On average, a burglary is committed in Germany every 4 minutes. The biggest weakness in apartments is the entrance door. Contrary to public opinion, 80% of all burglaries take place when the residents are away during the day (preferably between 10 AM and 1 PM). Multi-family homes are particularly affected.

Although roughly 75% of all burglaries are targeted at multi-family homes, securing of the apartment entry door is given too little attention. Burglars are subject to high time pressure, i.e. even a resistance of 5 minutes will cause an attempt to fail. Additionally, 80% of the perpetrators are only opportunist thieves. They do not take any high risk of discovery and choose objects with unsecured weaknesses. Breaking open the plate or pulling protruding cylinders can be effectively prevented.

What is the best burglary protection?

Anyone who wants to protect themselves and their belongings against burglars is faced with a difficult choice: what measures are sensible and how much security precautions need to be taken? One thing in advance: As a matter of principle, burglary protection always involves so-called anti-burglary measures. They serve to extend the resistance time, i.e. the time the material can withstand until the burglar has made it into the room. This increases the risk of detection considerably and criminals are effectively deterred. As thieves usually enter the living space through poorly secured windows and doors, it makes sense to equip them in such a way that entry is made considerably more difficult. An all-round concept makes sense, because every weak point is an invitation that can be used by the burglar.


Which houses and flats are most frequently broken into?

Single-family homes account for a smaller share of almost 30%. By contrast, flats in multi-family houses (67%) are particularly at risk, especially those on the ground floor. Here it is particularly important to equip windows and doors with burglar-resistant features. Why multi-family houses are preferred can only be guessed at: The more flats there are, the more anonymous is the relationship between the tenants and so it is easier to act as a thief. This is why communication-intensive two-family houses bring up the rear with 5.8 percent. Long-time thieves would quickly attract attention here. By the way, statistically speaking, the upper floors in apartment buildings are particularly popular targets for burglaries. Criminals can disguise themselves as representatives or service providers and thus gain access to the stairwell. On the upper floors, hardly any neighbours pass by. They can go about their business undisturbed.

What can you do to prevent a break-in?

It is advisable to equip windows and doors with anti-burglar protection, but rethinking daily habits also helps to prevent burglary: even on hot summer nights, do not leave windows and patio doors open and always close all roller shutters at night. Windows should not be left unattended in the tilt position and doors should not only be closed but also locked when leaving the flat. This is advisable for insurance reasons, as a burglary is only considered to be proven if traces of forced entry are visible. If this is not the case, it can be assumed that the residents have been negligent. The insurance company does not then have to pay for the damage. Ground level patio and balcony doors are a major weak point. However, balconies that can be accessed, for example, via an adjacent garage roof, are also popular with thieves.


What do you need to pay attention to in outdoor areas?

Of course, the location of the flat and also the environment around windows and doors plays a role. All areas around the house that provide coverage are particularly sensitive. These include the backs of gardens, cellar exits (!), side doors at garages or entrances with adjacent dense vegetation, which allows thieves to retreat quickly. The more cover there is, the more undisturbed offenders can proceed. So the rule is: the more endangered the location, the more should be secured. In addition, burglars want an undisturbed escape route. Less used paths along the back of the garden are ideal from the point of view of criminals. They can already be used for spying on suitable objects. So avoid dense embankments, provide good lighting and install motion detectors where necessary. One more tip: a study has actually shown that dog warning signs deter thieves. It is less a question of fear of the bite than of the noise that the four-legged friend might make.


How can you protect yourself from burglaries in your neighbourhood?

A good and attentive neighbourhood is worth a lot. So make sure you talk to your neighbours if they are planning to be away for a long time. Watch out for strange visitors in the residential area. A few days before a planned break-in, a patrol usually patrols the area. The accomplices look for suitable objects and try to find out as much as possible, for example when a resident is at home, whether a dog lives in the house, how many people live there and how the entrances are secured. Sometimes houses are even marked with so-called crook tines in the form of chalk markings. To find out whether a house is currently occupied, strips of tape are attached inconspicuously to the entrance or garden door. In this way it can be seen whether it has been opened. Sometimes a parcel note is left behind or a small detail is changed, such as moving the doormat. Pay attention to such signs and inform the police if this happens.


What does a typical burglar look like?

