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Top tips to prevent lead theft!

Use these top tips to prevent lead theft!


  • Remove water butts or waste bins from locations close to the building

  • Consider the position of any lean-to or subsidiary buildings which may provide an access point on to the roof.

  • Ensure any ladders kept on site are locked away and inaccessible when not in use. 

  • Ensure any scaffolding during building work is secured against climbers.

  • Keep trees, hedges and undergrowth well trimmed and maintained, to maximise visibility of the building and avoid providing cover or hiding places for thieves, or for concealing stolen metal. Thieves often remove lead and hide it somewhere, and return later to collect it, as it may be too heavy to move in one go.

  • Consider removing trees growing close to the building, but bear in mind that permission for this may be required from the local authority.

  • Maintain perimeter fencing; keep gates locked, and be aware of vehicular access or parking areas near the site, which could provide an access for cars or vans.

  • Remove or secure any wheelbarrows, bins or other containers that could facilitate the removal of metal from the site.

  • Regularly check the roof, and note the condition of all lead elements, so that attempted thefts can be quickly identified and areas of weakness that might invite an opportunistic theft can be addressed For example, loose tiles or guttering, torn or poorly fixed flashings etc. Sometimes thieves will steal small amounts of lead that can be easily removed, and then return for a larger haul. 

  • Security lighting and movement sensors can be effective at detecting activity on the roof. This is likely to be more effective in residential or built-up areas, where the light can be seen by neighbours. If security lighting is installed, then local residents should be informed and told whom to contact if the lights are activated. Engaging local residents and neighbours can be valuable in improving site security and preventing thefts.

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