenty of airflow under the floor.
  5. Plan carefully where trees and shrubs should be planted. A tree too close to the hall can give easy access to the roof, and it would be simple to gain entry by removing a few tiles or a sheet of roofing; a big, shrubby bush can provide screening for a would-be intruder; and trees too close to a hall can be a fire hazard or play havoc with the building foundations.
  6. Do not store firewood under or around a hall: it is an open invitiation to set a fire, and you would not be covered by insurance in such circumstances.
  7. Keep your hall and grounds well maintained. A neglected appearance is an open invitation to vandalism and abuse.
  8. Be a concerned member of your District. Check the hall when you go past, and if you see anything different, disturbed or out of place, investigate, taking due care, or notify the District Leader or Support Group President immediately.

Source: Ruth Wilson