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Doors and access control systems

If your front, rear and side doors are insecure, so is your home. It is also important to ensure that the frame is strong and well fixed, not weak or rotten.

If doors are being replaced, the recommended standard for enhanced door security is British Standard PAS 24, which incorporates the door and frame as a door set.

UPVC and aluminium front doors should have multi-locking systems.  If not, additional deadlocks can usually be fitted retrospectively. It is important to lift the multi-locking handle and lock it with a key, to prevent burglars reaching in through the letterbox to open the door.

Wooden front doors should be solid timber, a minimum 44mm thick, supported by three 100mm hinges, a British Standard 5 lever mortice lock fitted about a third of the way up the door and an automatic deadlocking rim latch, about a third of the way down.

The frame can be strengthened on the inside by fitting metal strips ('London' and 'Birmingham' bars) to support the locks and hinges. If the front door opens outwards, fit hinge bolts to reinforce the external hinges.

Glass panels in the door can be reinforced with security film, fixed diamond mesh grilles or replaced with laminated glass.

Door viewers allow householders to see who is at the door without having to open it first and door chains provide a barrier against callers.

An internal letterbox shield will prevent intruders fishing through the letterbox to open the door or for keys to the house or vehicles parked on the driveway.

UPVC and aluminium rear doors should have multi-locking systems.  If not, additional internal surface mounted locking throw bolts should be fitted to the top and bottom of the door to reduce the leverage points.

Consider all the entry points to the building.