Recognise weak points in your burglary protection © ABUS

PROTECT YOUR HOUSE FROM BREAK-INS Weak points in your house

Everyone is aware of the danger: burglars can get into a house or flat through unsecured windows and doors. But there are other weak points that burglars can exploit.

To increase your security, it is important to realise where these weak points are and how you can secure them better. In this article, we will show you what weak points there are and what measures you can take to effectively protect yourself and your property:

Burglary protection at the door is of crucial importance, as the front door or flat door is often the target of burglars. According to a study by the police in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia, almost half of all burglaries occur via the front door, which is pried open or opened with physical violence.

PR2700 security door bar and PSB2700 door guard for security door bars in stainless steel look © ABUS

To increase the security function of your front door, experts recommend the use of security door bars.  This lock type locks both sides of the door with just one closing operation, provides additional stability and deters potential burglars. In this way, you can effectively secure your door and reduce the risk of burglary. In addition, high-quality door cylinders with an optional security card, security strike plates with wall anchors and door fittings with pulling protection are recommended to increase protection against unwanted intruders. A secure door should be prepared for all the methods that experienced burglars might use. More about burglary protection products for your door

House and flat doors are also categorised into different resistance classes, which you can use as a guide. The rule here is: the higher the resistance class, the better the burglary protection.

If you want to know whether your doors offer sufficient deterrence and are burglar-resistant, use our door security checklist:

  1. Do your external doors have fittings with cylinder covers? 
    Door fittings with VdS or DIN test approvals offer a high level of protection against violent and intelligent burglary methods. In addition, door fittings that are visible from a distance can deter potential burglars.
  2. Do you have a security card for your front door lock (door cylinder)? 
    Spare keys for door cylinders with a security card may only be produced on presentation of this card. This ensures that no unauthorised key copies exist. More about door cylinders with security cards
  3. Are the fittings of the external doors screwed on from the inside?
    Fittings that are screwed on from the outside are no obstacle for burglars – they can simply be unscrewed. This does not happen with our door fittings, as they are screwed on from the inside and do not offer any surface to attack from the outside.
  4. Is the door cylinder flush with the fitting?
    If the door cylinder protrudes more than 3 mm, the coverage of your home insurance may already be at risk. Protruding door cylinders can simply be broken off. Excessive cylinder protrusion can be compensated by a door fitting or an escutcheon plate with pulling protection. 
  5. Is the front door fitted with an additional lock?
    branded additional lock provides a visible deterrent, and the additional securing point provides significantly greater stability.
  6. Can you open your front door a crack without unknown visitors pushing the door all the way open?
    branded additional door lock with a door guard or door chain prevents direct access to your home, even if you open the door a crack.
  7. Do you have a door viewer that allows you to see the entire corridor and the lower part of the door?
    A good door viewer should make unwanted visitors immediately visible from all sides at a wide angle of approx. 160 degrees. This means that nobody can hide in the lower part of the door.

Our product recommendations for secure doors:

If the spare key to the house is not kept with the neighbour, but in an accessible place such as under the doormat, this represents a major security risk.

Burglars are often familiar with the usual hiding places and can get straight into the house without much effort. If you do want to leave your front door key outside your own four walls for someone else, our smart key box is a secure and simple solution.

More about secure key handover

Do you know who has a key?

Tenants often don't know how many copies there are of their own door key. This is an issue that you should discuss with your landlord, especially after moving house. To minimise the risk of unauthorised access, you can use lock cylinder with a security card, for example. The security card ensures that the key can only be duplicated on presentation of the card. This significantly reduces the likelihood of unauthorised copies. A fact that provides peace of mind should you ever lose your key.

Unsecured or open ground floor windows are a tempting invitation to burglars. In fact, around a third of all burglaries in detached houses occur via windows on the ground floor. To ensure burglary protection, it is important to secure both sides of the window with tested locks. Each running metre should be equipped with a securing point, both on the locking side and on the hinge side. Window handle locks are particularly suitable for the locking side, as they replace the conventional window handle and therefore do not need to be operated separately.

Burglar-resistant windows
Windows that are not adequately secured can be pried open in a matter of seconds with a simple screwdriver. To make it more difficult to pry open windows, burglar-resistant windows should be fitted with mushroom head locks that firmly interlock the window wings with the frame. There are also resistance classes for window elements that should be taken into account when selecting new windows. These are divided into seven classes from RC1 N to RC6.

