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Securing Domestic Doors & Windows

We worked in partnership with Secured by Design to create this guide to securing domestic doors and windows. Secured by Design is the police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings. This guide aims to help you ensure that your house is protected against potential intruders.

  • When buying a new door, it is better to buy a full new doorset (the complete assembled door and frame), certified to British Standard PAS 24-1 ‘Doors of Enhanced Security’.
  • If refurbishing a door, check that the frame is firmly fixed and sturdy. If it is weak or rotten, replace it.
  • Check that the door hinges are sturdy and secured with strong, long screws.
  • For added security, fit hinge bolts or security hinges. These help to reinforce the hinge side of a door against force, and protect the hinge if your door opens outwards.
  • If fitting locks to a standard wooden door, fit a 5-lever mortise lock plus a night latch or rim lock, both tested to BS 3621. These are a minimum insurance requirement.
  • If your door is PVCu or composite then it should be fitted with a multi-point lock meeting BS 3621.
  • Europrofile cylinders used on PVCu and Composite doors should meet TS007 and for additional protection use a security door handle.
  • Consider fitting a cage or restrictor on your letterbox to prevent thieves from putting their hands or gadgets through the letterbox.
  • If fitting an external letterbox, make sure it is tested to TS009:2012 as this covers free-standing or surface-mounted letterboxes.
  • Fit a door viewer so you can identify people before opening the door.
  • Door chains can stop callers pushing their way in, but must be securely fixed to avoid screws being pulled out. They will not help secure a locked door against burglary.

Many people focus on securing their front doors, and forget about their windows and secondary doors. These are actually the most common access points for thieves.

  • When buying new windows, install windows which are certified to British Standard PAS 24: ‘Enhanced security performance requirements for doorsets and windows’.
  • Window locks are essential on ground floors and above flat roofs. They can be retrofitted to many windows.
  • Glazing may be protected from being smashed with the addition of accredited adhesive window film.
  • Consider securing the windows with fixed or retractable grilles. These provide both a visual and physical deterrent against attack.
  • Patio doors and conservatories are vulnerable. If they are not secure, install additional locks and security blocks to stop lifting or forced entry.
  • When buying patio doors, ask for the sliding section to be on the inside, and for anti-lift blocks. Multi-locking systems are recommended, or have mortise security bolts with removable keys at the top and bottom of both doors.
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