David Fennings Conservatories - page 4

DOORS AT THE FRONT TO OPEN UP ONTO THE GARDEN AND YET ANOTHER DOOR LEADING TO THE DUSTBIN
AREA, EVENTUALLY CHOSE A WIDE SINGLE DOOR AT ONE END CONVENIENTLY LEADING ONTO THEIR PATIO.
HE ADVISED ME THAT THE FINAL DECISION HAD BEEN MADE AFTER STUDYING THE ROOMS IN HIS HOME,
WHICH GENERALLY ONLY HAD A SINGLE DOOR AND WHILST IT MIGHT APPEAR APPROPRIATE TO HAVE A
NUMBER OF ENTRANCES AND EXITS, IN REALITY, IT ONLY TAKES A FEW SECONDS TO WALK AROUND A ROOM,
RATHER THAN ACROSS IT AND REDUCES POSITIONS FOR FURNITURE.
Choosing doors to give ventilation is not necessarily the correct option. Large opening
windows are much more efficient and practical, as they can be left part open giving a good
air flow. Always remember windows are generally for ventilation and doors to provide
access, an appropriate balance between these two requirements is very important.
SECURITY door locks should comply with BS3621 or the equivalent and it is
essential you double check with your insurance company because many do not.
Speak with a Crime Prevention Officer and he will advise you that the ease with
which modern criminals force doors and windows (PARTICULARLY CHEAP PVCu), is
alarming. In some areas of the country, it has increased more than fivefold
and is still gathering momentum.
When we are called upon to carry out remedial works on other manufacturer’s conservatories or
glazing systems, it is invariably doors which have failed to withstand the passage of time. You only
have to put your foot at the bottom of a cheap of PVCu designed plastic door or basic timber, pull at
the top of the door in its open position, to discover just how flimsy they truly are. I recently saw a
report of a PVCu front door, which on paper had an impressive array of shoot bolts, security locking
and other safety devices BUT IT HAD BEEN VERY EASILY SPRUNG OPEN SIMPLY ‘BY USING A SHORT
CROWBAR WHICH CAN BE EASILY CARRIED UP A SLEEVE’. Many police officers visiting scenes of
such crimes will be somewhat disconcerted, as invariably the owner of the property thought that
they had secured their home to a reasonably high level and appeared surprised that the intruder had
forced an entry so easily!
ANYONE NOT FAMILIAR WITH DOORS AND SECURE LOCKING MECHANISMS SHOULD SPEND
A LITTLE TIME SPEAKING WITH A CRIME PREVENTION OFFICER AND INSURANCE
COMPANIES PLUS ANYONE WHO WILL GIVE YOU AN INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL
ASSESSMENT OF WHAT IS AVAILABLE BECAUSE A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ARE BEING
CONSIDERABLY ‘SHORT CHANGED’ AND TAKEN DISTINCT ADVANTAGE OF DUE TO THEIR
LACK OF DETAILED KNOWLEDGE OR RESEARCH.
We were recently involved with the preparation of a break-in assessment and associated
insurance claim. The architectural aluminium conservatory had been damaged in four
positions but access not gained. At the side of this property, a standard PVCu door had
allowed the intruder access to the home with ease, as the overall framework was not secure,
albeit the locks themselves were of a reasonable standard !!!
I cannot emphasise strongly enough, that you should speak with a Police Crime Prevention
Officer, rather than a double glazed salesman, well in advance of any unfortunate and
hopefully not necessary claim negotiations with your insurance company – if that message
has not fallen on fertile ground, please take a few moments to read it again.
By DAVID R .FENNIINGS
Saved: Tom Shared Doors in their best positions
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