4 Basic Door & Window Security Tips

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Here at the Master Locksmiths Association, we are going to focus on security advice for your Doors and Windows on your home.

Covered below are 4 simple tips that will improve the security of your 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.

Euro lock cylinders are prone to lock snapping if the correct standard is not installed or fitted properly.

ABS Lock and Sold Secure Diamond Logo

Use an SS312 Approved Euro Lock to prevent lock snapping

To prevent lock snapping we recommend:

  • Upgrade your cylinder to an 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 an MLA approved locksmith for a survey on your property.

To find your local MLA locksmith visit our find a locksmith page.

Add a Sash Jammer to your uPVC Doors or Windows

Sash jammers are great extra security for any uPVC door or window, they are a cheap and quick way to improve your security.


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.

Image of Composite Door

Make sure your timber door lock is to British Standard BS3621.

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.

Stats indicate 73% of burglars gain entry via a 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 letterbox restrictor.

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 your 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.

A window lock

Make sure your windows lock are fitted with the appropriate key

Window restrictors

Devices which stop a window from being fully opened – are more of a safety item rather than a security one.

Window restrictors 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

Window grilles and bar 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 tradespeople?
Image of bunch of keys

Do you know how keys of your house keys are in existence?

In order to increase your security, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of rogue keys being in existence

A locksmith can cut keys for the following types of keys:

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.

Read our short guide on Keyed Alike locks here

Above all remember to lock your doors & windows

Further Reading

Why use a MLA Approved Locksmith?

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Our Locksmiths have passed the MLA exam.
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