weak point in otherwise secure flat - ideas

Hi again
I live in the ground floor and basement levels of a five storey house. The shared entrance is on the ground floor and is adequately secured by a mortice deadlock and a sash deadlock. The internal ground floor entrance to the flat is also adequately secured by means of two mortice deadlocks.
The ground level back door to the garden is secure by means of two horizontal mortice bolts, a rim sliding bolt and a padlocked metal bar.
The basement windows, front and back are protected by spikey window protection bars.
Now the weak point ...
The house is on a car-noisy main London road. At the front, at basement level and accessible by means of steps in the front yard, is an old entrance door. It is totally hidden from the main road (so easily 'worked' upon) and opens into a small porch, which then leads to an 'internal door' which opens into what is now the main bedroom.
Both these doors are thin and hollow.
The outer door has two horizontal mortice bolts (one doesn't really work) and two vertical tower bolts (the bottom one doesn't go down far enough into the concrete base).
The inner door, to the bedroom, has only one ugly tower bolt at the top.
I think I could get through both in minutes.
Currently, both doors do not need to be opened from the outside and probably never will have that need. Given what I've read and taking into account the existing doors' security, I think I should also consider that this route should be a fire exit. I don't think I need to worry about a burglar finding it easy to *leave* by this route as other entrances are quite secure and so I just want this entrance to be hard to enter.
My ideas:
Outer door - replace frame, 44 mm solid wooden exterior door. Two vertical tower bolts, three horizontal mortice bolts? Is there anything similar and more secure but 'morticed' and can be opened from the inside without a key?
Inner door - the current frame is good and houses a door about 30 mm thick. Replace with solid internal door with three horizontal mortice bolts. As this is a bedroom door I wish the bedroom-facing security to be as subtle as possible - no locks, levers etc. Are mortice bolts operated by a key the best option? What else is more subtle or better?
Any better options than these ideas? As you can see I don't have alot of knowledge about the subject but have tried to read up this evening. Would a steel door be much better as the outer? Is there any point in having good mortice locks on an exterior door that won't need to be opened from the outside and considering the fire exit route?
Feel free to burgle in the mean time but would really appreciate some suggestions instead :-)
Emma
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
emma snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

Stopped worrying about the drains then? Save yourself a lot of hassle and have a burglar alarm. The big advantage is that when you come home at night and there's no flashing light, you know you're not going to be disturbing an intruder. In most homes there ain't a lot worth stealing these days
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:> Stopped worrying about the drains then?

Its down to where you live. I have seen some seriously audacious crimes round here.
One of my neighbours sat down to their dinner (whole family). Half way through the saw something through the glass door between the dining room and the living room. It was soemone stealing their TV and DVD. This is not a joke. He was chased, dropped it/smashed it and made it over the fence to the woods at the back.
My garage was totally emptied (presumably using a van) while two cars were in the drive and all the house lights were on. Police told me they have spotters out on Friday nights with mobile phones who phone in locations of people seen going out and then a team come in to do the job.
I now have normal alarm, plus redcare, wireless panic alarms and CCTV.
I know someone who is an ex criminal and told me that my street is seen as a supermarket for anyone who wants anything. Its actually a very secure street (according to the police) and the houses are pretty secure but most of the houses have access to the outside world over a fence as there are roads and paths right round it, so its possible to get in and out quite easily.
Its amazing what goes on. One of my kids left their bike att he end of the drive while coming in to goto the loo. My neighbour saw it being stolen and ran after the teenager, I ran after him (and we are both runners). When we finally caught up with him the bike was being loaded into a van by two rather large gentlemen who denied all knowledge and suggested we should forget we ever had a bike.
In another case i saw two kids come into the street (both under 10) and leave a few minutes later pushing a pink kids bike. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but later one of the neighbours came to the door saying her cholds bike had been nicked from the back garden. These gardens have six foot fences with no way opf seeing through them or easily climbing them as the supports are on the inside. So someone must have seen the bike and suggested they pop round to take it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Holy crap, where abouts are you - city, not street :-p
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You are ok its in Scotland - Livingston.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is where having your stuff marked with your postcode really helps. If tackling the vermin head on isn't appropriate then take the number and ring the dibbles reporting a crime in progress.
Power tools mostly have plastic casings. Burning the postcode /really/ deeply into the plastic with a soldering iron[1] makes them hard to disguise - sanding off 4mm or so to remove a code isn't going to bring joy to a thief.
Things like trailers, write your postcode on it with the MIG welder.
[1] Don't forget the soldering iron itself.
--
Skipweasel
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Guy King wrote:

