home security provider

Main questions you should ask before you choose your home security provider

Whenever you’re at home, day or night, it’s imperative that you feel safe and secure with secure-house.co.uk security windows, garage doors and doors for home. That’s something we’ve been helping people with for many years now. As such, one of the questions we’re often asked is “how do I choose a home security provider?”

Choosing the right home security provider is a crucial decision to protect your home and loved ones. So, before making a choice, we would suggest that you consider asking the following questions.

The main questions

1) What are my specific security needs?

a. Assess your home’s vulnerabilities, such as entry points, valuables, and potential risks to help you to determine what type of security system you need.

2) Is the provider licensed and certified?

a. Always ensure the provider is licensed and certified to offer security services in your area, which often implies a level of professionalism and quality. If they’re not, move on!

3) What is the provider’s reputation?

a. Look online at the provider’s reviews, ratings, and testimonials from current or past customers to gauge their reputation and reliability.

4) Does the provider offer professional monitoring?

a. Determine whether or not the provider offers 24/7 professional monitoring services to respond to emergencies when you’re not available. As we said right at the start of this post, you need to feel safe and secure at all times.

5) What is the response time for alerts and alarms?

a. Enquire about the average response time for the specific security provider to contact you and/or dispatch authorities in the event of an alarm. Their response should be rapid and appropriate to your requirements.

6) Are the security systems customizable?

a. Ensure the provider offers systems and services that can be tailored to your suit your specific needs and preferences.

7) Is the equipment reliable and up-to-date?

a. Ask about the quality and technology of the security equipment they provide. Ensure it is up-to-date and well-maintained. Ideally you want to have the very latest tech within the budget you have available.

8) What is the pricing structure?

a. Before you progress, make sure you fully understand the cost of installation, monthly monitoring fees, and any additional charges. Be clear about the contract terms and cancellation policies.

Other questions for security provider

9) Can the system be integrated with other smart home devices?

a. If you have other smart home devices, such as lights or cameras, check if the security system can be integrated for more comprehensive home automation.

10) Is mobile access and remote control provided?

a. Find out if you can monitor and control your security system via a mobile app, and whether you’ll receive alerts and notifications on your smartphone.

11) What is the warranty and maintenance policy?

a. Ask about the warranty on equipment and whether they offer ongoing maintenance or support for the solution you select.

12) What happens in case of a power outage or system failure?

a. Understand exactly what backup systems are in place to ensure that your security remains intact during power outages or system malfunctions.

13) What is the provider’s emergency response plan?

a. Learn about their protocols for handling emergencies and their communication with you during such situations.

14) Can you easily relocate the system if you move?

a. Check if the provider allows for the transfer or relocation of the security system in case you move to a new home.

15) Can you see a demonstration or take up a trial period?

a. Request a demonstration or inquire about a trial period to test the system and services before committing to a long-term contract.

16) What is the provider’s customer support availability?

a. Ensure that customer support is readily available, including after-hours support, in case you encounter any issues or have questions.

To sum up

By asking these questions and carefully evaluating the answers, you will be in the best position to make an informed decision when choosing a home security provider that meets your requirements and budget.

If you’d like further help in choosing a security provider, please contact the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 [email protected]

main items you should have in panic room

What are the main items you should have in your panic room?

A panic room is a secure space specifically designed to provide protection and security in case of emergencies, such as home invasions or natural disasters. We have lots of experience of designing, planning and installing panic rooms in residential properties and have developed a clear understanding of exactly what should be included in the panic room once it’s complete.

So, we’ve put together a list of the specific items you should have in your panic room. Of course, what you include will vary depending on your own needs and the purpose of the room, but here are some common items to consider.

A Reinforced Door

This is a must-have item for every panic room! The door to the panic room should be of a ballistic level (you can select different levels to withstand various forms of attack) and then reinforced with heavy-duty locks, self-closing/locking device and deadbolts to withstand forced entry attempts.

Check our panic room doors here→

Communication Devices

You should have a way to communicate with the outside world, such as a landline phone, a cell phone with good reception, or a two-way radio. In the event of an attack, you will need comms to contact the police and emergency services.

Surveillance System

Install a security camera system that allows you to monitor the exterior of your home from inside the panic room. This will enable you to watch what is happening and be notified of the arrival of the police or security company.

Emergency Lighting

Battery-powered or backup lighting sources are vital to ensure visibility during power outages.

Food and Water

Non-perishable food and water supplies to sustain you and your family for at least a few days.

First Aid Kit

A well-equipped first aid kit with essential medical supplies and medications that you or your family might need if you have to stay in the panic room for an extended period.

