The most likely way an intruder will break into your home is via vulnerable windows and doors. It may sound obvious but many homeowners still disregard this basic detail of home security and are much more likely to be targeted because of this negligence.
Even the slightest perception that your doors or windows can be breached will attract burglars to the property. Ensure they’re locked securely every time you leave the house, even if you’re only out for a short period of time. It only takes a few minutes for someone to be in and out, not only taking valuable possessions but leaving a psychological scar that can be difficult to recover from.
Robust Entry Points
Your first duty is to make sure your door and window fittings are secure and attached firmly to their frames. Remember, locks are only effective if the door or window frame is strong.
In terms of front and back doors, most burglaries occur when the intruder actually forces their way in by barging or kicking the door through. The width of your door should ideally be over 4cm, whilst frames ideally will be secured using strong screws and bolts.
Attaching security bars will reinforce their sturdiness. A London bar will protect the locking side of the frame and prevents it from splitting when forced. Likewise, a Birmingham bar helps secure the hanging side of the door, again making it difficult to buckle under pressure.
Windows can also be reinforced by security bars. They come in various styles but are most commonly made from steel and positioned on the window exterior. If bars aren’t your style, there’s also window shutters and retractable grilles that can be operated at your convenience.
Once you have robust doors fitted, it’s time to install reliable and efficient locks to the required British standards; BS3621 and BS EN 12209 are recommended by crime prevention officers.
Exterior doors should preferably have two locks for maximum effectiveness; a dead or night-latch lock positioned towards the top of the door so it can be reached easily, and a five-lever mortice deadlock situated around halfway up for additional strength.
Window locks will further strengthen your property, especially for windows that can be accessed from the ground or even by scaling the building. Locking handles are recommended where small keys allow for easy control of the mechanism.
You should consider substituting glass-panel doors with laminated glass or replacing them completely as they can be construed as an easy target. Likewise, patio or conservatory doors are often constructed for aesthetic rather than security purposes; because of this, they should be fitted with additional locks, surfaced-mounted press bolts and an anti-lifting device if required.
When it comes to installing or reinforcing doors and windows, it may help to enlist the services of a professional locksmith or security supplier. They can also offer equipment such as security lighting, door sensors, CCTV and burglar alarms to further compound your home security.
For more information on keeping your home safe, check out How to Keep Your Home Safe While You Go Travelling.
Or, if you’re ready to make your home more secure, contact us for a free consultation.