Additional window security lock 2420 and lockable window handles FG400 in white © ABUS

Retrofitting burglary protection to windows
There are various options for retrofitting existing windows:  from mechanical retrofit security systems to mechatronic solutions that combine mechanical protection and electronic alarms. For optimum security, products with high resistance and VdS approval should be selected that are nevertheless easy to operate. Proper installation is essential, otherwise the protective effect is not guaranteed.

In detached houses, the patio doors or balcony doors are the biggest weak points in the burglary protection concept. You should apply the same rules to these that apply to windows. Window locks for balcony and patio doors 

Our product recommendations for secure windows:

  1. Have you secured your windows with additional window locks (this does not mean lockable window handles!)?
    Most standard windows can be pried open in just 10 seconds with a simple screwdriver. It is important to secure both the closing and hinge sides. A lockable window handle only serves as a child safety lock.
  2. Are your roller blinds secured from the inside?
    Lights outside and privacy fences are not enough. Only roller blinds with an additional lock or external window blind lock are protected against unauthorised lifting from the outside.

Although cellar windows are generally smaller than normal windows in living spaces, they still pose a potential risk for break-ins. Burglars are quite capable of fitting through the window openings in cellar windows. Window grilles or window security bars are a sensible option for securing cellar windows. Light wells can also be effectively protected with cellar grate locks. More on protecting cellar windows

PR1400 security door bar on a cellar door © ABUS

Cellar doors and external metal doors are often potential weak points in a building. Despite their solid appearance, they are often inadequately secured and can be easily pried open. One way to improve burglary protection is to use special security doors for cellars or outside areas. As a provider of a wide range of security solutions, we offer special retrofit security solutions for cellar doors, such as our PR1400 security door bar. Burglar-resistant elements are also available for this use case. The price usually depends on the desired RC class.

ADDITIONAL TIP:  Some garage doors are also easy to open and provide easy access into the house if the garage is connected to the living areas. Make sure that the garage door is always locked and not just ajar, as insurance companies often do not pay out in the event of theft from an unlocked garage. Special garage door locks or mechanical locks on the door openers can help here.

  1. Are your cellar or side doors protected with additional security devices?
    These "entry points" are often neglected when it comes to security, so that burglars can work here unhindered.
  2. Are the gratings on the cellar shafts secured against lifting?
    Cellar shafts are also popular entry points. Branded cellar grate locks effectively prevent the grate from being lifted off.
  3. Have you also secured your cellar windows?
    Depending on the window type, the same applies here as for conventional windows. Special cellar windows can also be secured cost-effectively with quality padlocks.

Our recommendation for secure cellars:

When it comes to burglary protection, you should consider the entire property. Although burglars rarely travel with a bulky ladder, they can make use of chairs, trees, rubbish bins or even the ladder from the garden shed. This may enable them to reach windows or balcony doors on the upper floor. These are often less well secured or are left open overnight for fresh air. This makes the upper floor a weak point in the context of burglary protection.

If roof windows are not accessible, they do not need to be secured separately. However, burglars can easily climb onto your roof with "climbing aids" (ladders, rubbish bins, etc.). Modern skylight locks offer the "highest possible" protection here.

Discover skylight locks

The security of your four walls starts at the property boundary. Because this is another way for a potential burglar to see whether he will have an easy time with your property. Our property checklist will help you to recognise whether your garden and property are inviting burglars to break in or are already a deterrent at the property boundary!


  1. Are the fence and wall designed in such a way that they do not provide any climbing aid?
  2. Is the top edge of the fence or wall additionally secured?
  3. Is the garden or yard door fitted with a secure lock, protected against being lifted out and mounted high enough so that there is no surface for levering tools (e.g. crowbars)?
  4. Is an intercom system installed?
  5. Is there a line of sight from the house to visitors who ring the garden or yard doorbell?
  6. Is the property planting (especially tall shrubs) far enough away from doors, stairs, ground floor and cellar windows?
  7. Is the property sufficiently illuminated by outside lights?
  8. Can the outside lights only be switched off from the inside?
  9. Are the supply lines for the outside lights difficult to access?
  10. In particular, are the entrances to the house adequately lit?
  11. Can the outside sockets be switched off from the inside?
  12. Are the telephone lines laid underground or otherwise protected?
  13. Are any climbing aids – such as ladders, barrels, etc. – locked away or chained up?
  14. Are external taps secured against unauthorised use or turned off by an internal main tap?
  15. Are your two-wheelers also locked up on your property?

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