View Full Version : Security Gate at the back alley

12-05-2003, 08:24 PM
I just need an opinion on one issue.

My neighborhood's community association wants to collect funds to erect gates so that the back alley of our house at a USJ12 area will not be accessible to thiefs/robbers.

Does this work? I had seen a posting on this topic before. Anyone had any idea whether such gates is effective to reduce robberies or break-ins.

My problem is I rent a house in the area and I am not sure who should foot the bill. Tenant or landlord?

Thanks for your input.

12-05-2003, 11:36 PM
you need to get approval from mpsj. the land is not your land, your land only ends at the boundary of the house. even so there are strict rules as to what kind of fixtures you can put up. for instance you can't erect a 20 storey gate in the front of your house because it's 'your land'. there are permits involved, so you should check.

there are also considerations about the safety of such gates. should an accident occur, let's say if there's a fire, and ppl get trapped. or something happens, and no one is there to open the gate... the ppl get enclosed in the area, not able to escape. in the extreme, what if the gate causes a fatal accident? who will take responsibility? who actually owns the gate? who keeps the keys? better iron such issues out.... most likely the person who's idea this originated from or the guy who actually carried it out would be responsible in some way or other if things go sour.

in my opinion i would not want to partake in such a scheme because 1. i do not want to be held responsible if something happened, 2. i would not be able to trust anyone else in making sure that things run smoothly.

the cost has to be born by the landlord in the event the permit is approved. why should the tenant have to pay when at the end you are not the owner of the property.

the gate may do a good job for houses in the middle, but i think maybe not for corner lots.

consider an alarm system instead. there are some pretty good deals out in the market, and when the thief sees that your house has one installed and others don't, he'll target a house where there is less trouble.

either way, talk to people who are in the security business who can give you good advice. taking things into your own hands may give you a false sense of security and cause unnecessary damage.


13-05-2003, 08:23 AM

I would advise you to go for it. Our neighbourhood done it more than 2 years back and ever since then, no report of break-ins or any sort of troubles. Each house will have a key to the locks.

Since Alam Flora cleaners will not be able to access the back alley, therefore the cleanness of the back alley lies on individual household.

In order to get the gates up, MPSJ, Bomba and police approval are needed. As far as MPSJ is concerned, ALL household must unanimously agreed on it and signatures are to be collected from all of them. I think MPSJ will be able to help you on the procedures.

The cost of the gates will not be too expensive since it is shared among 2 rows of houses (front and back row). We paid around RM110 each. Normally landlord should foot the bill. Have a talk with your landlord.

14-05-2003, 12:49 AM
since when did alam flora clean the back alleys? i'd be lucky if they don't cause a mess in the front road

14-05-2003, 02:24 AM
we're working on the assumption that usj has break ins all the time, and the factor preventing them is the gates.

this is not the case.

i lived in the same house in usj 2 for more than 10 years. there was never a break in in our row either, or in any of the surrounding block. we don't have the gates at the back alleys, neither do the other rows.

like i said, consult a security expert on the statistics and how break ins actually occur.

in usj, what is common with break ins (and this i got from my landlord who's a policeman) is that they come through the roof.... not from the front or the back door. this is common in most robberies in the klang valley... they come through the roof, not the normal points of entry/exit.

if you put a gate up in the back alley, it's immaterial to the thief. all he does is climb up from the same place he would, i.e. the corner house, and target whichever house he wants from there.

for all you know the gate might even help him get up.

with the design of usj houses, it's ideal. simply because the the roof slopes in such a way you cannot see what goes on at the back roof from the front.

also, unlike the US or europe, usj houses/malaysian ceilings are not sealed. i'm sure there are one or two points on the top floor of the house where you notice you can push aside the ceiling board, exposing the gap between the roof and the ceiling.

alarm systems are good deterrents, because the alarm system takes into account the roof too. how alarms work is that they have sensors in place, and let the alarm off when those sensors are breached. apart from anything if you're a thief and you have to choose you go for a house, you go to the one without the alarm. alarm systems these days come with 24 hour monitoring too, so you get extra protection.

this is a reputable brand my family has used for years:


at the moment they have a promotion too, the alarm system is RM75 a month, which comes with monitoring. that's quite a reasonable sum if you don't want to fork out a big amounth.


at the end of the day, consult security professionals. do remember that members of this forum are only individuals with different ideas on things, none of which are expert opinions.

but good to ask, good to get informed.

stay safe!


