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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
17th July 2024 Issue no. 714

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Locksmiths and security professionals: How safe are your customers?

It’s home security month and a new study of the UK’s home security measures by Ironmongery Direct has been released in infographic format. For the entire locksmith and security industry, the results contained within are worth analysing, as they paint a promising picture for both sectors for many years to come.

The report studied the Office for National Statistics’ latest security release and found that there are 1,920 burglaries per day in the UK. This breaks down to 1.33 burglaries per minute! While this figure is down 71 per cent from similar statistics 20 years ago, the threat of burglary still illustrates the demand for good security measures in order to protect a homeowner.  

Without the protection offered by locksmiths and security systems, homeowners are looking at an average cost of £3,600 per incident – that’s not including the popularity of smaller, easily stolen objects such as smartphones. These figures should make it far easier for security professionals to pitch for work, as upfront costs pale in comparison to the cost of a burglary.

Which security systems work best as deterrents

If you’re a locksmith, you’re in the company of over 4,000 years of research and refinement, as ancient locks have been found that date back as far as 2,000BC.

Effective for generations, a modern home without a good locking system is still at risk – 30 per cent of all burglaries are through open windows or unlocked doors. 34 per cent of burglars use the front door as an entry point, which means deadbolts and other preventative methods should always be considered and advised for a customer looking to improve their security.

It’s important to have stats like this to hand to inform customers who are hesitant about their security measures. A report from the University of North Carolina surveyed convicted burglars, of which 60 per cent admitted they avoided homes that had security systems in place. Put simply, if a customer hasn’t got a system installed, they should be taking steps towards one.

Protecting the front door should be the first priority. You can suggest replacing a more hollow wood that could be more susceptible to forced entry with a heavier material and also advise fitting a stronger lock system.

According to a Royal Statistical Society report used in Ironmongery Direct’s research, a home without a security system is 300 per cent more likely to be burgled. Furthermore, homes that have window locks, indoor lights, double door locks and external motion sensors are 50 times safer than their undefended counterparts. In fact, even simple methods such as effective window and door locks make a home 12 times safer than a home without either.

Alarms, however, are surprisingly ineffective compared to other methods. Homes that have a burglar alarm fitted as part of their security system found that the preventative effect has lessened since the 1990s. If you’re involved in fitting burglar alarms, perhaps it’s time to consider a full security system set-up, as the alarm alone won’t fully deter criminals.

CCTV – is it worth it?

CCTV also plays a factor in home defence, but is generally reserved for customers willing to spend a little more. Police currently arrest around 14 people per 100 burglaries, which could be due to a lack of visual identification of perpetrators. In the Royal Statistical Society report, homes that added CCTV on top of window locks, security chains and door locks had the highest safety rating of all – but also the smallest sample size, which is not surprising when you consider that in a survey by Which? only five per cent of members had home CCTV.

Clearly, more needs to be done to educate people on the usefulness of a full security system. Start with the figures in this report and your customers will be pleased to learn they might end up over 50 times safer than their neighbours. 

26th October 2016

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