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Protecting your home

Beating Burglary, Securing Your Doors and Windows

Doors - the advice:

  • Lock all doors and windows, and ensure any PVCu doors are locked properly by lifting the handle and using the key to double-lock them.

Doors - the technical bit:

  • PVCu and aluminium doors should have multi-locking systems. Additional mortice deadlocks and/or key operated throw bolts can be fitted to provide additional security and reduce the leverage points.
  • Always lift the handle and lock with a key to prevent burglars reaching in through the letterbox to open the door. Internal letterbox cages and shields also help to prevent car or house keys being fished through the letterbox.
  • Wooden front doors should be solid timber, with a British Standard 5-lever mortice lock one third of the way up and an automatic deadlocking latch rim one third of the way down.
  • Wooden back doors should be solid timber, with a BS 5-lever mortice lock and two mortice rack bolts.
  • Frames can be reinforced with metal strips called ‘London’ and ‘Birmingham’ bars.
  • Hinge bolts should be fitted to outward opening doors.
  • Glass panels in doors should be replaced with laminated glass of reinforced internally with security film or grilles.
  • When moving into an older home, consider changing the locks on your doors to make sure that you have the only keys.
  • If you have a door entry system, make sure that it is used properly.

Windows – the advice:

  • Make a habit out of checking that ground floor windows are closed and locked when you go to bed. Upstairs windows should be locked when the house is unoccupied.

Windows – the technical bit:

  • Window locks which are visible from the outside may deter thieves because the lock forces the thief to break the glass and risk attracting attention. Thieves are reluctant to climb over broken glass.
  • Window handles should be multi-locking, with shoot bolts into the frame If not, surface mounted key operated window locks should be fitted (warranty permitting) to provide additional security and reduce the leverage points.
  • Don’t forget window locks for both sashed and hinged windows are available from DIY shops at a small cost. Get advice for the right lock for your style of window.
  • Pay particular attention to making sure that ground floor windows and windows that are accessible above flat roofs, close to drain pipes or in reach of fire escapes, are secure.
  • If you need advice, the names of local locksmiths who are members of the Master Locksmiths’ Association can be found in the telephone directory.
  • Patio doors should have a minimum of three locking points with an anti-lift device to prevent them from being lifted from their runners. Extra surface mounted patio locks can be fitted to provide additional security.