Protecting your home
Fitting suitable locks
Many people are unsure of what locks to have fitted onto their external doors and windows to secure them to insurance and police requirements. Below I have written a basic security guide to aid you in determining whether or not your doors and windows are secure enough.
Front doors tend to have a ‘Yale’ style nightlatch fitted which is not usually insurance approved this means that you will require a 5 lever deadlock fitted as well. These locks start at around £12 and are required to meet all home insurance policies.
Back doors tend to be fitted with a single sashlock (deadlock with latch) these operate with a handle set. These locks are also required to be 5 lever BS3621 insurance approved. We advise fitting a 5 lever sashlock and in addition fitting security bolts to the door top and bottom this will help protect against forced entry.
Most UPVC doors have suitable Multi-point locks installed in them to offer a high level of security against physical forced entry. The important thing to check on these doors is that you have 4 or more locking points along the edge of the door and also that you have a suitable Kitemarked Euro Cylinder. I have explained all the differences of the Euro cylinders available click here to read more about Euro Cylinders.
All windows no matter what the material needs to be fitted with key locking window locks. Many of the wooden windows are only fitted with stay arms and casement handles. These are not secure enough as if the window is broken the handles/stays can be opened.
The easiest way of securing wooden windows is to fit additional locks. Depending upon the size of the window you may want to fit 1 or 2 locks per window. For casement (side hinged) windows fitting key locking additional locks, top and bottom will offer the best level of security. I would recommend the Yale 8K101 window locks as these are the simplest to install.
Sash windows should be fitted with either with ventilation sash stops or central fasteners locking the window closed. The sash stops are the simplest to install and we offer a few different types but the Bramah Rola R1/01 is the one we recommend.
Metal windows require special types of window locks as the fixings are only suitable for metal. Easy to fit locks that prevent the cockspur handle from moving are the cheapest/quickest locking solution. The Ingersoll CM67K is a suitable type of lock to prevent the handle from opening.
UPVC windows will come with key locking handles are suitable to meet insurance requirements.
Side Alley Gating:
A large proportion of burglaries are done by opportunists who see an unlocked door/window and take their chance. Many people have side alleys and walkways which offer a quiet dark area for intruders to use for access to the rear of your property. Historically the back of your home is the easiest to gain entry through due to the lack of security and visibility on the rear doors which give burglars the time to force entry. Having a locked side gate is a great way of preventing easy access to these vulnerable areas of your property.
Securing garden/alley gates is extremely important to help ensure the rear of your property stays protected from burglaries. If you leave gates open you risk letting intruders access to the quiet areas of your property which are not as visible from the street.
There are different types of gates available and each has different types of ways of locking them but below is the simplest and cheapest.
The easiest locking solution is to purchase a padbolt which can be fitted directly onto the wooden gate and then lock the bolt with a suitable padlock. Price for padbolt and padlock roughly about £10. Ideally, though you may want to look to fit a mortice deadlock into the door so you can have access from both sides. You would want to fit a good quality lock with brass internals to prevent corrosion. I would recommend the Union 2134E mortice deadlock for this.
The easiest way to lock these is to fit a small length of chain locked with a suitable padlock. The chain can wrap around the gate and the frame and then lock together with the padlock. Price for the padlock and chain will roughly be £15. We can offer a basic chain and padlock set – ABUS 70IB/45 and 6KS Chain or if you would rather a slightly more secure version then we have the Squire ATL4 chain and padlock.
If you live in a block of flats and require multiple users of your alley gate instead of spending money on keys (which can be expensive & lost!) you can use a combination padlock which the code can be changed at any time. This will save money and time as you will not have to search for the correct key. We have a large range of combination padlocks but you would want to use a padlock suitable for external use. I would recommend the Squire CBW85 or if you would like a slightly cheaper padlock the Squire CP50 or CP60 would be best.
Protecting you against doorstep salesman and cold callers:
For many people, uninvited callers are a worry as you don’t know what they want and who they are. Lots of people don’t have the correct locks and security equipment on their doors which leaves them vulnerable to the bogus callers. The best advice is to never open the door to unexpected visitors, if you feel you must then there are certain checks you should go through before you allow the person access to your home:
Lock your door
You should always have your front door securely locked when you are in to prevent opportunist coming in and taking easily accessible items (i.e. keys/wallets)
We recommend fitting a door viewer to your door which will allow you to identify who is at your door, without unlocking your door. Leave your door locked at this point!
By fitting a door chain to your door you can unlock your door but securely restrict the opening distance. This means you can double check the identity of the caller and clearly see their I.D badge or company credentials.
Most reparable companies will organise an appointment before coming to your home so you must be wary of bogus salesmen and cold callers that sound extremely convincing but try to sell you something you may not need. The most secure solution for front doors is to fit a door viewer and a security chain. It is key to always know who you are letting into your home and if you are not expecting the caller then do not open the door to them. Bogus salesmen will prey on the elderly and single mums who are vulnerable so we always recommend having chains and viewers fitted on the front doors and also having suitable locks fitted that meet the insurance requirements. All external doors should have at least one lock with the symbol below stamped on the lock.
Most door viewers cost around £5-10 and door chains cost roughly about £7 so these locks are not expensive and are extremely simple to fit and add invaluable security to your home.
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