How Thieves Break Into Houses – What I See as a North London Locksmith

broken lock burglary finchley

In my job as an emergency burglary locksmith based in North London I attend a lot of break-ins! 

I thought that in this diary post I will share how I see intruders gain access. I hope that this will be useful to you in helping to prevent a potential break-in. I see firsthand the devastating affect a break-in can have on individuals and families.

Previously I have written an information guide that explains how burglars think. This diary post will be focused on what I experience and witness when I attend emergencies.

I Have Been Burgled

As you can imagine I hear these words all too often in my job! You may think oh it’s work for him but I do much prefer the calls where people are taking measures to prevent home burglary rather than those who are forced into taking steps in an emergency situation.

Obviously I am keen to help anyone in an emergency situation and have great empathy for them but it is heartbreaking to hear of an invasion of someone’s space and of the loss that can occur and how profoundly it can affect people. I hear so many stories from those affected by loss of;

  • Valuable belongings
  • Treasured items
  • Worst of all a sense of security at home

How Do Burglars Break-in?

In a nutshell burglars break-in to properties that have not adequately addressed home burglary prevention.

Intruders will look for signs of this and will choose the easiest target. It is rare that I attend an emergency where there has been a break-in despite the burglary protection standards being high. Usually it will be because the owner has overlooked something and an intruder has spotted it and taken advantage of the situation.

It is so important to know how to protect your home from burglary!

This ex burglar shows just how quick and easy it can be.

Ways to Break into a House

How to break into a house is something that intruders study in detail and then it is just a case of them finding the opportunity to use their well honed skills. If only they would put the effort into something more positive!

It may seem like I’m writing a guide for burglars here but really this is what they know and it is a case of us being aware so that we can prevent them! Let’s face it there is a plethora of information available on anything and everything on the internet.

The types of methods I see most commonly are as follows;

UPVC Lock Snapping

If you have a composite or UPVC door this applies to you.

This is incredibly common. It usually occurs when the lock is not up to the latest standard. This will be something easily visible to a burglar as the cylinder will protrude from the door. It can then be grasped with a tool and snapped.

If you have a UPVC or composite door make sure you have 3 star Anti-snap cylinders. Ideally they should be 3 Star Diamond Sold Secure Rated.

Open Windows

This is all too common at this time of year.

It is so important to ensure that windows are secure whether you are in or out of the house. There are many occasions where intruders access a property even when homeowners are in the property.

It is also important to secure your windows even if you are popping out for 15 minutes to do the school run. Intruders watch for routines and can be in an out within minutes.

Professional window bars installation provides high security. Bespoke security grilles for windows can be designed to look discreet or be used as a feature. They can be either fixed of collapsible.

To find the most suitable security option for your windows read our Complete Guide to Window Security here.

Kicking In a Door

I do see a considerable amount of access by forced entry. This usually happens when it is obvious that a door isn’t strong.

The solution to prevent this happening is door reinforcement. Adding the following can strengthen and improve security on a weak door;

  • Birmingham Bar
  • London Bar
  • Lock Guard
  • Door Grilles

Security grilles for house windows and doors are probably the best form of physical security as well as a massive deterrent for burglars.

Incorrectly Installed Double Glazing

This is an issue that I have seen on a number of occasions. It is important that the beading on double glazed windows is on the inside and not the outside.

This is the way that pane of glass would be replaced and if it is on the outside the pane can be popped out in seconds as you can see in the video in this article.

Warning: If you have double glazed windows check that they are beaded on the inside!

If it is on the outside contact the company that installed them and make a complaint. This is a great security risk!

Sliding Patio Doors with Inadequate Locks

Sliding doors are perhaps the easiest means of access when they have inadequate locks. They can literally be lifted of the runners.

Prevention is most certainly better than cure. Here are our general tips for preventing a burglary in your home.

Who better to get inside information on how to beat the burglar than an ex-thief! Read his tips here in an article by The Telegraph.

We are MLA approved specialists in the installation of roller shutters and security grilles as well as high security locks and security door entry systems in London. If you would like to know more about protecting your home from burglary with physical security solutions, such as; security gates installation, door reinforcement or high security locks or access control, please call us for a free security survey. It’s that easy!

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