Statistically, burglars tend to be young, between 20 and 30 years old, and male. There is also something to be said about nationality: according to the 2016 report of the German Insurance Association, over half of the suspects are of German origin, so typical clichés are not fulfilled. Anyone who expects black clothing that is ready for film is also wrong. Criminals try to look as inconspicuous as possible. Light, colourful clothing with conspicuous features is avoided and dark clothing gives more camouflage at night, but typical clothing cannot be described per se. The more normal the criminal appears, the more successful he can be in carrying out his plan. Large pockets are also not an indication: a screwdriver is simply hidden, and jewellery, credit cards and money fit into a jacket pocket. More meaningful is the behaviour and to what extent the presence of a person deviates from the usual and cannot be explained. Also interesting: According to the above report, surprisingly more than 40% of the burglars come from the direct environment of the victims.


What is most often stolen from homes?

Cash is always sought and stolen, of course. Jewellery and watches, however, are number 1 on the hit list of the most popular stolen goods. In addition, small electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and cameras are also taken. A widescreen TV is tempting, but harder to transport, so it may be spared.


When is the most frequent burglary?

One would assume that burglars are most active at night and during holidays. However, this is only true for 15% of burglaries. According to studies, the high season for burglars at the end of the year is between October and December. If burglaries occur at night, they are most likely to occur in the morning hours between 2 and 4 am. At this time, residents and neighbours are thought to be fast asleep. However, a break-in in broad daylight between 10 am and 6 pm is much more likely. Studies have shown that this is true for more than half of all burglaries. By no means are only single-family homes affected: In the morning between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., flats in apartment buildings are the focus of criminals. Another frightening fact: in about 13 % of the burglaries in one study, the residents were inside the house. Statistically speaking, a break-in is statistically most unlikely on Sundays, and more likely on Thursdays and Fridays.


What protection class is recommended for private homes?

A protection class always refers to the resistance of the material to an attempted burglary. For private dwellings with normal to increased risk, the protection provided by doors and windows of classes RC 1 - 3 is considered sufficient. RC 3 essentially corresponds to resistance class 3. From the higher classes onwards, even experienced offenders can be fended off who use heavy tools such as a percussion axe or a drill to attack the windows or doors. However, occasional offenders tend to use simple tools that can be hidden inconspicuously, such as screwdrivers, pliers or wedges.


What kind of burglary protection is needed in old buildings?

Old windows and doors are an invitation for every burglar. Obsolete doors must either be replaced as a whole assembly, i.e. including the frames, or retrofitted in the best possible way. The easiest way is to change at least the security fittings. Doors can then still be opened by force, for example by massive entry, but this causes noise and the destroyed door is clearly visible. Thieves prefer more inconspicuous methods. What applies to doors must also be observed for windows. If it is not possible to replace windows, at least burglar-resistant fittings should be chosen. Window grilles also do a good job. They must be installed professionally and are always advisable, especially for cellar windows that are difficult to see. Those who close roller shutters are also better protected. Entrances can also be illuminated or equipped with electronic security measures, for example cameras, motion detectors or alarm systems.


What standards apply to burglar-proof residential doors?

The European standard DIN EN 1627 defines the resistance of burglar-proof building elements such as doors.

It has been valid since September 2011 and replaces the previous pre-standard DIN V ENV 1627. To ensure effective protection against burglary, all components should be coordinated with each other. Attached is a table showing the correlation between DIN EN 1627 and DIN 18257.

Renovation advice for apartements for rent

A safety upgrade in apartments for rent must be coordinated with the landlord just like all changes affecting building substance. A written permit that excludes the obligation to remove it again when moving out is sensible as well. Ideally, change requests should be clarified before entering into the rent contract.

Insured object

Never just pull doors shut. They may not be deemed shut legally. To profit from insurance protection in case of damage it pays off to ask your insurance company. Use this opportunity to clarify whether the resistance class of the protective units is sufficient.

Digital door viewer

The GRIFFWERK Doorcam is the ideal supplement to your safety fitting. Very easy to install in standard peephole bores, the doorcam offers a perfect view of what is outside the door. The Doorcam prevents the person outside from noticing that the peephole is being used. Supplied with power by common batteries. The field of vision is approx. 160°.

Your advantages

  • Image quality: Sensor 2.0 Megapixel, 4.0 "TFT-HD monitor
  • Easy to handle
  • Energy-saving: The digital door viewer switches off automatically after 15 seconds
  • Easy to install through plug and play 
  • Privacy: Prevents from noticing that the spy is being used
  • Special features: Recording function with internal memory and 160° viewing angle