New Blowtorch Burglary Technique - How to Protect Your Home

Police in the north of Eng­land have been alert­ed to a rel­a­tive­ly new bur­glary tech­nique which has seen a spate of break-ins across the region. A num­ber of homes have been bro­ken into via blow­torch — where the lock­ing mech­a­nism is burned out of the front door alto­geth­er. The thieves then gain access to the home and make off with valu­ables, car keys and ulti­mate­ly; your car. There’s wor­ry that this tech­nique will spread to oth­er areas of the UK, in line with pre­vi­ous bur­glary trends’.

Now that anti-snap lock­ing mech­a­nisms have become the norm, thieves are look­ing at more inven­tive ways to gain entry and make off with what they can find. This method is par­tic­u­lar­ly con­cern­ing; with the blow­torch con­cen­trat­ing such high tem­per­a­tures onto a small area, the lock can be burned out of a uPVC door in a mat­ter of seconds. 

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there’s no such thing as a 100% blow­torch-proof uPVC front door – so what can you do to pro­tect your home and your fam­i­ly against these kinds of attacks?

blowtorch burglary using blowtorch to steal car

Make your prop­er­ty unap­peal­ing to thieves

Pro­tect­ing your prop­er­ty suc­cess­ful­ly means employ­ing a mix of tech­niques to deter bur­glars – some that you can see and some that you can­not. When it comes to mak­ing your home look unap­peal­ing to a thief’s eye, vis­i­bil­i­ty is key. Below are some of the best deter­rents. For more help and advice on home secu­ri­ty, or to request a quote on a new home secu­ri­ty sys­tem, please fill in the con­tact form below.

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  • Find a bal­ance between vis­i­bil­i­ty and pri­va­cy – do not sur­round your home with tall hedges and fenc­ing, as this can help to obscure thieves in the act. You want your neigh­bours to be able to raise the alarm. 
  • Install a home alarm and ensure the box is vis­i­ble on the out­side of your home. Dum­my box­es can also be used if you have yet to install an alarm. 
  • Out­door secu­ri­ty light­ing that is trig­gered by move­ment and grav­el or peb­ble paths will make burglar’s think twice about com­ing to the door in the first place.
  • Make sure your gar­den is enclosed and that your back door is just as well secured as the front.

Employ smart technology

Smart home secu­ri­ty is now more acces­si­ble than ever before, and is real­ly easy to install and use. By using smart secu­ri­ty prod­ucts, you can mon­i­tor your home’s secu­ri­ty and see who is com­ing and going remote­ly via your smart­phone. You’ll also receive noti­fi­ca­tions when any­thing is detect­ed. There are a num­ber of smart secu­ri­ty fea­tures avail­able, allow­ing you to tai­lor the right com­bi­na­tion for your needs, including;

  • Smart door­bells with incor­po­rat­ed cam­era and audio communication.
  • Smart secu­ri­ty cam­eras with or with­out two-way communication.
  • Smart locks which do away with the need for cylin­der key locks alto­geth­er – opened via PIN, key fob, or with your smartphone. 
  • Smart light­ing which can be con­trolled from any­where in the world. 
smart home and home security options

The pres­ence of smart home secu­ri­ty can help pre­vent a bur­glary from hap­pen­ing in the first place and acts as a great deter­rent. How­ev­er, if you still fall vic­tim to bur­glary, it’s also one of the only mea­sures you can take which will help to poten­tial­ly find and pros­e­cute the per­pe­tra­tor. If you’ve got their faces and voic­es on cam­era, the chances of find­ing some clo­sure is much higher.

car cover to hide expensive car

Use a car cov­er and secure your vehicle

This type of bur­glary seems to be tar­get­ed at homes with nice’ cars in the dri­ve­way, and it’s real­ly more about get­ting the car than get­ting at valu­ables such as your TV. While you should still dri­ve what­ev­er mod­el of car you want, it’s also wise to be aware of how it looks on the dri­ve­way or the road­side. Using a car cov­er at night will stop thieves from being able to see exact­ly what you’ve got, and pos­es a delay for them if they want a quick getaway. 

If you don’t want to cov­er up your vehi­cle, then installing a bright and vis­i­ble steer­ing lock, wheel lock or sim­i­lar will def­i­nite­ly make them think twice.

Make sure your locks con­form to mod­ern guidelines

Thieves using this blow­torch bur­glary method tend to tar­get uPVC doors with lock­ing mech­a­nisms over 5 years old. Even if you have a rel­a­tive­ly new front or back door, it’s impor­tant to check that the lock con­forms to cur­rent guide­lines. It should be Kitemarked – if it is not, then you should look to get it replaced as soon as possible. 

If you know who installed your doors, ask for con­fir­ma­tion that your cylin­der locks con­form to either TS 007 or SS312 stan­dards. If they do not, then a blow­torch may well melt your cur­rent lock­ing mech­a­nism with ease. If your locks con­form to stan­dards and are Kitemarked, then there is evi­dence to sug­gest they would with­stand a blow­torch attack.

If you’re unsure of the qual­i­ty of your locks or if you’re look­ing to make an upgrade to your home secu­ri­ty, con­tact Evan­der today.

ultion British standard lock against blowtorch

Fit addi­tion­al locks

It may be rel­a­tive­ly quick and easy to burn an old­er lock out of an uPVC door, but if that’s not the only lock then the bur­glar will have a much hard­er time of get­ting inside. Addi­tion­al locks which can­not be seen from the out­side will ensure the door can­not be opened with­out fur­ther effort, noise, and time – all things that bur­glars try to avoid as much as possible. 

Sash locks for win­dows are very effec­tive and can also be used on doors. These are sim­ple mech­a­nisms which flip over to block the win­dow or door from open­ing. Door chains can also pro­vide a lay­er of pre­ven­ta­tive secu­ri­ty. These types of lock are not as strong or secure as your main cylin­der of course, but any delay increas­es the chance of the burglar(s) giv­ing up and run­ning away.

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Pro­tect your­self from poten­tial harm

While it’s very unlike­ly that you’ll fall vic­tim to this kind of bur­glary, it’s also wise to remem­ber that it is always a pos­si­bil­i­ty – par­tic­u­lar­ly if you have a uPVC door which could do with an upgrade. In the rare event that this does hap­pen to you, it’s very impor­tant to ensure every­one stays safe. 

While it may seem counter-pro­duc­tive, it’s always best to leave your car keys some­where obvi­ous so that the thieves do not go look­ing for them. A recent vic­tim of a blow­torch bur­glary said;

We were advised by police that if bur­glars break in, they’ll come and wake you up for car keys and they might hurt you. So every night, we leave the keys on the stairs so they don’t come and threat­en us.”

If it’s going to hap­pen; it’s bet­ter to mit­i­gate the risk to you and your loved ones by allow­ing the thieves to remove them­selves as quick­ly as pos­si­ble. It’s best to leave your car keys in a spot which is obscured from vision from the out­side, but obvi­ous once you’re inside. 

If you’d like to speak to us about smart home secu­ri­ty, addi­tion­al locks or upgrad­ing your cur­rent front door, please do not hes­i­tate to get in touch on 0345 145 0130 or use our online con­tact form.

Con­tact us today for help, advice and a free, no oblig­a­tion quote

Speak to one of our spe­cial­ists today by phone, email, con­tact form or speak to a spe­cial­ist now on live chat. Whichev­er method you go for you can feel con­fi­dent that we’ll help make your home Safe, Secure and Smart.

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