14-05-2003, 02:06 PM

Listen to people like jericho and me who have had backlane gates installed for years, there is no assumption, it is a fact that backlane gates prevent breakins, there is no ifs and buts about it.

We had the same doubts and concerns dispensed to us by well meaning but misinformed people when we first wanted to install the gates, but today not even one resident regrets supporting the erecting of the backlane gates.

The surprising thing was that we had people who were renting and they paid their share of the cost.

I doubt that people who rent, have ever being branded as not belonging to the Community they live in? Do you stop becoming a neighbour & friend because you rent?

Is the safety of your family in the hands of your landlord? its only a 100 bucks+, to live up to your responsibility to your family and the Community you live in.

I have nothing against installing a high security alarm system costing thousands of dollars, it is a great deterrent, getting professional security experts? in and for a house that is not yours?

We have a saying in Neighbourhood Watch circles :

What is the best Crime Prevention device ever invented?

Crime prevention is after all a shared responsibility

14-05-2003, 04:00 PM
When a person says that there has been no breakins entire rows of houses in usj, I think that is stretching it too far. Fellow forumners, if you can say that you have not heard of any break ins in your row or the row in front or at the back of you, I would like to move there! My own house had been burglared as well as the house immediate opposite mine and also the house adjacent to the back of my house and that is just mu immediate vicinity. I still have the police report and till today I still mourn the loss of my royal salutes/blue labels/hennessy vsop more than the tv and electrical stuff. Btw i stay in usj 11.
Alarm systems are a bladdy nuisance when they are trigerred by lightining and if anyone thinks they are not tell it to the neighbours. In the case of the house opposite mine, they broke in whilst the owners were sleeping upstairs.

14-05-2003, 04:27 PM
I am all for the back alley gate.Sure cuts down unwanted suspicious characters peeking into yr hse via the kitchen windows and also liason between the indonesian maids and their boyfriends. It's nice if one can afford to instal the house alarms but mind you , the trigerring of nuisance alarms can be such a pain in the "u know what". Sometimes, we can hear the alarm going off for ages until the house owner returns...;)

14-05-2003, 04:36 PM
saml, i lived there for more than 10 years. my family knows the neighbours through the whole row in our house as well as those behind as well. there have been no burglaries since we moved in, and we're one of the first few ppl who moved into usj itself, usj2 being one of the newer parts of the township.

there were no burglaries. three years ago there was a dengue case affecting our neighbour 5 houses down, the daughter got it. that i remember distinctly.

apart from anything if there was a burglary, at least some people in the neighbourhood would notice when the police arrived. if my family was not around i can assure you the aunty next to us would inform us to take care.

there were no burglaries, there are just no exagerrations about that. usj2 is quite spared from these things, the deeper parts of usj i know have been affected. i would give you my exact road address if it weren't for the fact that this is the internet.

if it was genuinely true and proven that such gates increase the security, i would have no doubts whatsoever in pushing the idea through.

but i am a firm believer in looking at evidence first and deducing from there. this includes comparing crime statistics and the way crime takes place elsewhere.

so far, there is no concrete evidence that ppl who put up gates are spared from crime..... we do not have situations where the whole of usj is robbed, save the houses where there are grills at the back. there is also no evidence that such gates are safe in certain emergency situations.

