The personal finance website Nimblefins has published an interesting analysis of the domestic burglary statistics within the most recent annual Crime Survey for England and Wales. They make a compelling argument in favour of TS007 3-star security on all entrance doors, whether they are at the front or the back of the house.
76% of all burglaries occur through doors (59% front, 33% back) compared with just 20% through windows and 4% by distraction or false pretences. In one in three of all burglaries, the criminal gets in by forcing the lock on a door.
The figures don’t reveal the type of lock being forced but it’s safe to assume that the vast majority are zero-star, standard 6-pin cylinders, which as we all know are still highly vulnerable to snapping. Despite the statistics, Approved Doc Q of the building regs, which requires 3-star TS007 compliance for door handles and cylinders, still only applies to new build and change of use properties. There is a consultation taking place at the moment which may well see it extended to replacement installations.
What will almost certainly happen as a result of consultation is that we will see a tightening of the ADQ compliance standard, with PAS24: 2012 being replaced with PAS24: 2022. This doesn’t just require 3-star handles and cylinders but also TS008-compliant letterplates to prevent ‘fishing’ and P1A laminated glass for accessible windows and doors, despite the fact that only 0.6 of burglaries involved smashing the glass in the door and only 6.3% smashing a window.
Even without this tougher legislation though, these burglary figures should give fabricators and installers all the evidence they need to help convince retail buyers and social housing specifiers to spend a few pounds more on their door security. If you choose Mila, for example, it’s very simple to offer a choice of either a 1-star cylinder paired with a 2-star Kitemark accredited and audited security handle, or a 3-star cylinder on its own.
In 15% of all burglaries though, burglars gained access because the door was simply not locked. According to the Association of British Insurers, if burglars do break in through an unlocked door or window, some insurance providers are unlikely to pay out, so I think it’s also worth promoting automatic multipoint door locks like the Yale Auto Engage range or ILH Autofire locks. At least with these locks, if they are fitted with a dual spindle handle or a pull bar and pulled closed, they will activate the locking points even if you forget to deadlock the door – not to mention the advantage of keeping the slab straight to prevent warping.
The median average cost of a repair after an attempted or successful burglary is £150 and the median average cost of goods stolen is £600. Add to those the increased insurance premiums and the obvious emotional cost, the maths surely speaks for itself.
Technical director, Mila