Is your front door secure?
You may think that most intruders would avoid the front door of your premises but according to a recent study 74% of burglars gain entry this way. Is your front door secure, here is a checklist to make sure.
- If you had to get inside in an emergency, could you kick the door in?
Often this comes down to whether your door and frame are of good quality and well-fitted. If you would have difficulty forcing your door open, this is actually a good thing as a common means of break in is for thieves to simply kick the door off its frame or hit it hard enough to split the door. Door bars, such as a London Bar or Birmingham Bar greatly reinforce the doorframe and provide excellent protection against anyone trying to force a door open or kicking it down.
- Are your locks good enough?
On a UPVC door you should have a cylinder lock which doesn’t protrude more than 5mm outside the handle on the outside. You can also consider a multi-point locking system which has locks for the top and bottom of your door as well as the cylinder lock on UPVC doors.On wooden doors you should have two locks minimum, including
- A fiver lever mortice deadlock which meets British Standard 3621 or European Standard EN12209.
- A night latch (or Yale lock) which meets British Standard 8621.
Click here for a more detailed guide with images from the Master Locksmiths Association
- Are the hinges on your door secure?
Using long screws and investing in hinge bolts which fit above and below hinges on wooden doors.
- Do you have a way to check who is outside without actually opening the door?
A spyhole or door chain or limiter are good ideas, particularly for older or more vulnerable people who may be at home alone.
- Is the glazing on your door strong enough?
Standard glazed panels should be replaced with toughened glass or laminated glass panels.
- Check your letter box
As a rule letter boxes should be at least 400mm away from the lock of the door to prevent intruders simply reaching inside and unlocking the door. Letter boxes should also not be fixed to the bottom rail of a door. A cover plate inside the door can also help or a letter basket which has the bottom removed to prevent mail theft. This can stop criminals from using a pole or stick to reach inside and get hold of bags or keys just inside the door.
- Actually lock your doors.
A surprising number of thefts happen when burglars simply walk in through an unlocked door which the occupant has left open because they are at home but busy elsewhere in the home. Get into the habit of locking your doors when you don’t need to let anyone in and out.
- Do you leave keys under the plant pot?
So many of us do it but the plant put and doormat are the first places a burglar will look. A helpful option if you do need someone to leave keys for you is a small coded box which you can access via a code number.
You can find more information about how to improve your home security at the Metropolitan Police crime prevention site