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To put bars on my windows?

(65 Posts)
Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 19:43:43

Is it even legal?

Live in a lovely house, in a nice enough street but burglaries are becoming more and more regular here...

Had the police over again today asking for CCTV footage.

I was thinking something like this?

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 19:44:54

Painted a nice pink or mint green, so hopefully attractive looking?

daisyjgrey Wed 27-Feb-19 19:46:14

How are you planning on getting out if theres a fire?

beanaseireann Wed 27-Feb-19 19:46:30

Isn't it so sad you feel you have to do that to feel safe.

RedHelenB Wed 27-Feb-19 19:47:00

I'm always more bothered about house fires than burglaries, so I would nt want bars. Plus, they are ugly!

Backwoodsgirl Wed 27-Feb-19 19:48:30

Sounds like a sensible security feature, don't see why it wouldn't be legal.

IceRebel Wed 27-Feb-19 19:49:21

I'm always more bothered about house fires than burglaries

/\/\ This

You can always replace stuff if it's stolen, but you can't replace a loved one if they die in a fire. sad

updownnconfused Wed 27-Feb-19 19:50:15

I remember when I lived in a student flat, people a few streets up had a flat fire. The boys had all just moved in and started uni. At least one of them died because they were stranded inside. I wouldn't.

Even if you had a mechanism to open from inside, what if fire brigade were trying to get to you from outside? We also have break-ins on my street. I lock the two downstairs back rooms at night and when I'm out. Someone broke into the house once but couldn't get further than the kitchen.

missmartini Wed 27-Feb-19 19:50:58

So sad it's come to this. We've been burgled and 2 cars stolen from it and to be honest I was tempted to do the same. Still wake up at the same time every night I heard them in and to be honest will need to sell soon as I don't feel comfortable in the house anymore. However fire escape with 2 kids put me off the ideas of bars.

We've installed cctv, upgraded our locks and got better security lights instead, would this be an option for you?

ApplestheHare Wed 27-Feb-19 19:51:17

We had bars on the doors and windows in London (rental flat) and I always really appreciated them. You could open the door and keep the bars closed for security if you weren't sure who someone was. You can get ones that you can open for fires, etc., too.

SayNoToCarrots Wed 27-Feb-19 19:51:28

Bars do look ugly and could stop you escaping in a fire. Have you considered wooden shutters?

fezzesarecool Wed 27-Feb-19 19:51:32

You can get the bars put on the inside of the windows and you’ll be able to unlock them

They are some really nice designs as well to pick from

easyandy101 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:54:20

It's totally normal in so many places it's always struck me as peculiar that it's not so common here

updownnconfused Wed 27-Feb-19 19:54:36

I just googled it and it was two boys who died because they couldn't escape the fire. Awful.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 19:54:44

Fire, I don’t know...
This is a problem.

It is sad indeed beana

I feel conflicted about what to do for the best, a number of properties here have been burgled already, our house is loaded with CCTV after I got paranoid after an incident I won’t go into about online when out walking my kids, it ended in a prison sentence for the person responsible and then my aunt got mugged while with my DS (totally different area), I hear in the news all the time about stabbing a, robberies gone violent etc and all in all, I don’t feel safe.

easyandy101 Wed 27-Feb-19 19:55:54

And this is why I like living in a flat, don't like an abode with ground floor access, would 700% have bars if I had a house

Purpleartichoke Wed 27-Feb-19 19:55:56

I lived in a house with bars in the windows. It was a tiny bungalow right on a busy urban street in an area with some known issues. I don’t think I would have felt safe renting the house without them. All the windows that opened had a kick panel below the window to open the bars.

Dieu Wed 27-Feb-19 19:56:21

I would do it, OP. I'm in a basement flat in Edinburgh, and it is absolutely the norm here.

LascellesMoustache Wed 27-Feb-19 19:56:38

Think about the other houses in your street and how yours compares. If you have lighting, CCTV or other deterrants and the other houses dont then your house would be less appealing than the others to burgle. There are specialist companies that could come out and assess what you could improve on, perhaps ask them, or ask your home insurer for advice? What about an alarm? Your insurer probably has advice on their website or go to another insurers website. Its their business to know what works and what doesnt so really worth asking them or checking out thier websites.
Id be hesitant to put bars on windows due to fire and also looks ugly, plus then every time you see the bars you'll be thinking anxious thoughts about being burgled.