why i am questioning this method of putting grills at the back of the gates is because not even the police or any security expert ppl advocate it. the ppl who advocate it are 1. residents, 2. gate sellers. no one of which has experience in crime prevention.

even other residents in usj do not put the gates up because it's dubious. RM100 is nothing to a USJ resident, but it's the effectiveness and possibly the dangers of the gate that make people question.

no one has even mentioned anything about applying for the permits for those gates. are they even legal?

and why i am cautious about telling people on the net or anywhere "do this it is proven to work" is because if in the event they take the advice and something goes terribly wrong, there is responsibility to foot.

which is why i advice you brown, to talk to real security experts, maybe even go down to the police station and have a chat with some people about how robberies take place and what should be done to prevent it. as you can see from the posts there are different people who have different ideas about what is good and what is bad. the thing is none of us are experts, and our evidence easily dispelled. some say the gates are not effective, others the alarms noisy.

what you should do... is talk to the police or somebody who is knowledgable in this line of thing.


14-05-2003, 04:44 PM
one more question i have to add.

those who got their gates installed at the back, was it done with mpsj's permission/ approval?

because from what i know that land at the back does not belong to the residents. the boundary to what you own ends at your own backyard.

so if it does not belong to the residents, technically it's not theirs to lock up.

hence if mpsj did not approve, there should be no question about installing it or not.

just wondering.


14-05-2003, 05:47 PM
I beg to differ that usj2 is spared from burglary/break-in . My immediate neighbour had his 4 months ago . The back row had 3 cases in the last 18 months . All in that has happened and known to me is already 5 cases .
All the cases is force entry from the back door /windows that is grilled .
Probably with a back gate we may be spared from this . I have 2 cases of my shoes stolen as well which is my own folly of leaving it outside the house .
My neighbour has a taste of it 6 months ago all shoes cleaned (':D')
out . Fancy that living in usj 2 ?

14-05-2003, 06:42 PM
shoe stealing is common, yes. but it happens in the front as well. should we start grilling the roads as well just to be on the safe side?

maybe the better suggestion is to keep the shoes inside the house, or in the store, or in a locked up cabinet. that seems like the more logical approach instead of locking up a whole alleyway.

usj 2 is quite a big place. my row has been lucky and had no breakins. we are also lucky that as neighbours people keep out for each other, and i guess that helps a lot.

the fact that there are different people in different or similar areas affected differently by this shows that there is a need for a proper statistical analysis of the situation before we jump to conclusions on things.

but locking up a whole alleyway sounds a tad bit excessive and dangerous.... it sounds like burning down a house to kill a rat.

what happens if somebody needs to flee in an emergency such as a fire? fires spread quickly, notably in housing areas that are terraced like USJ.

it's like what happens when ppl grill their houses without allowing for grills that can open from the inside... not only do you keep the people out, but you keep the people in too. when there's a fire, they burn to death - the fire department can't get to them. sometimes, the road to hell really is paved with good intentions.

what could take care of security best is to adopt a consciencious attitude towards things. take care to ensure that your valuables are placed in a safety deposit box, whatever the nature of your security system. passports, precious jewellery and heirlooms are examples of things that should go in.

make sure the doors and gates are always locked. keep shoes and other valuables in the store room in the house, or in a locked cabinet. lock bicycles.

common sense things like this save money and valuables. unfortunately life is such that occassionally there will be the break in. we can only take preventive measures and brace ourselves.

either way, we can debate about it high and dry, the question now is.... is it legal to do so?

so far, no takers on this question... hopefully our neighbourhood friends with experience can help inform brown of the procedures in going about doing so, if he chooses to.

jericho and robertec.... do the back alley gates in your areas have council approval/ approval from the jabatan bangunan MPSJ? how did you go about doing it if so?

The most dangerous thing is a false sense of security.


15-05-2003, 02:23 AM
What do you think, julz?

Facts about the backlane gates dating back to 12th May 2001, are documented even on this website.

