When leaving your house unattended, remember to always locks all doors and windows. It is also recommended to lock doors even when you are at home, to prevent thieves entering your home.
Letterbox cages and shields also help to prevent car or house keys being fished through the letterbox.
When moving home, consider changing the locks to your new property to ensure you are the only owner with keys to access your home.
PVCu external doors
If you have PVCu or aluminium doors, these should already have multi-locking systems fitted. Additional mortice deadlocks or key operated throw bolts can be fitted to provide additional security and reduce leverage points
Patio or french doors should have a minimum of three locking points with an anti-lift device to prevent them from being lifted from their runners. Surface mounted patio locks can be fitted to patio or french doors to provide additional security.
Wooden external doors
Wooden front doors should be solid timber, with a British Standard 5-lever mortice lock located one third of the way up, with an automatic deadlocking latch located one third of the way down.
Wooden back doors should be solid timber, with a British Standard 5-lever mortice lock and two mortice rack bolts.
Wooden door frames can be strengthened with a reinforcing metal strip called ‘London’ or ‘Birmingham’ bars. Hinge bolts should be fitted to outward opening doors.
Glass panels in doors should be replaced with laminated glass or reinforced internally with security film or grilles.
- Check ground floor windows are closed and locked when you go to bed
- all windows should be locked when the house is unoccupied
- window locks that are visible from the outside may deter thieves. The lock would mean the thief needs to break the glass and risk attracting attention and thieves are reluctant to climb over broken glass
- multi-locking window handles shoot bolts into the frame, which give added security
- surface mounted key operated window locks provide additional security and reduce the leverage points
- window locks for both sashed and hinged windows are available at relatively low cost from DIY shops
- make sure ground floor windows and any that are accessible above flat roofs, close to drain pipes or in reach of fire escapes, are secured.
If you need more information or advice on door or window locks, you may wish to contact an appropriate registered tradesperson or locksmith. Details for the Master Locksmith Association are provided on our Crime Advice for Businesses page.