GoGoGadgetGin Wed 27-Feb-19 19:59:32

@updownnconfused was this Edinburgh? I remember this happening and the terror of gave me.

youmeandconchitawurst Wed 27-Feb-19 20:00:10

I once looked at an end terrace that had these on all the accessible windows at that back of the house. I didn't buy it specifically because if you have that much of a theft issue I don't want to live there.

If you're thinking of moving anyway remember that by having them you are telling your prospective buyers that your area isn't safe.

Rainbowshine Wed 27-Feb-19 20:00:37

You’d need to check if you needed building regulations approval and if you’re in a listed property or a conservation area you’d probably have to do something to get permission first. I think there’s other measures you could take that would be less obtrusive.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Wed 27-Feb-19 20:01:06

I would absolutely hate to live behind bars. If I really didn't feel safe without them, I would move somewhere I did feel safe.

However if you really want them, you can certainly get bars fitted within a metal frame that can be opened like a door.

updownnconfused Wed 27-Feb-19 20:02:20

GoGo - the one I know of is Glasgow. I think of it any time I see the bars. Think they might be illegal in Glasgow now, but not sure.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 20:03:30

We have lots of CCTV, but that is about it with regards to security really.

No security light, maybe I should get one...

We started with lots of hedging in the garden but it was very dark and oppressive so ripped them all out and replaced with lots of nice flowers so there isn’t really anywhere for an intruder to hide.

That said, my DH has successfully ‘broken in’ when accidentally locked out so if they weren’t bothered about the cameras they would be able to gain access.

GoGoGadgetGin Wed 27-Feb-19 20:50:50

up l remember it better (sadly) now- my cousin was in morano st village at the time, absolutely awful, and yes it frightens me too when ever lm in any basement rooms.

Bumbumtaloo Wed 27-Feb-19 20:54:43

My dad lives in Calgary and they have bars at their ground floor windows. I can’t remember off the top of my head but you do something to get them to release in the event of a fire. It scares me shitless when I’ve stayed there and I worry that I wouldn’t remember what to do if there was a fire.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 20:55:33

I’ve just messaged a seller asking what, if any, safety features are in place in case of house fire.
Can the grill can be opened in an emergency?

I think if it cannot be easily opened then I don’t think I can do it as I would never forgive myself if any of my family died in fire.

I do feel very unsafe though and feel I have to do things, just not sure what.

Have CCTV already, going to get a security light and better window locks.

What else, if anything, can I do?

I want my house impenetrable from the outside

randomchap Wed 27-Feb-19 21:01:21

Bars don't make the house completely secure. Burglars will use car jacks to pry them off the wall. Lighting and cameras are far better deterrents.

Bumbumtaloo Wed 27-Feb-19 21:01:36

Oh should have said my dads fit inside their windows.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 21:24:42

Car jacks!

I suppose the cure for that would be to fit it in the inside, which in my opinion looks a great deal uglier!
Oh well.

Lighting and cameras yes, but what else can I do?

Already removed pretty much all hiding spots by removing hedging and keeping it all low and pruned and structured.

DH is planning on a low decked area (the driveway is uneven - can’t afford to get it levelled) and I would quite like to gravel the path so you can hear strangers approaching.
Although I suspect all the cats would crap in it and bits would get stuck in shoes and scratch my lovely wood floor. Maybe not.

Need to find an area for my green bins as a burglar could use them as a step up to the windows.

LascellesMoustache Wed 27-Feb-19 21:35:41

What about a burgler alarm?

Lemonsquinky Wed 27-Feb-19 21:51:09

The only problem with burglar alarms is you have to have them on every time you leave the house otherwise some insurance companies don't pay out. Also where do your pets go.
I was burglared twice and bars would be tempting. But how do you get out if there's a fire. I wonder if you could get shutters like French houses?

missmartini Wed 27-Feb-19 21:51:21

Anti snap locks are what we were recommended by police, apparently they're one of the best!

A burglar alarm is a good idea but just be careful with your house insurance. Where I am if you declare you have one then it has to be set every single time the house is locked/ secure if on the one time you go to bed and have guests so don't set it incase they set it off and something happens then your home insurance is void.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 21:54:14

These shutters, are they easily removed/broken?

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 21:56:42

And does shutters refer to these?

Or am I thinking of something else?

They are so pretty but they don’t seem very strong or secure to me?

