Are Roof Windows & Skylights a Security Risk?

Published on Friday, 23rd October 2015

Roof windows pose no more security risk than any other windows in your home. Each window in your property could be at risk of being used as a point of entry by a burglar. The amount of risk depends on many factors, including the location of the window and how accessible it is, the type of window and the glazing used.

Criminals usually look for the easiest way in so windows that are accessible from ground level or a low level flat roof may be more likely to attract the attention of a would-be intruder. The Crime Prevention website says the danger of climbing and risk of being seen on a sloping roof means roof windows on pitched roofs are rarely used by burglars, unless they have been left open. It also says high level roof windows are usually opened and closed using a pole or a motorised mechanism wouldn't be the way entrance burglars would choose.

Let's look at some ways you can improve your home's security.

VELUX windows & security risks

Choose the right glazing

If you’re concerned about security and want to add an additional level of protection, opt for laminated glazing.

The toughened outer pane and laminated inner pane will make a burglar's entrance far more difficult. Plus, a laminated pane won’t shatter when struck and will delay any attempt at forced entry. Sterlingbuild offers the option of laminated glass with many of our roof window products, including VELUX windows.

You can get replacement VELUX IPL glazing for existing VELUX windows. The laminated glazing panes also provide better heat and sound insulation than the older glazing options, so you get a lot more for your money.

VELUX GGU skylight windowsThere are a number of extra security roof windows available, which are safer than regular windows and less susceptible to break-in attempts. These include VELUX GGL and GGU enhanced security windows that have been certified as burglary resistant and are made with a reinforced construction, extra locks and a combination of toughened and laminated panes to ensure high levels of protection. Whereas FAKRO roof windows and flat rooflights all have topSafe® security protection as standard.

FAKRO topSafe | Roof window security

Reduce the security risks of roof windows

As with any window, if your roof window can be reached by a person standing on the floor beneath, or by climbing up drainpipes, a tree or onto a flat roof, make sure that window is fitted with a lock. Staffordshire Police says thieves are deterred by window locks as breaking glass is noisy and draws attention to them.

You should also follow general safety precautions and make sure that you close (and lock if possible) all windows when you leave the house. Even if you think a window is inaccessible, if a thief sees the opportunity they might come back with a ladder.

Here are some home security tips from a (former - we hope!) burglar (via lifehacker.com):

  • Make it difficult for someone to conceal themselves while breaking in. Avoid tall/thick shrubs around your windows and doors.
  • Have good exterior lighting. Timers helps but the best deterrent is a motion sensor floodlight.
  • Avoid having valuables in plain sight that says "We have lots of money." If you have an expensive car, keep it in a garage. If you have nice stuff in your house, keep your blinds closed. If you just bought a flatscreen, trash and conceal the box.
  • If you have a security system, use a generic sticker. Knowing which brand of security system can provide enough info on how to disable it.
  • Remember, the goal isn't to make your house completely break-in proof. It is simply to make your house a less attractive target than the other houses in your neighborhood. Look at the surrounding houses and adjust accordingly. Don't be the lowest-hanging fruit!