Just because you are spending more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, doesn’t mean to say you’re not vulnerable to burglaries and break-ins. After all, a recent report by Aviva revealed that burglaries are actually more likely to occur while people are at their properties rather than away.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that someone was at home in nearly two thirds (64%) of burglary incidents, and more than a third (37%) of residents were aware of the burglary incident taking place.
In fact, 76% of domestic burglars in England and Wales accessed the property through a door, while one in five residential burglaries were accessed through windows. Not only is it imperative that your doors and windows are always locked, you should also implement the following tips to make them as secure as possible.
- Make sure your door has lock snapping prevention
Most uPVC and composite doors operate with a multipoint locking system which utilises a lock cylinder. However, it could be susceptible to lock snapping, which is when you should:
- Upgrade your cylinder to an SS312 diamond approved lock, this being the highest standard achievable for lock cylinders.
- Ensure that it is at least a TS007 3 star approved cylinder, ideally kitemarked.
- Fit a door chain on older, traditional doors
It is sometimes a bit harder to secure older, traditional doors that are made from materials like timber. Ideally they should be secured using a mortice lock and/or night latch that meets British Standard BS3621.
Failing that, you can further increase security by installing a door chain, which will prevent intruders from entering your home. They’re easy to fit, simple to use, secured by Design accreditation (aka police approved) and are tested to TS003 – the test specification for door chains.
- Secure your windows with restrictors, grilles and bars or reinforced glass/security film
All the windows in your home – both upstairs and downstairs – should ideally be fitted with at least one appropriate key operated lock. This is often a requirement for home and contents insurance policies.
Additional security measures you can implement include:
- Window restrictors – These stop a window from being fully opened, thus preventing somebody from gaining entry.
- Window grilles and bars – Not the most aesthetically pleasing option, but very difficult to break into.
- Reinforced glass/security film – This will help defend against direct attacks on the glass.
- Think carefully about the keys to your property
Do you know many copies of the keys to your home are in existence? There’s a chance that previous occupiers or tradespeople who needed access to the property never returned them.
So in order to increase security, here are a few ways to reduce the likelihood of rogue keys being in existence:
- Patented keys – These are keys that can’t be copied without proof of ownership.
- Restricted keys – These are keys that can’t be easily copied due to their unique design, and the restriction of the availability of key blanks to this design.
- Keyed alike – This means that the same key can operate every lock in your property.