Ventilation System

A ventilation system with adequate filtration components to ensure a supply of fresh air while keeping out any potential contaminants.

Emergency Exit

Consider including a secondary exit within your panic room, such as a hidden passage or escape hatch, in case the main entrance becomes compromised.

Secure Storage

Safes or lockable cabinets to store important documents such as passports and wills, and valuables.

Clothing and Bedding

Warm clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags to stay comfortable during a prolonged stay.

Backup Power

A backup generator or alternative power source to ensure essential systems remain operational in the event of an attack occurring.

Supplies for Children and Pets

If you have any children or pets, ensure you have supplies for their needs, including food, water, diapers, and pet care items.

To sum up

It’s important to regularly maintain and check the items in your panic room to ensure they are functional and up-to-date. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a communication plan and emergency contacts readily available in the room. The specific items you choose to include in your panic room should be based on your unique circumstances and security concerns.

If you’re considering adding a panic room in your home and you’d like to find out more about how to do this, please feel free to contact us to arrange a site consultation to discuss your specific requirements. You can reach the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 [email protected]

hide panic room

What’s the best way to hide a panic room in your house?

“What’s the best way to hide a panic room in your house?” is a question we’re often asked here at Secure House. As you will understand, hiding a panic room in your home effectively is crucial if you wish to maintain its security and keep it a secret from potential intruders.

Look at our panic room doors here→

With our extensive knowledge of designing and building panic rooms we’ve have several top tips to share. So, here are a few ways to conceal a panic room:

Conceal the entrance to the panic room

Use a hidden door: Install a bookshelf, a painting, or a piece of furniture that serves as a hidden door to access the panic room. There are specialized companies (including Secure House!) that can create custom hidden doors to match your home’s décor.

Fake wall panels: Create false wall panels that blend in with the surrounding walls, disguising the entrance. These panels can be designed to look like any part of the room, such as a wall with artwork or a built-in cabinet.

Use items of furniture to disguise

  • Use heavy furniture: Place heavy furniture in front of or near the entrance, making it difficult for intruders to discover the entrance easily. Large wardrobes, sideboards, cabinets, or bookshelves are ideal for this purpose.
  • Mirrors: Install floor-to-ceiling mirrors that slide or swing to reveal the hidden entrance behind them. Mirrors not only disguise the door but also make the room appear larger.

Create false rooms

Create a decoy room: Design a room that appears to be the primary target for intruders, such as a home office or a guest bedroom. This can divert the attention of a potential burglar away from the actual panic room itself.

Hidden within closets: Some panic rooms are concealed within large walk-in closets or wardrobes and are located behind the racks and shelves where clothes and shoes are hung and stored.

Turn to technology

Biometric or keypad access: Incorporate a biometric (fingerprint or retinal scan) or keypad access system to open the hidden door. This adds an extra layer of security and minimizes the risk of unauthorized access.

Remote control: In some cases, you can use a remote control or smartphone app to activate the hidden door’s opening mechanism.

Landscaping and exterior concealment

  • If possible, consider disguising the entrance to the panic room from the outside, perhaps through clever landscaping or architectural features.
  • Avoid any obvious signs like large ventilation pipes or unusual structural elements that could give away the room’s location from the exterior.

Remember that the effectiveness of concealing your panic room will always depend on the quality of its original concept and construction, the materials used, and the level of discretion in its design. It’s also essential to educate your family members or trusted individuals on how to access the panic room in case of an emergency while maintaining its secrecy. Consult with security professionals or contractors, such as ourselves, who are experienced in creating concealed safe spaces for the best results.

If you’d like to find out more about panic rooms, or to arrange a site consultation to discuss your specific requirements for a panic room, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 [email protected]

Ventilated Doors

Ventilated Doors: Enhancing Comfort and Energy Efficiency in Your Living Spaces

When it comes to enhancing comfort and energy efficiency in living spaces, ventilated doors can make a valuable addition as they offer a wide range of benefits that will deliver both of these desired objectives.

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What is a ventilated door?

A ventilated door is essentially a door that is specifically designed to better facilitate – and control as required – the flow of air between rooms or between indoor and outdoor areas whilst maintaining privacy and security. They can be particularly beneficial in homes, offices, or commercial spaces in which it is a priority to provide a sustainably comfortable environment whilst minimizing energy consumption. A ventilated door is an ideal and highly proven solution in these scenarios.

How does a ventilated door actually work?

In relation to delivering further comfort and supporting energy efficiency in living spaces, ventilated doors work in the following ways:

Improving air circulation

Ventilated doors facilitate better air circulation, which is essential for maintaining a fresh and comfortable indoor environment. Proper air circulation helps distribute cool or warm air more evenly, preventing stagnant air pockets and reducing the chances of hot or cold spots within a room.

