Ensure external doors and frames are strong and in good condition. Doors should be solid core construction – a minimum 44mm thick.
Check the hinges and glass panels.
Fit a British Standard 3621 mortice deadlock – because it cannot be slipped, is difficult to pick and is very strong.
Consider reinforcing the door frame with metal strips; a London Bar on the lock side and a Birmingham Bar on the hinge side.
Lock all external doors when leaving your home. Always use your deadlocks.
If you use your deadlocks when you go to bed make sure you keep the keys in a secret but easy to hand place: you may need to leave in an emergency – for example in the event of a fire. If you prefer not to deadlock your door at night, secure your front door with heavy duty sliding bolts.
Do not leave keys near windows or doors inside your home: burglars can use ‘fishing rod’ devices to retrieve your keys through your letterbox and use them to enter your home or steal your car. They will probably do both.
French doors or windows should be secured by fitting lockable door security bolts at the top and bottom of each opening section. Your insurers may also require the use of a centrally mounted British Standard 3621 deadlock.
Outward opening doors must be fitted with hinge bolts as exposed hinges are vulnerable to attack.
If you live in a flat or maisonette, check the security of main communal entrances and seek professional advice if you are in any doubt about its security.
Always close communal doors and never allow access to anyone you do not recognise.
Never hide keys outside your home. If you have a spare set leave them with a friend or trusted neighbour.
Only leave keys with trusted tradesmen as they may be easily copied.
If you have just moved in we advise you consider changing the door locks – you don’t know who may have a key.