A query on "Backlane gates" at any search engine would reveal more than I could write here.

Just so that you do not think of this as some silly idea of burning down the house to kill a rat, by your Malaysian neighbourhood uncle, for good measure do a search on "Alley Gates" too.

It's what they call them, back where they fly the Union Jack.
Surprising that one never notices them.

Okay enough of banter let's move along.

Let me direct you to one of my favourite website : Why we love Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/)

15-05-2003, 04:45 AM
different ppl have different views on what is good for security and what is not good for security. the truth of the matter is, nobody so far has posted anything that is security related, substantiated with proof or statistics. nobody has given enough evidence to say what works and what does not, and i think it is a reasonable request to see proof of assertions, especially from the people making it.

fortunately we cannot assess such matters as security by "word of mouth" or "trust me this works" type of information. that's the kind of thing you hear from salesmen which almost rarely turn out to be true, save the odd good buy or two.

if it is a godsent idea i'm sure all of us would have embraced it like a religion! i would convert too if i saw the success, being a woman who does care about her own personal safety. why shouldn't i part with RM100 if it really works?

but unfortunately yours and my layman opinion, or anyone's layman opinion on such matters is pointless. none of us are security experts, so don't pretend to be so. it would thus be nice to see *actual proof* instead of telling people something works when we're not actually sure ourselves.

it's one thing if your touting a brand of shoes or a fridge, it's another thing if you're talking about home security.

i would not be so particular if it weren't for the fact that such devices could have an inherent danger in them, perhaps in it's ineffectiveness as a measure coupled with it's effectiveness in giving a false sense of security. and apart from anything, there is a big responsibility in handing out such information on a forum, in conversation, anywhere.

in short, concrete evidence is always appreciated.

on the other hand, i do have a website here that points to the UK police's statistical findings that "alley gates do little to prevent crime and burglaries, though they give residence a sense of security".

this was evaluated by the Crime Reduction Programme at the Home Office ministry which conducts nationwide studies and statistical analysis on such matters, taking into account the effects from each and every borough, each and every zone. according to them it had some impact on vandals and arsonists who burn rubbish, none of which are inherent problems in USJ.

they do however, intend to follow this up with even further findings on the matter. maybe the new information will shed further light on it's effectiveness... maybe it really works. but i'm a sceptic till i see proof, i don't trust easily.

"there are good reasons for thinking that alley-gates should reduce burglary, there is as yet little hard evidence that they do."

amongst the benefits of alley gating is that they lock up the back portion of the house, which is where most thieves break in from. so in theory, they should work. but as was said, there is little/ insufficient evidence of this.

(be warned, this is a pdf file and may take a while to download)


but in fact, i'm not even sure that they are statutorily legal.

in the UK, it is actually against the law to keep a public footpath of any kind locked or obstructed in any way. the public does not favour this kind of behaviour as well.

here for instance is an article on how citizens in east sussex reacted to when a tycoon attempted to block a public right of way over his own estate:


Excerpt: More recently, he fought a protracted battle with ramblers - "the great unwashed," in his words - over a public footpath across his East Sussex estate where he is building an enormous 40m country home, Hamilton Palace. Van Hoogstraten blocked the footpath with a shed, barbed wire and old fridges, sparking 4,000 letters of protest.

but the fact that the UK government has considered alley gates in a response to crime probably signals their willingness (and desperation) to change and improve on things. but alas, even the home office ministry requires more questioning and more research before they actually rubber stamp it as "effective".

if the home ministry still wants to delve into the matter, there are obviously unresolved issues. hence i would certainly not wish be so quick to jump the gun and put my rubber stamp of approval on it, when i'm certainly less of a source or authority than them! (sic.)

so in a way, i do still think we're burning the house down to kill a rat, till and when concrete evidence proving so is provided.

ok, i won't banter on either.... here is ...
my favourite website (www.usj.com.my) and my other favourite website (http://maddox.xmission.com/)



15-05-2003, 09:56 AM
ej, just because you say it is so does not legitimise your statement. Why should we believe that statement of yours that there has been no burglary in your row and the row of houses near yours. What makes your statements more true than what others say? You run down other people's comments and say that they do not have a basis to comment because they do not statistics to prove it. Just because you intersperse your comments with some links to some sites does not make the rest of your comments beyond reproach. I think this is why some have given up coming up with comments simply because you will belittle the validity of their comments by saying that they do not have a basis to make that statement. You talk like you are the only one who are licensed to comment in this forum.