Providing natural ventilation

Ventilated doors enable natural ventilation by allowing fresh outdoor air to enter and stale indoor air to exit. This can be especially useful during mild weather conditions when you want to reduce reliance on mechanical cooling or heating systems.

Reducing energy consumption

By harnessing natural air currents, ventilated doors can help reduce the need for artificial cooling and heating. This, in turn, can lead to lower energy consumption and decreased utility bills.

Achieving the optimum thermal comfort

Ventilated Door

Properly designed ventilated doors can contribute to improved thermal comfort. They can help regulate indoor temperatures by allowing warm air to escape during summer months and preventing cold drafts in the winter.

Moisture control

Ventilated doors aid in controlling moisture levels within a space. Good airflow can help prevent the buildup of excess humidity, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth, and contributing to a healthier indoor environment.

They look great!

Ventilated doors come in a variety of styles and designs, allowing you to choose an option that complements your interior or exterior aesthetics. They can add a touch of uniqueness to your living spaces while serving a practical purpose.

Boost privacy and security

Despite their perforated or louvered designs, ventilated doors can still provide an adequate level of privacy and security. Many ventilated door designs incorporate features like frosted glass or intricate patterns that obscure the view while allowing airflow.


Ventilated doors can be used in various areas of your home, such as between living rooms and patios, kitchens and dining areas, or bedrooms and balconies. This versatility allows you to tailor the airflow and comfort level according to the specific needs of each space.

Reduction in the requirement for mechanical ventilation

In some cases, ventilated doors may help reduce the need for mechanical ventilation systems, further decreasing energy consumption and associated costs.

Numerous environmental benefits

By using natural ventilation to maintain comfort, you can contribute to reducing your carbon footprint and minimizing your impact on the environment

Incorporating ventilated doors into your living spaces can be a smart investment that pays off in terms of both comfort and energy savings. When selecting ventilated doors, consider factors such as design, materials, insulation, and the intended location to ensure they align with your specific needs and preferences.

If you’d like to find out more about adding ventilated doors to your home, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 [email protected]

doors leaf

The Door Leaf – your gateway to style and security

The Door Leaf: Your Gateway to Style and Security is a compelling blog post topic that combines both aesthetic appeal and the concept of safety. Here at Secure House, the door leaf is a key component of every type of door, be it internal or external, that has the ability to offer a harmonious blend of visual elegance and robust protection.

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Here is our guide to the door leaf and how to ensure it delivers both style and security in your new build, refurbishment or renovation project!

What is a door leaf?

A door leaf is essentially what the majority of people refer to as a door. As such, if we were to be technical about things, the door leaf is only one single part of the door itself. The door leaf is actually the main panel of a door that opens and closes. It does not include items such as door furniture i.e. door knob or handle, knocker, hinges or a letterbox.

The core material of a door leaf is where the differentiation begins since doors can be made and constructed using a variety of materials and finished in different colours and include additions such as glazed panels. However, the single panel of the door will always be classed at the door leaf.

It is worth noting that all types of door, including fire rated doors, front doors and security doors consist of a leaf sitting inside a door frame.

Style and security rolled into one

Door Leaf

  1. High end doors: when it comes to achieving an overall look and feel of luxury, a high-end door leaf made from premium material, such as a specific wood including walnut or oak, will deliver that highly sought-after aesthetic. A luxury door leaf will deliver a stylish door that has the ability to enhance the overall look of a room or a building while providing top-notch security.
  2. Security solutions: in many cases, advanced security features can be integrated into doors and the door leaf itself can be manufactured to provide unrivalled levels of security using premium steel or aluminium which is both light and strong. A door leaf could also feature items such as smart locks, biometric access control, and other reinforced materials.
  3. Door accessories: for the ultimate in door leaf style, the inclusion of luxurious door furniture is an absolute must-do. Such top-end accessories that complement doors, include designer handles or door knockers and highly decorative glass inserts.
  4. Smart home integration: selecting the right door leaf when creating a smart home will showcase that the door has been chosen to serve as a stylish and secure entry point to a technologically advanced living space.
  5. Architectural design: architects and designers will more than understand the need to specify the perfect door leaf for the project. The door leaf selection will underline their commitment to creating entrances that blend seamlessly – and stylishly – with the overall aesthetics of a building while prioritizing safety.
  6. Renovation or refurbishment: when it comes to renovation or refurbishment of a property, changing the door leaf of each door in the home will support the transformation and ensure standard entryway is converted into a stylish and secure focal point.