TheInvestigator Wed 27-Feb-19 21:57:45

If you're getting the bars, just make sure you get them fitted with quick release foot pedals. Then there's no fire safety risk.

greenelephantscarf Wed 27-Feb-19 22:01:38

don't. unless you can easily open them from the inside in case you urgently need to get out.
maybe consider lockable tilt&turn windows.

LJS8987 Wed 27-Feb-19 22:05:03

@Doggydoggydoggy is there a theme in the area? I only ask because there have been lots of what they are calling 2 in 1 burglaries in my area where people are getting broken into (they are using blowtorches to get in through doors) and stealing high performance car keys then stealing the cars....the police have issued warnings to people with certain cars- everybody else is relatively ok...

Have you upgraded your locks? Add anything which will draw attention to your property if someone were to try and break in- I've added extra bolts to the back gate, had a really bright security light installed and one of my neighbours has started a neighbourhood watch

MissTook Wed 27-Feb-19 22:08:44

From personal experience French shutters are flimsy and won't hold back a burglar.
Same with the metal roller blinds they have in Spain. A burglar can bend then with no problem.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 22:19:21

I don’t think there is a theme no.

Just opportunistic thieving bastards getting in through the usual windows and doors and stealing any old valuable.
The one the police were asking about today scaled the fence to gain access and took jewellery.

Yes, I am going to upgrade the locks and get a good, bright light

spugzbunny Wed 27-Feb-19 22:31:10

Common in parts of Liverpool and I've seen it in Leeds and Nottingham too. CCTV or a good burglar alarm would probably be cheaper and just as effective though.

SpringForEver Wed 27-Feb-19 22:38:42

I had the sliding grille type of bars on most of my accessible windows and some fixed, cemented in ones. The non fixed ones opened with keys. When I sold the house I was asked why I had them and the simple answer was that I was away a lot, because I was.

Am thinking about getting them again. Or moving house which I would prefer. Or both.

Doggydoggydoggy Wed 27-Feb-19 22:57:40

I’ve got a response back from the grille seller!

The grille is hinged but can only give emergency access if fitted on the inside.

Bit of a bummer as it’s not as aesthetically pleasing on the inside, in my opinion anyway, but, it will do the job and no risk of dying in a fire.

So, i’ll get DH to measure the windows tomorrow I think

Thisisthelaststraw Wed 27-Feb-19 23:23:49

I had a terrifying experience many years ago that left me feeling very vulnerable and unsafe in any home I lived since. I went through years of ridiculous security measures to feel safe enough to sleep. I’ve settled a bit now but will always feel panic if I hear a noise outside.

I have a few measures in place that allow me to sleep when dh is working nights..

I have a Rottweiler.
I lock all internal doors to rooms not being used (leave key in door in case of fire)
Gravel driveway
Small barker (jack Russel) outside (great alert dog)
Security lighting
Escape plan (three doors need to be gone through to get to us)
Fire escape window from escape room onto lower level roof
Strategically placed furniture to block said doors after we’ve (me and dd) locked them behind us.
Speed dial numbers on mobile

Sound like we live in a horror movie with threats all around but it’s just me. It’s what I need to feel safe however low the threat. After what happened years ago my fear is someone wanting to get to me or dd and not that they want my stuff. Fuck, I’d load up the van if stuff was all they wanted and make tea before they leave! That bastard will never know the lifetime of fear he left me with.

I’ve said to dh a few times that actually I think a creepy recording of some kind would be much better deterrent than a dog. Can you imagine breaking into a house (all you mumsnet burglars grin) and a very loud stereo begins to play circus music or a recording of a deep, whispering, menacing voice saying something scary or laughing like a maniac. grin

Realising after tying all that that it wasn’t very helpful. Sorry.

I think a creepy recording of some kind would be much better deterrent than a dog. Can you imagine breaking into a house (all you mumsnet burglars grin) and a very loud stereo begins to play circus music or a recording of a deep, whispering, menacing voice saying something scary or laughing like a maniac. grin

I think with IFTTT (if this, then that) you could create a rule so that an alert from this device and then that device could trugger ‘play mp3 of your choice’

Thisisthelaststraw Thu 28-Feb-19 14:28:28

Interesting @Borne. I’m not a techie but dh is so would interested to see if he could do ifttt. Must admit it makes me laugh to think of a burglar (from their mindset) breaking into a house in the dead of night and having the shite frightened out of them grin

Just realised I went into a ramble and never answered the actual op. No, I’d never put bars on my windows as I’d be too afraid of being trapped in a fire.

falcon5 Thu 28-Feb-19 18:29:49

I've had a lifetime before living here of bars on my Windows. They were always fitted on the inside. My dad always had at least one of the bedrooms have a hinged and padlocked section for fire (he knew a family who burnt inside). I had them.on my own place when I was older - by the end we had concrete rebar rods drilled and cemented into the walls on the inside, metal internal doors with additional locks on the inside of all external wooden doors and locked metal "rape gate" for the bedroom wing. Then we had a fucking earthquake when I was in bed........

