The Crime Prevention Website



This very large chapter is divided into five sections shown below and to the left in the navigation column. 

Improving the security of your existing doors deals with the doors you may already have in your home and suggests the best ways to secure them. 

Door locks, hardware and fittings considers many of the different locks and hardware associated with doorsets of all types. 

Enhanced security doorsets looks at purpose made security doors, which you should be buying if you are going to replace your doors. 

Fire doors in a domestic setting provides some information about fire resistant doorsets and the need to employ professionals to improve their security

Recessed doors in houses and blocks of flats considers the crime opportunities associated with deeply recessed doors.  The advice in this section is equally valid for doors in commercial buildings.   

About 40% of burglaries in England and Wales involve the forcing of a doorset.  The figures are similar for the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  These figures do not account for the fact that if you live in a block of flats above the first floor then your private flat entrance door may be the only way to break into your flat.  This means that 99.9% of burglaries in flats like yours are through the door! (the very rare one goes through the wall) If you live in a terraced house with no access to the back garden the burglar can only break though the front door or maybe a front window and so the percentage of burglaries through the door is again likely to be higher than 40%.

Fire safety!

The following information has been prepared for your advice.  Compliance with this advice does NOT imply or give you immunity from any legal requirement and nor does the advice necessarily satisfy any special conditions imposed or required by an insurance company or regulatory authority.  You must ensure that you or any person engaged by you to carry out any work based upon this advice complies with fire and building regulations and the requirements of your insurance company prior to its commencement.

The Disability Discrimination Act

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) has quite rightly made us rethink our approach to security for disabled people and, gradually, easier to use door locks and other security equipment has become available.  There are quite a few products that now meet BS 8300:2009+A1:2010 Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people Code of Practice and the Building Regulation Approved Document M (ADM) (Now part of the Equality Act 2010).   If you are disabled and find it difficult to operate locks or open doors and windows it is worthwhile speaking with a member of the Master Locksmiths Association about alternative ‘easier to use’ products that have been designed with you in mind.

Some local authorities and charities help disabled and elderly people with the costs of extra security, so why not call your local council and see if they can help.

Restricted keys

The majority of keys we use in our locks at home can be copied down at the local heel bar or locksmith. If you want to prevent that from happening you can instead purchase locks and cylinders, which use restricted keys.  These are keys for which the key blanks have a restricted level of distribution, so that the heel bars can’t cut them.  Contact your local Master Locksmith about upgrading your locks so you can use restricted keys.  Restricted keys can only be cut by authorised locksmiths against a letter of authority and or proof of identification or both and many of them include special features that prevent their duplication at the heel bar.  You can also ask your locksmith to install locks that are ‘keyed alike’ so that, for example, you only need one key to open both an outer and inner entrance door to your home. Bear in mind though that if you lose the key you'll have to change all the locks that it operates.