Published On: Mon, Feb 6th, 2017

The importance of windows and doors in the protection of people’s homes

The sensational headlines created from the recent comments by an Assistant Chief Constable highlight again the important role windows and doors play in communities’ safety and security. Phil Kay, the Assistant Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, has suggested that some burglaries where windows and doors had been left open would not be investigated. He was reacting to a spate of burglaries that had occurred within the student community at Loughborough University. His comments caused outrage as the national press led with headlines such as ‘Left a door unlocked? Police won’t investigate burglary’ and ‘Now Police blame victims for being burgled’, as they reported his stance that he would rather his officers focus on preventing crime and protecting the public than spending their time investigating break-ins where carelessness may have played a part. Phil Kay pointed out: “Yet if people leave doors for windows open there is an expectation the Police will investigate,” Kay later responded by claiming his comments were taken out of context, and the Leicestershire Police clarified its stance by saying: “If as a consequence of this debate, people think and act differently regarding the security of their homes and from now on always keep their windows and doors locked, we will hopefully have prevented someone from becoming a victim of burglary.”

The story brings into focus the importance of windows and doors in the protection of people’s homes. We are often pre-occupied with selling the aesthetic benefits of replacing windows and doors, and sometimes gloss over the safety and security benefits because they are features we take for granted being inbuilt in the DNA of the majority of the products we sell. Yet for homeowners safety and security are often the real heartfelt tangible benefits of upgrading their fenestration products. This year we have witnessed the development and progression of the smart home sector with safety and security high on the agenda. With stories such as the one quoted hitting the headlines, consumers will be asking for tech-led solutions. A mobile phone app that allows them to check if their windows and doors are shut would relieve any fears and prevent the Police from not investigating a burglary or an insurer not paying out. Selling on security is more important than ever, and it doesn’t have to feature complicated systems. I have been testing a new wireless door bell that connects via video to my smart phone (page 6) – a fantastic addition to any new door installation offering inexpensive added safety and security. Homeowners love aesthetics but want the peace of mind that added safety and security offer.

John Cowie – Editor