The Ultimate Guide to Security for UPVC Doors
UPVC doors have become the norm for modern houses, seen as cheaper and lasting longer than older wooden equivalents. Whether your UPVC door is a new instalment or you are evaluating your home security, our ultimate guide to security for UPVC doors will help you secure your home.
How do Burglars Break into Houses?
Most burglars are opportunists; seizing the chance to gain entry as it happens. If they find an unlocked door or open window, they are tempted to act. Although it seems like common sense, a lot of homeowners do not lock their door and therefore make themselves more susceptible to a burglary.
If the door is locked, there are still ways a burglar can gain access to a property, either through brute force or lock manipulation. Equipping your UPVC door with additional security measures can go a long way in protecting your home.
Read more: How to Deter Burglars From Targeting Your Home.
Prevent Lock Snapping
Lock snapping is one of the most common ways in which burglars gain entry to homes and requires no skill. Snapping is when a burglar breaks the lock cylinder in order to then manipulate the lock and release it. Lock snapping happens to standard euro cylinder locks, the standard lock provided with UPVC doors.
In order to prevent lock snapping, we recommend you have a British standard euro lock; one which has measures against picking, hardplates to protect the lock from drilling and bolts into door frame. Look out for the kitemark and BS3621 standard. Importantly, the lock should be flush against the door frame – a lock cylinder that sticks out prominently is easier to snap.
Ensure you have Multi-point Locking System
The advantage of UPVC over older wooden doors is their multi-locking system. When locking a UPVC door, most require you to lift the handle, which in turn engages a variety of bolts to shoot out and secure the door into the frame. This essentially creates a 5-point locking system instead of a 2-point seen on most wooden doors.
Although lifting the handle engages the multi-point lock system, turning the key in the lock makes them stay in place. Lifting the handle but not locking the door means the multi-point locks will be disengaged and the door can simply be opened.
Be wary of weather conditions and how they can affect the alignment of your multi-point locks. Cold weather can cause parts to constrict and warm weather can lead to expansion. If any alignment changes by even 1mm, the locking system may become stiff or difficult. If this occurs, resist using force as this may damage the multi-point locking system and instead contact a locksmith.
Install Sash Jammers
An additional security measure to prevent entry via your UPVC door is to install a sash jammer. Used on both windows and doors, sash jammers prevent windows or doors from opening even if the main lock is bypassed. The most effective sash jammers bolt through the frame and can be operated from the outside with a locking option.
Sash jammers are affordable and easy to fit, making them an ideal addition to home security. They can, however, wear out over time so it is important to check their effectiveness from time to time.
Hinge Bolts for UPVC Doors
Hinge bolts, otherwise known as dog bolts, are pins fitted at hinges to secure the door to the frame. Fitted near the top and bottom of a door, hinge bolts prevent the door from being forced off its hinges. Hinge bolts are especially useful on outward opening doors as the hinges are exposed and can be easily targeted by burglars.
Hinge bolts are another cheap and easy addition to your UPVC door, you can even install them yourself. You do not need a big budget to secure your UPVC door.
Get a Door Chain
Door chains can provide peace of mind to homeowners as they allow you to see who is at your door without giving them full access. Burglars may pose as a neighbour or service provider to scope out the property, however with a door chain, homeowners can prevent unwanted access.
Although door chains have their security uses, they should not be the only security mechanism for your UPVC door. If met with force, the chain may break.
Consider purchasing a digital door viewer, whereby a camera is used to monitor activity by the door. If you see something suspicious or unusual, you can simply not go to the door and therefore keep your identity hidden.
UPVC Patio Door Security
Patio doors are a great addition to any home, however they come with their risks. Patio doors can be overlooked concerning home security and are often left unlocked. UPVC patio doors are at just as much risk as other doors, therefore it is important they have adequate security measures.
A popular security measure for double patio doors is a ‘Patlock’, a device which secures the inside handles preventing the door from opening even if the lock is compromised. No key or code is required to secure the Patlock making it easy to use.
Improve Home Security Systems
Ensuring your UPVC door is as secure as possible will no doubt bolster your home security, however there are further steps you can take to protect your house. Supplement your secure door with a camera to capture any burglary attempts. Install security lighting on your property to scare off intruders. Have a visible burglar alarm to prevent break-ins. Put your mind at ease by protecting your whole house.
Aspects of home security come together to create comprehensive home security, from prevention to catching burglars in the act.
Secure Your Home with A.P.E Fire and Security
Our experts at A.P.E Fire and Security can help you find your perfect home security solution. We are recognised by NSI as a NACOSS Gold member, meaning our fire and security systems are designed and installed to the highest quality British and European standards.
Get in touch and consult our security specialists today.