Avon & Somerset Police Burglary Advice

Filed in Bath, Breaking News, Bristol by on 21st September, 2015

Av & Som PoliceWe have been advised by Avon & Somerset Police that properties with front doors fitted with a paddle/stub exterior door handles and/or Euro locks are being targeted by burglars.

The design of the paddle/stub handles is such that oSlide1nce the door is shut you cannot open the door again from the outside using the exterior paddle/stub handle.

However, these burglaries have revealed that tenants are relying on this feature with the assumption that the door is locked.  This is not the case.  Simply fishing through the letter box and pulling the internal handle down will open the door.

The doors must be locked with a key or by rotating the internal thumbturn knob.  Where “thumbturn” locks are fitted or if the keys are left in the lock, the burglar may still be able to unlock the door through the letter box.  This is true for any type of UPVC lever door handle arrangement.

Non-British Standard Euro type locks are often installed on UPVC doors and these are also easily compromised.  They may be drilled or snapped to gain access within seconds.

So how do we combat this issue?

UPVC doors need to be fitted with a combination of security features.  This includes:

  • Fitting a letter box guard to restrict access through the post box or alternatively;
  • Locking the letter box shut and fitting a secure post box on an outside wall.
  • Fitting a thumbturn or key operated lock that is to BS EN 1303:2005 (anti-snap, anti-drill and anti-pick).
  • Fitting a cylinder shield that makes it more difficult to turn the keys or knob on a thumbturn lock.
  • Fitting a simple alarm that sounds when the door is opened.
  • Educating tenants to lock the door and not to leave keys in or near the door.

About the Author ()

Rob Crawford is the chairman of the Association of Local Landlords (Wessex). Rob is a practicing landlord with a property portfolio that includes small private residential properties and HMO's. Rob is a qualified letting agent and former owner of Kingfisher Lettings & Management. He is now a share holder of the successful online lettings company Lettingsupermarket.com.

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