Conservatory Safety Guide
How can I make sure that my conservatory is secure?
Conservatories can provide extra living space that opens up your home to your garden. However, it can pose a great security risk for your home as they can provide easy access to any potential intruders. Below is a list of all the areas you should look when considering how to secure each area of a conservatory.
First and foremost all get a conservatory installed by a licensed professional. Poor construction and fit are factors that will contribute to the overall safety of your conservatory, and often the lower the quality of the construction the higher risk you have of being targeted.
Unfortunately, conservatories are not an area where you can save on money as you will get what you pay for; if you are thinking about having one added to your house always take your time to research, gain recommendations and above all always choose a reputable and experienced company that is certified. A good way to research a company is to use independent websites such as Trustpilot or Google.
Another thing to remember is that all conservatories must meet the benchmark security standards, which include British Standard 7950 and 7412, so if you have found a company you trust request evidence that your conservatory will meet these standards before construction starts.
As a conservatory is largely glass, it offers potentially easy access for would-be-burglars. Normal glass can be easily smashed or broken so to combat this; an option is to install ultra-secure toughened glass that is harder to break minimising your risk of break in. Not only does it provide an extra security feature but also helps protect your conservatory against the elements.
Euro Cylinder Locks
Conservatory doors often feature Euro Cylinder Locks as standard which are susceptible to a forced entry technique called lock snapping. Lock snapping is when a burglar attempts to snap the lock cylinder in two with force to remove the outer casing which then exposes the lock mechanism. Once the lock mechanism is exposed the door can then be unlocked.
The best way to combat lock snapping is to install an anti-snap lock, which is designed to be harder to break and features a snap off section at the front of the cylinder which if broken will sacrificially come away reducing the amount of cylinder that an intruder can attack.
Sliding patio doors are a lovely feature that open up your home, however old style sliding doors have the opening slide on the outside which means that the door runner is exposed on the outside. This provides an opportunity for intruders as they could force a tool, such as a shovel, under the door and lever the door off.
To combat this, extra locks should be put in place to better secure the door. One option is to install a slide-locking bar which is a thick wood dowel or metal bar that is cut to fit in the bottom track of the sliding door. This keeps the door for being opened, even if the latching lock is damaged or removed.
French doors can be difficult to secure as they open outward, which leaves the hinges exposed on the outside, making it an easier access point for burglars. A way to make French Doors more secure is to install shootbolts in the top and bottom
Conservatory Windows and Vents
Windows can often be the favourite way for intruders to enter your home, as they are often the easiest point of entry. To secure the windows you can install internal beading, alongside the standard external one. Window beading refers to the wooden, plastic or aluminium strip that sits that the edge of the window pane to hold it in place. When fitted internally it means that a strip is also located behind the glass; meaning it cannot be removed from the outside which increases the security of the window. To be able to access the internal beading and intruder would have to smash through the window pane, which creates noise which is a risk to the intruder.
Vents are another point of access for intruders should they be ill fitting. If your vent is not properly installed, it may provide an intruder the opportunity to forcibly open it and climb through. Within a conservatory, always ensure that your roof vent is properly fitted and is sealed shut. If this is not the case you should contact a trusted professional who can advise you on the security of your conservatory and what steps you may want to take.
What Extra Security Measures Can I Take?
Your conservatory is an extension to your house, and should be treated the same security wise. Many would-be-burglars will use your conservatory to gain access to the rest of your home, installing an extra burglar alarm in your conservatory will add another layer of protection which will potentially deter intruders and give better peace of mind.
Obscuring your home and its contents is a great way to deter intruders, and reduce the risk of breaks ins. This is a less expensive option for adding extra security, as you can buy most blinds from any DIY store and install them with ease. Blinds are a great way to add another layer of security and quickly.
Keep the Internal Door
If you are thinking about building a conservatory, keeping your internal door might be a good idea for extra security as they provide another block against intruders. The existing back doors will often be compliant with insurances policies, and taking them out could potentially invalidate any insurance. When thinking of taking out back doors in favour of a conservatory, always check with your insurance that it is compliant with the terms and conditions.
Motion lighting is a great tool to use for general security within a property, when placed strategically it can illuminate dark corners of your property where people could potentially lurk and the motion lighting can alert you to any movement towards your home.