If you walk around the average mall, or down any commercial street, you’ll see roller shutters on almost every door. In suburbs, you’ll find them over windows, French doors, and garages. You can even find them in beach towns, and out in the countryside, where they might seem like a strange styling option for a shop or home.
Have you tried asking their owners why they bought these metal devices? If you did, you’d get lots of different answers. Home owners and developers will tell you they increased the value of their property, so if they ever need to sell, the roller shutters will get them a better price on the house. Others might tell you they liked the styling options, since roller shutters are available in so many colours.
Some might say it was about practicality, that it allowed them to divide a wide open space like the patio or al fresco kitchen, converting it into an extra room. Someone else might tell you it’s convenient, because you can pull it down or draw it up by remote, if you install an electronic link. Plus, they keep the house warmer in summer and cooler in winter, and are so easy to clean.
If you ask a security expert, they’ll tell you roller shutters are a good idea because they offer the best security option within that price range. How? Well, the shutter itself has an auto-lock function, so the second it closes, it latches itself securely to its bottom rail. Plus, it has padlock slots both on the inside and the outside of the shutters, so you can slip in a lock that’s as big as you want.
Roller shutters have three layers. There’s an aluminium panel on either side, and the middle is filled with insulating foam. The shutter is made from overlapping slats that are threaded together in the middle and at the sides. Because this whole structure is three layers thick, it’s impossible to break it down or ram through it. A car could drive right into the shutter and it wouldn’t budge which makes it great for garage doors, and for commercial stores.
As technology advances, we believe it’s the real secret to keeping ourselves and our property safe. We have apps for everything, secured by what we believe are impenetrable passwords. We have ultrasonic alarms, motion detectors, camera systems, and laser security systems that we believe keep us safe. However, technology isn’t fool proof.
There are hackers constantly trying to bypass clever systems, and sometimes your magical password can be accessed by phishing or skimming. Your electrical devices could short circuit, rendering your best efforts null. Roller shutters, on the other hand, are the most analogue systems in existence. You can’t hack them, bypass them, or cut them out with EMP. To break through them you’d either need brute force – and no such strength exists – or a stolen padlock key, which can still be reinforced with more hi-tech security inside the door.
There are very few doors, gates, and fences that can withstand the harshest attacks by weather and natural disasters. Roller shutters are coated in reflective ultraviolet paint that prevents sun damage and extends their lifespan for decades. They’re stable enough to withstand tremors, earthquakes, tsunamis, and tornadoes.
When you see those horrifying photos of a suburb ravaged by storms and waves, the roller shutters are always intact even when the house itself has been uprooted and rammed into a tree. Plus – and this is especially important for us Aussies – roller shutters can withstand a bushfire, because sparks can’t get past the aluminium panels, and the insulating foam will keep the fire out.
Most robberies are crimes of opportunity. A thug randomly checks a door or window, finds it open, and sneaks in to steal. Or they see something valuable lying unattended so they grab it and run. However, there are occasional jobs that are planned more carefully. The criminals study the habits of the shop owners or home owners, wait until they’re sure they’ll be away for a long time, then set to work.
This is the type of crime where thugs will dig holes under a building, weld through metal grills, or blow up a safe. However, even with this type of crime, there’s no way to get past the roller shutters, so unless they drive a bulldozer through the walls or slide down the chimney like Santa, roller shutters are still your best bet for security.