It is the stark truth that criminals are most likely to enter your property through a door when they commit burglary. Thieves can force the lock on a door, kick it through or, perhaps even worse, enter through an unlocked door or window that has been accidentally and carelessly left open.
Old wooden doors and outdated PVC models that haven’t been updated to newer composite or even steel doors are often more vulnerable to breaking and entering. According to Police UK, it is now estimated that properties which don’t have security measures on their property are around five times more likely to be burgled.
Combatting burglary with effective home and business security
Between June 2014 and June 2015, there were around 785,000 reports of domestic burglary in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – similar to the previous year’s incident rates. But reports from the Office of National Statistics show that, since the mid-1990s, the number of burglaries in the UK has significantly reduced. In 1995, nine in 100 households were burgled, compared to a massive improvement of three in 100 hundred households in 2015.
Experts argue that the reduction in the rate of burglaries is largely because of consumers investing in improvements to their home and business security, which makes life a lot harder for criminals. However, while you are three times less likely to have your home burgled in contemporary Britain, compared to the mid-1990s, there is still a way to go to bring this number down even further.
Techniques used by burglars and measures to stop them
1. Lock snapping
Many criminals have been known to snap weak cylinders in locks in order to gain entry to a property – sometimes this practice is called cylinder snapping. Shockingly, this common method of burglary can happen in a matter of seconds, so it is vital to find door models that have upgraded cylinders. But don’t forget that it’s essential to make sure both your front and back doors are secure to help prevent theft in your home and business. Statistics from the BBC over the years show that 27% of all burglaries across the country involved lock snapping on euro profile cylinders.
2. Using tools to force entry
Thieves often use crowbars, hammers and other implements to break down doors and windows to force access. Another popular method is for criminals to use tools to break glass in doors and then simply slip their arm through and turn the lock from the inside. To help counter this, a robust and recommended measure is to install security doors made from steel and to fortify the glass in your windows to protect your property from thieves.
3. Picking locks and leaving yourself open to theft
Do not underestimate the skill of thieves and equally, do not underestimate the observational ability of thieves. Many criminals are now adept in using a set of tools to pick simple locks to break into properties. However, you can stay ahead of the game by investing in new, secure locks which make it harder for thieves to prosper. In addition, alarmingly, in some cases burglaries have happened because thieves have found a spare key for the property for example under a ledge, in a flower pot or under a plant. If you believe it is necessary to have a spare key, it is best to entrust it with a reliable neighbour or friend.
Effective and secure ways to protect your home and business from burglaries
Perhaps most critically:
• Change old wooden and PVC doors to newer and more robust doors. It is advised to invest in high-quality steel security doors to protect the front and back entrances to your home or business.
• Make sure you have upgraded lock cylinders in your door to secure your property which are difficult to snap.
• If you have a glass panel on your door, change it to strengthened or laminated glass, alternatively, consider changing it to a safer, steel door altogether.
• Ensure that your locks are secure and not easy for thieves to pick.
• Avoid putting a spare key anywhere that thieves can get to.
It is also important to:
• Ensure that you lock your doors and windows, even when you are inside.
• Install lighting on the entrance and periphery of your property.
• Get a burglar alarm.
• Join a local neighbourhood watch group.
• Avoid placing valuables in view of windows.