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Security Advice from The Lock Whisperer

Doors and Window Security

How important is door and window security?

Very important. In most cases, the offenders who commit burglary are opportunists. They see an open door or window and they take their chance. Believe it or not but nearly half of all burglaries are committed through an open door or window. A third of burglaries occur through a rear window. An open window or door is therefore an open invitation to enter your home. No other aspect of crime prevention is more effective than improving your door and window security. Keep them closed and locked especially when you are not in that room.
 

What can I do to improve the security of my existing windows?

Fit key operated locks to as many of your windows as possible especially if they are downstairs, hidden from view or easily accessible upstairs e.g. above a flat roofed porch. Consider having security film installed on such windows. Don't forget to remove keys from window locks and store them in a safe place.
 

What can I do to improve the security of my existing external doors?

Doors offer the easiest access to your home. Make sure that your doors and their frames are in good condition. External wooden doors should be solid and at least 44mm thick. Ensure that your doors fit well and that the frames are securely fixed to the masonry. They should be fitted with five lever deadbolts to British Standard 3621 plus a night latch. In solid doors or doors with frosted glazing consider installing a door viewer and door chain. Patio doors demand particular attention and may require specialist advice. Fit anti-lift locks at the top and bottom unless they already have a multi-point locking system.
 

I want to replace my windows. What advice can you give?

When replacing ground floor and readily accessible windows these should be made and fitted to BS 7950: 1997, the British Standard for enhanced window security. They should also have laminated glass in the outer pane of the double glazed units. Such windows do not need additional security devices adding to them.
 

I want to replace my external doors. What advice can you give?

These should be replaced with door sets meeting the PAS 24-1: 1999 standard, the British Standard for enhanced door security.
Such doors do not need additional security devices adding to them.
 

Glazed Doors

Make sure any glass panels are at least 6.4mm thick and are either laminated, or reinforced with security film. Consider using internal grilles if there is a risk that lock releases could be accessed via a broken pane of glass.

UPVC

If your house is fitted with UPVC doors make sure that you always lock the door with a key. Simply closing the door and pushing the handle up will not prevent someone entering. Insure that you engage the multi-locking mechanism and that the door is securely locked. patio and French Doors Patio doors should have a minimum of three locking points, with an anti-lift device to prevent them from being lifted from their runners.
 

 
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