Security Survey: Clear Water Bay - Part 2 of 3

Part one recap:

In part one, we shared and discussed some low quality installation and careless design on floodlights, security cameras, and infra-red motion sensors. Let's continue!

Part two: false sense of security

This gate shown in the photo was a back door that was not very frequently used, but nonetheless served the same purpose as the main entrance as long as security was concerned.

So was there anything wrong with this gate?

Short answer: Plenty.

Long answer:

1) Start from the top. The protruding spike wires were severed and significantly rusted. That showed lack of maintenance and limited attention by residents; thus posed a low level of psychological deterrence, weak physical denial capability, and therefore crime inviting.

2) Just below the spike wires, there was an infra-red motion sensor. If you have read part one, you would notice the obvious issues. Another problem was the sensor direction. The sensor seemed to be trying to protect the top of the door on the right hand side, but with the sensor placed inside the plastic box, the angle of detection was impaired.

3) Now the gate itself. The gate was tall and sturdy enough to be an effective barrier, but at least three areas required improvement works:

a) the horizontal metal plates across the door provided ways for stepping and climbing;

b) the door hinges should be installed on the secured side instead of what was shown in the photo;

c) the plastic cable containment should be replaced with metal conduit. Why invest in a sturdy metal gate but go cheap in the cable containment? Security is always only as good as the weakest link, and criminals crave weaknesses!

4) Moving on to the drainage tank at the lower right hand side of the photo. The tank was exposed and not enclosed by the metal gate was most probably due to the need of access by the maintenance staff.

However, the three-pieced tank cover was removable and could provide ample room for an adult to gain access. If maintenance staff were to arrive from outside, then the metal gate shall enclose the secured side of the tank from inside out; vice versa if staff were to arrive from inside.

5) Lastly, the keypad device. Let's assume the keypad device was of reasonable quality to defend against normal attack such as a powerful magnet. The problem was the way that it was installed. Attacker could reach to the back of the keypad and tamper with its wiring.

An economically effective way to protect this particular keypad would be a simple two-step task:

a) relocate the keypad 30cm to the right;

b) install a metal plate that is 75 x 75 cm in dimensions to the back of the keypad.

The idea is that the metal plate would prevent an adult to easily and comfortably reaching the back of the keypad for tampering.


Just one photo of a back gate has given us many valuable information on how to improve security. There is seldom a case where one have to spend a fortune to reach reasonable security. We just need to do it correctly; not necessarily expensively.

Part three preview:

Normal guard booth. See the notice under the window? Let's think security.

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