15-05-2003, 04:13 PM
so this does not go down, i will take joejaffar's advice and stick to the subject and not join in ;)

so ppl.... do we actually have evidence on the gate being effective?

come to think of it, it may be a good idea in malaysia. our thieves are not like what they have in the UK, where they're far more ambitious and tool savvy. so it may be a good plan in the sense that the gated areas are more protected than others.

then question... what happens if all the areas are gated? i dont think crime stops there, ppl will get creative.



16-05-2003, 08:49 AM
yes, it is legal to install a backlane gate. What is needed is the signatures of all house owners stating that they agreed to it. And MPSJ, Bomba and Police will not objects in this case. It is simple as that and not as complicated as you might think. Go ask MPSJ for the procedures and they will be more than willing to help out.

The backlane gate only deters house break-ins from the back. But at least the risk of house break-ins has been reduced significantly. The backlane gate is meant as a deterrance and is not an 100% solution. The same goes to a house security alarm system, it is meant as a deterrance and not an 100% solution either.

And if you guys really want some statistics on house break-ins, go talk to your neighbourhood police. They have some very interesting and surprising statistics on house break-ins. I shall not reveal it here or else another argument will be started.

18-05-2003, 08:51 AM
I agree, the next time for whatever unfortunate reasons that you have to go to the usj8 police station, have a chat with the guy/gal taking down your case and enquire about the break ins and whereabouts are the hot areas. They will not show you but they will tell you and I don't think that we have any reason to doubt them but then of course it is not published statitics.

23-07-2003, 12:44 PM
Thanks for the input.

However, I am still in a query of whether the tenant or the landlord should bear the cost.

My hunch is that the landlord should pay for it. But what if the landlord refuse because he is not staying there?

We all know that ideally, every one (tenant/landlord/owner) in a neighborhood should support this back land security idea BUT reality is not so. Living in a city is not like living in a kampung. Trying to bring in a kampung 'neighborhood' mentality into a big 'kiasu' city is futile.

I may be a harbinger of doom but I support any effort to make city living a better place.

My verdict: Landlord pays. Any support?

23-07-2003, 01:19 PM
It is not for us to vote on who should pay. It really depends on the goodwill of the people concerned. There have been cases where tenants do not mind paying. There have also been cases where the landlord just says - deduct it from next month's rental.

23-07-2003, 01:47 PM
I have to agree with tan_r.

The cost issue is between the tenant and landlord. If the landlord refuses to pay, then the tenant can't do anything unless it is stated B&W in the tenancy agreement.

23-07-2003, 02:22 PM
wow... talk about slow reactions.

23-07-2003, 03:53 PM
Has anybody tried the motion sensor light? normally people install it at the back of the house. never seen it here though...

23-07-2003, 04:04 PM
I think it can be a bit of a nuisance, especially when people install it at their corner houses and everytime a car passes the side lane the light will go on and in most cases the light will shine on the neighbour's house. If i was staying in the next house i would find it extremely irritating, unless it is shining on the walls.

23-07-2003, 04:31 PM

Are you looking for the motion sensor ? It is available in DIY or electrical shops. And I think the prices for these sensors already dropped quite a bit. Therefore it is much cheaper now compare with years ago.

23-07-2003, 05:15 PM
If I am not mistaken the fire dept has already said that the back-lane gate does not meet the fire regulation or something like that. I think MPSJ can confirm this.

