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Safe as houses? How secure is your front door?

Black Composite door with hanging plant pot, installed in Oxford by Paradise Windows

Police figures showing domestic burglary rose by nearly a third (32%) in England and Wales in the year to September 2017, while a national newspaper found last autumn that, in 90% of all domestic burglary investigations, a suspect isn’t even identified, never mind apprehended.

More intruders make their way in to a property via main entrance portals than you may have realised.

That means your front door, and any back or patio doors, really do need to be secure enough to keep out unwanted visitors.

Here’s a checklist to run through:

Front door

• If you have glazed panels, these should be made of toughened or laminated glass
• Go for a five-lever mortice deadlock and look for British Standard 3621 or European Standard EN12209
• Spy-holes, door chains and limiters are all security features worth having
• Double check your hinges are secure, with good long screws. Think about hinge bolts as well.

Letter boxes

These should be at least 400mm from the door lock. Here are a few other safety points to consider:
• Don’t fit a mail box to a door’s bottom rail
• Consider fitting an internal cover plate or letter basket – if the latter, it’s worth removing the bottom so that mail doesn’t get stolen, or fit a padlock
• If you are particularly worried, you can get a letterbox guard made of fire-retardant material

Back door

You may want to think twice about using glass panels, but you could fit laminated panels from the inside. Think about grilles as well. Additionally:
• Sash locks can be supplemented with mortice rack bolt at the bottom and of the door
• Go for a five-lever two-bolt sash lock halfway up the door, and look for British Standard 3621 and European Standard EN 12209

French doors

While these can be a popular entry point for burglars, you can keep intruders out easily with security features such as:
• Hinge bolts if your doors open outwards
• Mortice rack bolts – or, alternatively, surface-mounted locking bolts
• Mortice sash locks to provide a greater level of security

Patio doors

Again, these are sometimes a favourite entry point, so if no multi-point locking system is fitted, get some additional locks. You can also install an anti-lift device, so that the door can’t be lifted up out of its track.

The material you have on your door will play a part as well. Wooden doors can be deadlocked with a British standard nightlatch, while a mortice deadlock or hinge bolts are further ideal additions.

Meanwhile a uPVC door will benefits from a multi-lock offering a three-point locking system, the maximum that this type of structure will allow.

A small window alarm may also be worth considering. And, of course, it’s just common sense to not leave keys anywhere they could easily be found.

Finally, no locks or bolts can be any better than the door they are fitted to. If any of your external doors are showing any signs of wear and tear, especially if woodwork has become rotten, act now.

At Paradise Windows, with a range of products on offer including high-security doors and windows across Oxfordshire and beyond, we can help. Talk to us now about the best solution for your home.