Romford Security Centre - Courtesy of the Metropolitan Police for Hadleigh, South Benfleet, Thundersley
- The door should be fitted with a 5 lever mortice deadlock.
- Ensure that the frame is strong and will support the door, hinges and lock.
- Make sure the door is suitable for external use and is a minimum of 45mm thick.
- Consider fitting a London Bar or Birmingham bar to provide additional support to the door frame.
- Letterboxes should have an internal cover plate.
- For additional safety and security fit a spy hole and door chain.
- Do not leave house keys in or near the door as they can get removed through the letterbox.
- Remember to close and lock all your windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
- Windows on the ground floor and in accessible areas should be made of toughened glass or doubled glazed.
- Make sure windows are fitted with a good lock appropriate for the window type.
- Avoid leaving valuables, house or car keys near windows.
- Invest in a strong door and door frame with good quality locks.
- PVCu and aluminium doors generally have multi-locking systems. When you lock the door, remember to remove the key. Always put keys in a safe and easily accessible place in case of fire.
- Internal letterbox shields also prevent access to the handle inside or keys being fished through the letterbox.
- Frames should be reinforced with reinforcing metal strips called ‘London’ and ‘Birmingham’ bars.
- Hinge bolts should be fitted to outward opening doors.
- Glass panels in doors should be replaced with laminated glass or reinforced with security film or grilles.
- Door viewers enable residents to see callers before they open the door.
- Wooden back doors should be solid timber, with a British Standard 5-lever mortice lock and two mortice rack bolts.
- French, patio and balcony doors should have a minimum of three locking points. Patio doors should be fitted with an anti-lift device to prevent them being lifted from their runners.
- All ground floor windows and any windows that are easily accessible must have key operated window locks.
- Audible intruder alarm systems with flashing lights are a good deterrent against burglary.
- Security lighting increases vision and makes burglars feel vulnerable and at risk of being seen
See the light
A useful addition to perimeter security can be exterior lighting, either switched manually or automatically operated. Lighting does have its limitations - burglaries often take place during daylight hours; if the light is activated, someone has to notice it - and take action. Lighting should be seen as an aid, but on its own it is not sufficient to deter a burglar.
The most common form of lighting is passive infra-red which is activated when someone comes into its field of vision. The light can be set to stay on for a set time and then it will re-set if the cause of its activation is no longer present. A passive infra-red unit can activate single or multiple lights.
A sensible arrangement of leaving lights switched on inside the house while the house is unoccupied can help to give the impression to a passer-by that the house is in fact occupied. It is sensible to use a downstairs room with a drawn curtain and sufficient light inside to suggest that the room is occupied. A light should not be left on solely in the hall - a thief may guess that the premises are unoccupied as it is not normal for the occupants to spend all night only in the hall!
There are many automatic devices available - simple and extremely sophisticated - that will turn lights on and off in random fashion and may even be set to control other electrical appliances such as the radio or television. Automatic switching will help to convince the casual thief that the house is occupied.