And some police forces offer free bicycle marking schemes.
Owain
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stuart Noble wrote:

Yes, thanks. I'm just going through all the things that need attention.
There is already a burglar alarm with several motion sensors around the flat. Previous owners installed it then had it 'turned off'. I'll be looking at getting this reset.
However, the sheltered, off-road, basement entrance still needs some kind of improvement as there's simply two hollow doors and minimal security!
Cheers
Emma
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Simplest non-escape route solution would be a steel over-gate outside (and possibly the cheapest, if the outer door would have to otherwise be replaced) . I'd be a bit iffy about toughening the inner door - as it's too sheltered whilst burglar does his work.
Steel doors are incredibly tough, but expensive. Barry Brothers in Praed St have a range on show - including wood cladding over steel and all sorts of lock options.
No idea what sort of budget you're on - Banham end of the market or more B&Q?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

Is burglary profitable these days? What would the average portable house contents fetch on EBay? DVD recorder with half the leads missing, digital camera with no manual or charger. Don't think you could fund a drug habit on that. By Christmas we'll all have tom toms and mobiles that make the tea, and what will be worth pinching then?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stuart Noble wrote:

You're right mate - nobody gets burgled any more. Went out with highwaymen.
Fact is people do get burgled, for credit cards/cash, for jewelery, for you car keys (because good cars are getting difficult to nick), for your documents (to obtain credit) - god knows - maybe they want to steal your old pants.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

, for jewelery, for

All of which are small (apart from my pants) and, with a bit of ingenuity, easily kept somewhere not glaringly obvious. Most burglaries happen while you're out, so presumably your cards and car keys are with you. Keep your tiaras in a biscuit tin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stuart Noble wrote:

In the US yes, in UK no, we have a high rate of hot prowl burglaries.
NT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

<rhetorical question>
I wonder why that might be?
</rq>
--
"Other people are not your property."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Huge wrote:

Thank goodness.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Burglary is profitable to the smackheads and pot smokers that need money. They will hand over goods to dealers instead of money. Burglary is still as popular amongst some criminal types as it ever was. It's usually the same people in the same areas doing it as they are set free to do it again by magistrates. Then we have to listen to how it isn't their fault and what a bad upbringing they had. The bail hostel usually gives them a book of excuses and lends them a suit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stuart Noble wrote:

tenner down the pub

fiver down the pub

You probably can if you do two burglaries in the morning[1], two in the afternoon, a mobile phone mugging in the evening, and a cashpoint mugging near the kebab shop at 1 a.m.
Owain
[1] Is burglary not strictly speaking a nocturnal offence?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Mostly it's done to get a fiver down the pub so you can buy another wrap of your drug of choice.
--
Skipweasel
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

I was thinking of making it an escape route as there isn't a keyless exit currently!

keys, back door needs two keys!
I quite like the idea of one of those door grilles though. If these are 'impenetrable' then it might be better to go that way and get one of the other two exits to be a fire exit.
Good point about the inner door: that'll just be standard interior door thickness with some mortice bolts I think.

Not sure how much this stuff is but if I can get a new solid interior door with a bit of security, a new exterior door and frame (I think the frame needs replacing as the current exterior door is only 35mm thick) with proper security < ~ 400 that would be OK. That might be a bit more than B&Q but probably less than the others?
Cheers
Emma
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
emma snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

With that budget - nothing fancy - personally, I'd get all but one of the entrances upgraded with steel overgates (you could even do all of them - and have an emegency escape key hidden - or in one of those little break glass things). Nice thing is they bolt straight into the exterior masonry without disturbing existing doors. Their popularity in London atests to their effectiveness.
Oh - and I think Crime Prevention Officers (call your local police station) still do free surveys.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.