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A rooflight is an openable or fixed metal or timber framed window set into a sloping or flat roof, for the purpose of allowing daylight into the room below. Those of you who have converted your lofts may well have more than one of them on the sloping roofs. Flat or ‘plateau’ rooflights are often seen in the roofs of single storey extensions off the back of a house and of course they are common features in commercial and public buildings.
Their vulnerability, as a point of entry for the burglar, largely depends on what type it is and where it is. Because of the danger of climbing and visual exposure those on sloping roofs are rarely used, unless they have been left open. It tends therefore to be the ones on low level flat roofs that attract the attention of the intruder.
Low level openable rooflights that are in reach of a person standing on the floor beneath should be fitted with locks. The type of lock will largely depend on the material from which the light is made and its design. Securing openable rooflights that are set high above the floor level can be problematic and invariably the most that can be expected is a catch mechanism that is manually operated using a long pole and hook of the sort some readers will recall was used to open and close the windows in your school (Sad to say I always put my hand up first). I don’t think this is so bad because if it takes a long pole to undo the window catch and lift the rooflight then it’s not really the way in that most burglars would choose. Also, many of them have limited opening adding to the difficulty of using the light as the way in. Some modern types will use electric motors to open and close the light and this can be enough so long as the operating arm and motor are well secured and the fixings cannot be easily forced off. Security grilles can always be fixed beneath them if the risk warrants it.
In high risk situations you can now purchase rooflights that have been certificated to
PAS 24 2012 Enhanced security performance requirements for doorsets and windows in the UK. External doorsets and windows intended to offer a level of security suitable for dwellings and other buildings exposed to comparable risk. (Formally BS 7950:1997 Specification for enhanced security performance of windows for domestic applications)
LPS 1175: Issue 7 Specification for testing and classifying the burglary resistance of building components, strongpoints and security enclosures. Security levels SR2 and SR3
What is a secure window?
See Windows that should be locked for a definition