When moving into a new home one of the first things you will need to do is to make a security checklist, identify any weaknesses that have been left by the previous owners and then rectify them. This will generally apply to all doors and windows.
Windows are generally the main point of entry for burglars, and while this is often because they are left open or unlocked it is also because they do not have appropriate security measures fitted. Even if a burglar smashes the glass, it is impossible to open the window if it has been securely locked. This can be done either by securing the window to the frame or by preventing the handles from being operated.
Fortunately, more often than not window locks are easy to fit. Choose the appropriate option for your windows and you could save yourself not just money, but also the upset and inconvenience of a break-in. While most PVC-U type windows are supplied with locking handles it is easy to fit locks to existing windows, whatever their style.
For casement windows, surface-mounted locks fix the opening window securely to its frame. They are supplied with screws for fixing and only require careful measuring to make sure the two parts align. For large windows, fit two locks on each frame – one at the top and the other at the bottom – to reduce the risk of the window being forced.
Sash window locks usually work by locking the sashes to one another and may be surface-mounted or drilled into the frame. With slim frames, take care not to crack the glass while you are drilling or screwing.
Regardless of how solid or sturdy your door happens to be, it is only as strong as the metal that holds it in place. With this in mind, there are a few simple hardware upgrades that should be considered if you want to increase your home’s security.
First, there are heavy-duty mortice deadlocks, which are relatively inexpensive but extremely effective. The lock’s bolt closes onto a plate recessed into the door frame, making a secure fixing. Then there are strike boxes, which secure the entrance to your home and deter intruders. Strike boxes replace strike plates, which offer far less security.
Another good device is what is known as a London Bar. This is basically a steel strip that runs down the side of the inside of the door frame, from top to bottom, spreading the impact of anyone trying to force entry and strengthening the door’s hold.