Door and window advice
Some top tips on securing your windows and doors around your home.
How to secure your doors
- When buying a new door, it is better to buy a new "door set" which includes the frame and door as a complete set, certified to British Standard PAS 24.
- If refurbishing a door, check that the frame is sturdy. If it is rotten or weak then it should ideally be replaced.
- Door hinges should be secured with strong, long screws to make them sturdy.
- If your door opens outwards, consider fitting hinge bolts or security hinges to help reinforce the hinge side of a door against force.
- Wooden doors should be fitted with a 5-lever mortice lock tested to BS 3621. This standard is usually a requirement for insurance policies.
- Add a security deflector, manufactured to TS008 (door mounted), to your letter box to prevent someone reaching in.
- Euro cylinder locks on uPVC and composite doors should meet minimum standards. See the section on euro-cylinder advice for more information. If you are replacing the cylinders yourself, always ensure that the external part of the cylinder does not protrude more than 3mm beyond the door furniture.
- Fit a door viewer so you can identify people before opening the door if you don't have a suitable window to look through.
- If you have a door chain, it is advisable to check the callers identity through a window or door viewer before using the chain. Door chains can be used to communicate with callers but they will not help secure a locked door against burglary.
- Pet flaps weaken doors. Larger ones also allow a burglar to climb through them! We recommend that such devices are not used.
- A locksmith approved by the Master Locksmith Association can specify the best and most secure door and window lock to use as well as install correctly. To find your nearest vetted locksmith go to https://www.locksmiths.co.uk
French and outward opening doors
- Fit a BS 3621 five-lever mortice sash lock just below the middle of the door.
- Fit wooden French doors with mortice rack bolts to the top and bottom of each door leaf. You can use surface mounted locks as an alternative.
- Fit hinge protectors or hinge bolts to each door hinge.
- Consider installing laminated security glass to standard BS EN 356 P1A or greater, to vulnerable doors.
Sliding patio doors
- A timber batten fixed into the top track of the door frame can help limit the opportunity to simply lift the door out of the frame.
- Specifically designed patio door locks fitted onto the frame or stile of the fixed glazed unit or the door will also help improve security.
- Consider the use of extra security products for your patio doors. Please make sure they are Police approved by ensuring they are Secured by Design.
How to secure your windows
- When buying new windows, you should purchase those which are certified to British Standard PAS 24.
- Window locks are essential on ground floors and above flat roofs. They can be retro fitted to many windows.
- Replace rotten window frames using items manufactured to BS PAS24 -2012.
- Check that the glazing is secure. If the putty or bonding is old and split, it’s easier for a burglar to remove the glazing.
- You can fit sash windows with specialist screw locks and sash stops.
- Consider installing additional locks and security to patio doors and conservatories which may be vulnerable to attack.
- When buying patio doors, ask for the sliding section to be on the inside and for anti-lift blocks.
Page last reviewed January 2020