Risk Assessments - what to look out for?


Criminals usually look for the easiest way into premises. With this in mind the general aim should be to provide all doors and windows with a comparable level of physical security, but with variations made having regard to various risk factors, e.g.:

  • What is behind or close to each door or window, i.e. what theft attractive goods are present/where are they kept?
  • The degree of accessibility and possible concealment for criminals
  • Strength of construction of the building in comparison to any doors/windows
  • The nature of any manned guarding or other human presence on site
  • The nature of any electronic  security, i.e. intruder alarm/CCTV systems on site

Door and Window Security - General

  • All doors and windows should  be adequately secured whenever premises are left unattended, and in homes when the occupants retire to bed at night. (Keep keys close at hand in case emergency exit is required)
  • Don't leave spare keys under mats, etc
  • Don't label keys with your address
  • Where premises are open to the public, don't leave unlocked padlocks or keys to doors/windows in their locks or otherwise unattended
  • After locking up, don't leave keys in locks or within sight or reach of glazing

Key Action Steps

  • Review current physical security at your premises, including any outbuildings
  • Check whether any insurer requirement apply; and if so that you do comply, or that you have their agreement for any alternative arrangements
  • Seek independent crime prevention advice, e.g. from the police
  • Source doors/windows or security devices from competent suppliers/locksmiths, e.g. respectively, a member of the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) or Master Locksmiths Association (MLA)
  • Review security in the event of any loss. If you do not do so are at high risk of a repeat incident

Window Security - Locking

All accessible opening windows should be fitted with key lockable handles or separate window locks. Larger windows (an opening edge greater than 1m long) can be improved by fitting a second lock. Windows not required to open may be screwed shut.


  • Make sure that smoke alarms are wired into the mains supply and not battery operated (this is now a requirement for all new and converted flats)
  • Ensure that adequate emergency lighting operating independently of the main supply is provided
  • All fire exit signs should be clearly visible and display approved pictograms
  • Ensure that doors onto fire escape routes are self-closing and are maintained and in good condition
  • Keep fire/smoke alarms in good working order and test them regularly (at least once a week)
  • Internal doors should, where possible, be kept closed to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Ensure that you have fire blankets in kitchens and a range of fire extinguishers available for tackling both electrical fires and wood/paper fires (where appropriate)
  • For landlords - tenants should be made aware that they may not store flammable liquids, gases or other hazardous materials in garages or bin-stores
  • For manufacturing/industrial premises - ensure that "good housekeeping" procedures are in place

Subsidence and Ground Heave

  • Leaking drains should be repaired as soon as a problem is reported
  • Water should not be allowed to collect near the property
  • Trees and shrubs should be regularly pruned to avoid problems, and be kept a safe distance from buildings


  • Doors and windows should be maintained in good working order and have approved locks which conform to B53621 for theft resistant locks
  • For landlords - consider asking tenants to join a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme (details of which are available from your local Crime Prevention Officer)
  • Consider fitting external lighting to help deter thieves

Building Safety

  • The condition of walkways and private roadways should be checked regularly to ensure they are level and free from cracked paving stones and potholes
  • Staircases, balconies and areas overlooking drops should have suitable hand rails and guard rails fitted
  • Buildings should be inspected regularly to make sure that there are no loose tiles or fittings
  • Boundary walls, fences and gates should be maintained in good condition