Most burglars don't have the time or the resources to break into a well-protected home. Make things difficult enough for them, and they won't hang around for very long. However, at first glance, a window that is beside or in a front door would seem to present the ideal opportunity for a burglar to gain access to a home.
Unless a homeowner takes the necessary security measures, that window could indeed create a window of opportunity. Fortunately, there are several ways of keeping burglars from using these windows to open your front door.
Cover the Window With Security Film
In some parts of Australia, such as Victoria, there has been a slight increase in burglaries in recent times. According to the RACV (Royal Automobile Club of Victoria), 42% of those burglaries were by forced entry. No matter how sturdy a front door, a nearby window will allow a burglar to reach through and manually open the door from inside.
However, by covering any nearby windows with security film, homeowners can reduce this risk drastically. Security film works by holding all of the broken pieces of glass together should a burglar strike the window. In order to get through the glass, a burglar will need to waste precious time—and make lots of noise. All but the most determined burglars will likely give up.
Place the Deadbolt out of Reach
Unless the window is long enough to provide a burglar with access from any angle or height, a locksmith can place a deadbolt out of reach. Obviously, this method would only be effective if the window in question provides limited access. Otherwise, a double-cylinder deadbolt might be the way to go.
Install a Double-Cylinder Deadbolt
If the window beside a door is tall enough to provide access from any height, a single-cylinder deadbolt will be easy work for a burglar. Double-cylinder deadbolts, on the other hand, require a key to open them from outside and inside.
This feature will prevent burglars from reaching through to open the door from within, and stop them from using the front door to carry away stolen items. However, when choosing to use a double-cylinder deadbolt, homeowners should be aware of the possible risks.
Safety Measures Should Be Taken
Double-cylinder deadbolts can be dangerous if not treated with the utmost care. For example, in the event of a fire, if a home's occupant cannot locate the key to a double-cylinder deadbolt, it could cost them their life. Therefore, it is important that several keys are available and placed in different locations.
For instance, adults should have a key on their key ring. Another key should hang on a hook that is out of sight and out of reach of would-be burglars, but close enough to the front door should the occupants need it in case of emergency. Lastly, another key should be available at crawl height, such as under the doormat, in case of fire and thick smoke.
A Locksmith Can Offer Advice
Locksmiths can often do much more than just pick and install locks. The best locksmiths are knowledgeable and experienced enough to analyze a home's security potential. If, for example, a homeowner is unwilling to take the risk of having a double cylinder deadbolt installed, they can hire a reputable locksmith to suggest a safer alternative.
A window beside or in a front door is too much of a security risk to ignore. However, safety and security should be equally balanced. An alternative exit must always be available should a homeowner choose to utilize a double-cylinder deadbolt. Moreover, families with children should routinely go over fire safety procedures to ensure everyone is safe in the event of a fire. For additional advice, contact a company like Cambridge Locksmiths.