We focus a lot on keeping our homes safe - installing CCTV, burglar alarms and other security systems, but are they in the right place? Knowing the most common entry points for burglars is vital to a security system that will function well.
Read on and find out which are the most common entry points for burglars.
The Front Door
It's a little bit difficult to believe that burglars would be walking straight through your front door, but it happens - and more so than you would think. Unfortunately 34% of burglaries have been through a front door - which so happens to have the highest percentage of entrances compared to any other point of entry in your home.
Unlocked doors are an easy target, and used more and more for car theft (breaking in to take your car keys). However burglars will also look for keys in "hidden places" - (they never end up being "hidden", hence the quotation marks.) Under plant pots, door mats, and other not-so-difficult-to-find places.
Most burglars wouldn't even consider using a key to enter. There's faster ways into a house - scouting around for a key not being one of them. They will kick the door down in a weak area, smash a glass panel or use crude tools to bypass (or pry open) windows, doors and locks.
Here are a few tips to help you protect your front door:
- Always lock your door - even if you are in the house. Burglars are becoming more brazen, an unlocked door means they can enter quietly, without having to smash anything.
- Install a deadbolt lock or door chain for extra protection at night.
- Make sure your door is sturdy. A door made from cheap woods such as pine is prone to weathering and rotting. They are also a lot softer and easier to smash through.
- Use motion sensor lights as a deterrent. Although this may not stop "professional" burglars, it will rattle opportunistic thieves entering through your front door.
- CCTV and burglar alarms are also a good idea as a deterrent and to help prosecute if you were to be burgled.
Back & Sliding Doors
This one might not come as much of a surprise to you. Many of us can be found guilty of hanging the washing up outside and leaving the back door open. Maybe you're just "nipping" to the shop and ask the kids upstairs (which are attentively playing loud video-games) to keep an eye on the back door? Sound familiar?
The back door is a common entry point with 22% of burglars gaining access to your domicile this way.
I'm sure I don't need to explain why it's popular... Open doors and windows, hidden away from the street-view and your neighbours - it's like a playground for burglars.
Sliding doors can also be prone to weaknesses. Not because they can be smashed, but because their lock mechanisms can be opened fairly easily. Older sliding doors can also be lifted off their tracks, even if locked correctly, although this would most likely require more than one person.
Protect your back & sliding doors from being one of the common entry points for burglars by:
- Always lock your doors, even if you are home - unless you're next to the door. This is more so important to anyone going to the shops quickly with teens or children upstairs as it can be very distressing being confronted by a burglar.
- Install durable locks. Contact a local locksmith to find out if your doors and locks are secure.
- Installing a dowel in the tracks of sliding doors. Installing a dowel, or placing a dowel in the track of a sliding door is incredibly simple and cheap yet effective. Just make sure it's strong enough to withstand a blow.
- A sliding bolt will prevent a sliding door from being lifted off the tracks easily.
- Again, motion sensor lights, CCTV and Intruder alarms are always a good idea to protect your homes back doors.
Many homes have garages that are linked to the house itself, however this makes it a prime target for burglars (10% of burglaries). It's an easy way for burglars to gain entrance to your home. Many people close their garage doors, however leave the door that goes into the garage open. In many cases, garage doors are easy to pry open without any tools. They're also popular as they often contain power-tools, vehicles, or bicycles.
Protecting your garage doors:
- Lock your garage and any internal door you may have.
- Upgrade your garage door locks and mechanism.
- A strong garage door material such as metal is always recommended.
Keeping Your Home Secure
Home security is never easy, but if you've followed our tips on how to keep your main entry points secure, you will greatly minimise any risk of a successful burglary. Here's a quick recap of what we would recommend:
- Strong doors from durable materials.
- Correct, up-to-date locks.
- Lock your doors, even if you are in.
- Use a wooden dowel in sliding door rails.
- Use CCTV, Motion Sensor Lights & Burglar Alarms.