Burglary Prevention


June 18, 2018

By Mauro Di Tullio

Burglary and theft prevention are a necessary part of your loss prevention program. The level of complexity will depend on the characteristics of your area and the theft attractiveness of your stock and equipment.

Whether a thief is a smash and grab artist or a professional, the resulting building damage and property loss can be significant. It is always better to avoid a burglary than deal with its after affects.

The following are some areas to consider when designing your burglary prevention program, and will help minimize break-ins.

Building design and materials

An effective burglar protection program needs to consider the building design and how the various components of a building need to work together to prevent burglaries. The weakest points of all buildings are the doors and windows. These need to be protected.

When constructing a building, the burglary potential should be considered in the design and materials chosen. You should take into consideration the theft attractiveness of the contents. Limit the number of doors and windows. Entry points should be located in a manner that discourages burglary.

Building materials are a key component of burglary prevention. For example, pre-cast concrete walls offer considerably better protection than metal clad walls. The likelihood of a thief entering the building through a solid concrete wall is remote in comparison with a metal clad wall.


Doors are favourite access points for thieves as they can be easy to open. Some key things to consider include:

• All exterior doors should be provided with double cylinder deadbolt locks with at least a one-inch throw.
• Side and rear doors should be provided with supplemental protection such as an iron gate or iron bolts.
• Overhead doors should be secured with padlocks.
• Overhead door windows should be protected with metal bars or mesh.
• Outward swinging doors should have hinges with non-removable pins.
• Perimeter doors should be of substantial construction.
• Side and rear doors should be of solid-wood or steel construction and installed in reinforced steel frames.
• Hollow-core wood doors or panel doors should be replaced or be reinforced on the inside with sheet metal.
• Glass panels on side and rear doors should be replaced. All glass panel doors should be protected with burglar resistance film or metal bars.
• All doors should be illuminated from above and the light fixtures protected from breakage.

Note: locking devices must comply with the local building code requirements and must be unlocked when the building is occupied as per local legislation.

• Windows should be protected from the inside with metal bars attached to the frame.
• Burglar resistance or security film can be installed on the windows.

Exterior protection

• Install exterior lighting to eliminate dark areas and discourage thieves.
• Eliminate plants or other hiding areas around doors and windows.
• Install fence compounds to protect open lots.

Burglar alarms

Burglar alarms provide additional protection and compliment the physical security of a building. Statistics show installing burglar alarm systems reduces the likelihood of a break-in by 67%. For additional information, please see the Burglar Alarm System bulletin located on the Federated Insurance website: www.federated.ca

Mauro Di Tullio is Federation Insurance’s Senior Account Representative, Associations. Federated Insurance believes loss prevention is a critical component of your risk management program.

This article was reprinted with permission from Ontario Electrical League. It was first published in the Spring 2018 issue of OEL Dialogue; www.oel.org
Photo credit: Tookapic, on www.pexels.com


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