23-07-2003, 06:53 PM
For what reason? Fire safety? Then rightly, all fire hydrants should be re-positioned to the back lanes.

25-07-2003, 12:18 AM
My neighbourhood is also one of those which has backlane gates installed. I think this is a good way to prevent crime. From the way you present your points, it seems like the phrase "prevention is better than cure" does not exist in your dictionary. Do you actually want to wait till the first burglary case to happen in your neighbourhood before installing the backlane gates? Don't you see erecting a backlane gate as a precautionary and preventive step? It may not be 100% effective but I think the least it can do is to decrease the risk of our neighbourhood from being burglarised.

You said, "...they come through the roof, not the normal points of entry/exit." True, but I don't think they're ambitious enough to drop themself from a helicopter or anything flying above our houses like those we see in action-packed movies. I'm sure they have to climb into the house compound either from the front or back (or sides, in case of corner lots). If they lack a way to enter the house from the back and the only ways they can get in are from the front and sides, don't you think they would be more visible and easily seen by other neighbours, hence are more "prone" to get caught? Now, put yourself in the burglar's postion and think about the risks of getting caught. Probably you would reconsider breaking into the house, wouldn't you?

And the part where you said "...for all you know the gate might even help him get up." Don't you think we've considered that before we carefully choose a gate design which will not allow such thing to happen?

By the way, erecting a backlane gate doesn't mean that you don't need to install alarm systems. I'm sure many of us would like to "do our best" in making our houses as safe as possible. So we can still do both. But gosh, please don't get alarm systems which are too sensitive which go on everytime there is a strong wind or a thunder.

Anyway, brown, what I usually see in cases like this is that the landlord bears the cost. But like what tan_r and jericho say, it's not up to us to decide but you can't do anything if your landlord doesn't want to pay. Have a nice chat with your landlord. ;)

25-07-2003, 10:51 AM
As far as I know, locking up an alleyway with gates is not only illegal, but dangerous. As someone pointed out, what happens if there is a fire? There is an easy way to solve this however - have a gate that opens one way, i.e., you need a key to get in, but don't need one to come out.

By the way, if I were you guys who are worried about safety, I would get a great big vicious dog. Two of them if you like. One for outside and one for inside. Imagine the poor thief climbing in your attic, hearing growls at every tiny footstep....

25-07-2003, 11:26 AM
The issue of back alley security gate poses a dangerous situation in case of fire is not really true. In fact I think it has been simply exaggerated by those who opposed the idea of back alley security gate.

In case of fire, the most important thing to do is to get out of the house. Once you are out from the house, you are pretty safe to a certain extent. And escaping through the gates is not the only path. How about through your neighbour house at the back or the others house at the other end of the row.

Of course unless the front and back row of the houses are engulfed with fires then back alley gates MIGHT be the only escape path. Even in this situation I think the back alley won't be safe as well since both side of the alley will be engulfed with fires,

And on the issue of firemen can't access the back alley if the security gates are locked. I don't think they will have problem to break down the gate if they want to.

Of course my above opinion will not be valid if you put up a security gates just within the border of your house. :D

25-07-2003, 11:41 AM
In my personal opinion, I think a security gate in the back alley does reduce the amount of traffic at the back of the house. In my neighbourhood there was once a petition to the house owners to get consensus to put up the gates. They did not get sufficient quorum and it was not put up. However, I feel the landlord or owner of the house should bear the cost of the gate. I was one of those who did not mind it either way and maybe my inaction was one of the reason why the gate was not up. The design of the gate then proposed was one that opens from inside without a key but you need to key to open from outside and all the houses were supposed to be given a key. I did not vote and was counted as against. Sometimes I think doing nothing does have some consequences after all. Still, there is a lot of Indonesian men visiting the Indonesian maids located at the houses near mine and I guess this is something that is not desirable for the house owners here.