Thisisthelaststraw Thu 28-Feb-19 18:50:39

Holy fuck @falcon shock
Where did you live?

LordProfFekkoThePenguinPhD Thu 28-Feb-19 18:53:19

I’m sure you can get some the you can ‘open’ from the inside should you need to escape. My sister was broken into a lot of times and bars made her feel more secure as the thieving ratbags weren’t above stealing when you were at home.

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 19:03:19

I've been burgled, it was a year last Oct. it was horrific but I'd certainly chose that over a fire.

What I learnt though, get a good safe, limits the loss of expensive items. Keep blinds open, my neighbours have automatic lights and the blinds constantly open which I think deters more, but I'm not not sure I want to be that exposed.

We had CCTV but now we have more. An alarm helps too. We have a ring doorbell which alerts as when someone is near the door.

Makes yourself look busy, radios and dark barking devices.

The most important is secure windows and doors.

anniehm Thu 28-Feb-19 19:14:56

Double glazing is really hard to break into, mist burglaries are through windows left ajar, crow barring doors etc.

ChesterGreySideboard Thu 28-Feb-19 19:17:02

Where did you live to have a ‘rape gate’, I would just move?

LMW1990 Thu 28-Feb-19 19:21:19

I read bras not bars... disappointed now

As you were

GreenTulips Thu 28-Feb-19 19:21:22

You can buy metal shutters for inside the house that slide across the window to make it safe at night or when your out

They have a key

Look into that

MissTook Thu 28-Feb-19 19:44:48

A friend who lives in Spain says the burglars there will get in through
the roof if they can't get in any other way.

beanaseireann Thu 28-Feb-19 20:20:08

What's a rape gate ???

falcon5 Thu 28-Feb-19 21:08:12

Was country in Africa... super vague answer and vast continent but not here basically. Rape gate is what we called a barred metal door that was at the start of the bedroom area... the idea is it's another layer of security that if people get in the house they can take anything they want outside that zone and you are.another layer further in. Meant to buy more time.

falcon5 Fri 01-Mar-19 07:40:08

Sorry I killed it! I was thinking about this and I guess... you can and I understand why and would certain circumstances do a lot of things to improve home security. None of these things are as good as having good education system, active engaged community, police force that functions etc. (Someone cleverer than me could probably tell you lots more factors). Plus also once you get the fear, it's difficult to get rid of it regardless of what you do.... making your home "impenetrable" is a tall order.

Butchyrestingface Fri 01-Mar-19 07:47:14

GoGo - the one I know of is Glasgow. I think of it any time I see the bars. Think they might be illegal in Glasgow now, but not sure.

The one I’m thinking of was in Woodlands and two boys died. Terrible.

SileneOliveira Fri 01-Mar-19 07:51:09

Before spending money, call the local cop shop and ask if they have a crime prevention officer they can send round. They will audit your property, tell you where the weak spots are (if any) and give advice on things like there to position lights.

It's not about making your house like Fort Knox. It's about making it less attractive to scumbags than the other houses on your street.

Nothinglefttochoose Fri 01-Mar-19 07:54:02

Hideous. Get deadbolts and replace ground floor windows with toughened glass instead.

hinely Fri 01-Mar-19 07:55:45

They were on my flat in central London when I moved in but I removed them when the windows were replaced - they were very easy to remove, so professional thieves could probably remove them in many cases. But they're a visible deterrent.

I've not seen them that much in London but they're very common in European cities where you can see them painted nicely.

SavageBeauty73 Fri 01-Mar-19 08:13:11

Why don't you get an alarm wired to the police? I had ADT in my previous house.

WhenISnappedAndFarted Fri 01-Mar-19 08:33:19

We had bars on a rental flat before, I hadn't realised there were bars because everytime we looked round it was in the evening and the curtains were closed.

I hated it, it really concerned me about if there was a fire. If I had known there were bars I'd never have moved in.

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