Sturdy but manageable doors kept locked against intruders can provide a strong deterrent against burglary.

Crimes of opportunity

Although house-breaking is a common crime, most incidents are preventable.  Most house break-ins appear to be crimes of opportunity with entry gained through an open or unlocked window or door. Intruders act quickly and are usually gone without interruption.

Keeping potential intruders out is something that needs to be considered by most home owners.

Though hinged doors are relatively easy to protect with proper latches and deadbolts, windows and sliding glass doors are not as simple to secure. Sliding windows and doors can be forced open or lifted off their tracks, and glass can be broken.


Security tips
  •  External doors should be a solid construction - at least 44mm thick.
  •  A five-lever mortice deadlock should be installed.  Deadlocks ensure that the door is much harder to force open.  They also prevent an intruder opening the door from the inside if access has been gained via a broken window or by reaching through a letterbox. This makes it difficult for burglars to leave with bulky items such as TVs.
  • If you wish to leave a door open for ventilation, consider installing a security 
    door that complies with Australian Standards 2803.1 and 2804. A good quality security door should have the certifying label clearly displayed, have a heavy duty frame, three security hinges, a deadlock and be of 7mm mesh (if aluminium) or 10-12mm square bars if steel.  Keep it locked at all times, even when at home.
  • If your front door has glass panels as a decorative feature, make sure they're made from laminated glass.
  • Sliding rack bolts at the top and bottom of the door also provide additional security.


  • Always check your insurance policy to establish just what is covered. Changes you make may improve your security rating (or they may also invalidate it) so check before you make those changes.
  • It's worth installing a spy-hole in the door to check on who is there before you open it.
  • Patio doors should be fitted with a multi-locking system.  If not, fit extra locks and an anti-lift device. To keep a panel from sliding, use track grips, tightened by a thumbscrew or key, or metal stops that straddle the lower track and are secured with a lever or thumbscrew that clamps them in place. The easiest wayto keep an inside panel from sliding is to drop a dowel or a piece of tubing into the empty portion of the lower track.  Cut it 2cm shorter than the distance  between the panel and the jamb.
  • In addition to installing locking devices, you can enhance security by replacing all ordinary glass with tempered, laminated, or wire-reinforced glass or with plastic, as well as by installing perimeter alarm systems.
  • It is also important to consider fire safety issues when looking at security precautions. Deadlocks can be dangerous as they may impede the escape from a building. Its always wise to have an evacuation plan agreed to, just in case.


Taking care
  • Don't leave messages on doors: they say no one is home.  Arrange for a neighbour to collect delivered goods, so a parcel is not left on the doorstep.
  • Secure cash and valuables out of reach and out of sight. If you have a quality home safe use it.
  • If you hear an intruder in your home, concentrate on raising the alarm and staying safe. Don't risk injury by confronting the intruder. If you are outside and you see signs of a break-in, do not enter. The intruder may still be present. Go to a neighbour's house, call police and wait there until they arrive.
  • If you own a touch phone, pre-set emergency numbers so they can be used by pressing one button. This can save time and simplify things if you are phoning in the dark.

    These emergency numbers should include:

1. Your local Police Station

2. 000

3. Family, neighbour or close friend

And, of course, there are many things you can do to improve the security of your home without paying a cent.  Join Neighbour Watch. Care and vigilance cost nothing.  And remember is to lock up securely before leaving home. Some people regard a vacant house as an open invitation.