It is estimated that a burglary happens around every 40 seconds in the UK. Most burglaries are not pre-planned but are committed by opportunistic criminals.
In 73% of cases burglars use doors to access properties 3% of which were left open by homeowners.
Burglary can be financially costly and emotionally devastating to victims, however by taking a few simple measures you can dramatically reduce the chances of it happening to you.
As shown in the statistics above, doors are the primary route of entry and exit for most burglars so its vital that you can secure them effectively. Simple adjustments to existing or new doors can make all the difference.
Front Door Security:
A rim latch (sometimes known as a Yale lock) on its own is not sufficient security for a front door. If a rim latch is preferred the door should also be fitted with a 5 lever mortice deadlock manufactured to BS3621 or EN12209.
Quality locks are only as strong as the doors and frames to which they are attached. Ensure that frames are sound and the door is suitable for external use. The door should be of substantial construction; at least 44mm thick to support the mortice lock and hung on three strong hinges. Recessed or decorative panels should be a minimum of 9mm thick at their weakest point.
Doors with glazed panels are inherently less secure than solid doors hence the need for a deadlock although modern glass technology and glazing systems have helped to improve this.
Letter boxes should be considered as an aperture that can be used by the criminal, either to extract goods from within close proximity to the door (commonly door keys) or to work vulnerable locking devices from the inside.
Letter boxes should conform to british standards and should be positioned not closer than 400mm from the door lock. Under no circumstance should they be fitted to the bottom rail of a door. An internal cover plate offers additional security, making it more difficult for any would be burglar to gain a few of items within the property.
The door should be fitted with a 5 lever 2 bolt mortice sash lock halfway.
The sash lock should be supplemented by mortice rack bolts (bolts fitted approximately 150mm (6″) from the top and bottom of the door into the wood and operated internally) or surface-mounted locking bolts top and bottom. They should always be fitted at 90º to the grain of the wood, reducing the likelihood of the wood splitting if subjected to pressure.
In summary buy the best locks, doors & frames that you can afford. Make sure that they are fitted well and this should help to make sure that you do not become another crime statistic.