This week of National Home Security Month is focused on providing the best security advice for your Doors and Windows on your home. Covered below we provide 4 simple tips that will improve the security of yours door and windows in your house.
1. Do you have a UPVC or composite Door?
Lock Snapping Prevention
Most UPVC and composite doors operate with a multipoint locking system which utilises a lock cylinder.
If you have a lock that may be susceptible to lock snapping, in order to withstand this method of attack we recommend:
- Upgrade your cylinder to a SS312 diamond approved lock, this being the highest standard achievable for lock cylinders.
- Failing that – then ensure it is at least a TS007 3 star approved cylinder, ideally kitemarked
The MLA has been working with West Yorkshire Police on the subject of lock snapping for a while, to see their tips please view 5 tips to prevent lock snapping
Front & Back Door Security
You may have had a new front door or back door installed recently, however this is no guarantee that the locks will provide the necessary level of security to prevent attacks like lock snapping. For this reason we’d encourage the use of a MLA approved locksmith for a survey on your property. To find your local MLA locksmith visit our find a locksmith page
2. Got a timber door instead?
Does your timber door lock meet BS3621 Standard?
External timber doors should be secured using a mortice lock and / or night latch that meets British Standard BS3621. The easiest way to check whether you lock complies is to look for the British Standard Kitemark. Most mortice locks operate via a “lever” mechanism (normally at least 5 levers), however there are some which are operated by cylinders and therefore the same vulnerabilities as mentioned above may apply.
Why you should Fit a Door Chain
To increase security further you may want to install a door chain as well as a door viewer to enable you to see who’s outside without having to open the door. If the lock on your door is capable of being operated without a key from the inside (called keyless egress) then you should consider fitting a letter box restrictor and if there is any glazing close to the lock then consider reinforcing this glass or adding security bars to stop people trying to access the lock from the outside.
73% of burglars gain entry via a door
It’s worth noting that stats indicate 73% of burglars gain entry via a door, and even where they don’t they’ll be looking to exit via a door – another reason not to leave you keys in the door or within sight.
3. Are your Windows Secure?
All windows – upstairs and downstairs – should ideally be fitted with at least one appropriate key operated lock.
It’s worth checking your insurance requirements as they may well specify that all accessible windows have to be fitted with a locking security device.
Devices which stop a window from being fully opened – are more of a safety item rather than a security one. They’re there to stop people from falling out of windows and don’t provide the level of security required to stop somebody from using a window to gain entry.
Window Grilles and Bars
Where extra window security is required you can may want to consider fitting additional security devices such as grilles or bars. These will stop intruders gaining access even if they manage to open the window.
Reinforced Glass / Security Film
Another alternative would be to reinforce the glass in the window or apply a security film as these will help defend against direct attacks on the glass.
4. How many people have keys to your home?
Ways to protect your keys from being copied
- Do you know many copies of the keys to your home are in existence? – for example have all previous occupiers/owners given back all their keys?
- Were any keys provided to family members or trades people?
In order to increase your security there are ways to reduce the liklihood of rogue keys being in existence
Patented Keys – Keys can’t be copied
Patented keys are keys that can’t be copied without proof of ownership. Some patented keys systems for example come with a card that has to be presented to the locksmith in order for a key to be cut.
Restricted Keys – Keys that are difficult to copy
Restricted keys that can’t be easily copied due to their unique design, and the restriction of the availability of key blanks to this design.
If you’ve recently moved house the MLA recommend you change your locks, this way you can avoid any ‘spare’ sets being used.
Keyed alike – Your one key house
As well as increasing security by installing new locks your MLA locksmith can also provide the convenience of keying your locks alike.This means that the same key can operate every lock in your property. For example one key can operate your front door, back door and possible even padlocks that you might have on your shed.