If you’d like to find out more about using the door leaf to add style and security to your property, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 [email protected]

standard UK door sizes

A handy guide to standard UK door sizes

It’s true to say that doors come in all different sizes, so we’ve used our expert knowledge to put together this handy guide to standard UK door sizes to help you understand what doors fit best and why.

Is there a ‘standard’ UK door size?

Yes, there are standard UK door sizes but you must be explicit in whether it’s a front door (external door) or internal door that you need to size. They’re definitely not the same! And, obviously, doors come in a variety of widths for various reasons. Interestingly, however, the standard (or most common) height of doors is 78 inches, 6’6” or 1981mm depending on which unit of measurement you prefer to use!

When it comes to the width of a door, the standard UK door sizes are 711.2mm (28 inches), 762mm (30 inches), 812.8mm (32 inches) or 914.4mm (36 inches).

Now, we’ll take a look at specific types of doors and see how their sizing compares.

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Standard Internal Door Sizes in the UK

Door Type Width (mm) Height (mm) Common Use
Single Leaf (Regular) 762 (2’6″) 1981 (6’6″) Bedrooms, Bathrooms
Single Leaf (Wider) 838 (2’9″) 1981 (6’6″) Living Areas, Hallways
Single Leaf (Extra Wide) 914 (3’0″) 1981 (6’6″) Grand Entrances, Open Spaces
Double Leaf (French Doors) 1524 (5’0″) 1981 (6’6″) Connecting Rooms, Patio Access
Sliding Door (Pocket Door) Customizable 1981 (6’6″) Space-Saving Solutions
Bi-Fold Door Customizable 1981 (6’6″) Compact Spaces, Wardrobes
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External door sizes: is there a standard size here too?

When we talk about external doors here at Secure House, we’re usually referring to a front door. Let’s start with a conventional front door for a residential property. Typically, the front door of your home will be either 762mm (30 inches) or 838 (33 inches) wide and 1981mm (78 inches) high.

Over the last few years, there has been a clear trend towards ‘oversize’ doors and double doors, both of which are specifically designed to create a very grand entrance.

Internal door sizes explained

Continuing with the same external standard door height of 1981mm (78 inches), the standard UK door size for an internal door is 1981mm (78 inches) x 762mm (30 inches). In the joinery industry, you may hear a joiner refer to this as a 2’6” door.

However, as with front doors, there is also the option of creating smaller or wider openings into certain rooms and double doors linking, for example, a dining room to a living room are very popular since they can transform a room for a relatively small investment.

When purchasing internal doors, it is important to take into account the type of property they to be installed in. Whilst the standard internal door size in the UK is 1981mm (78 inches) x 762mm (30 inches), period properties often have wider openings so it’s vital that you measure the aperture correctly before you buy. This is one of the reasons we offer a professional measuring service.

Equally, new build properties offer the chance to create a truly bespoke internal door size to suit the type of home being built. You may wish to go for slightly wider internal doors, add double doors or space-saving sliding doors for certain rooms.

Allowing for disabled access

When taking into account disabled access either into a private residence or commercial building, the width of the door needs to be closely considered. We would recommend using doors of at least 900mm (35.4 inches) in width to allow comfortable access for wheelchair users.

Bespoke doors. Yes, they really are a thing

And, finally, just a brief note to say that doors can be created to any size or specification in our world-class manufacturing facility. So, if standard really isn’t your thing, just ask!

If you’d like to find out more about standard UK door sizes, or to arrange a site consultation and bespoke measurement, please contact any of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 [email protected]

Door Materials and Finishes

When it comes to internal doors in the UK, the choice of materials and finishes can significantly impact both aesthetics and durability. Solid wood doors, known for their timeless appeal and sturdiness, are a popular choice. Engineered wood doors offer a more cost-effective option while maintaining a wood-like appearance. Meanwhile, MDF doors, often used for their versatility, can be easily painted to match any interior decor. The finish of the door, whether it’s painted, stained, or laminated, also plays a pivotal role in achieving the desired look and feel within your living spaces. Consider the overall style of your home and personal preferences when selecting the material and finish that best suits your needs.

Fire Door Regulations

In the United Kingdom, fire safety is of paramount importance. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand fire door regulations, especially when choosing doors for areas like kitchens and escape routes. Fire doors are designed to contain the spread of fire and smoke for a specified period, giving occupants valuable time to evacuate safely. These doors are rigorously tested and must meet specific size and performance criteria. It’s essential to consult building regulations or a professional to ensure you’re using the correct fire-rated doors in the appropriate locations to comply with safety standards.

Soundproofing Doors

For peace and tranquility within your home, consider the acoustic properties of internal doors. Thicker doors with solid cores tend to provide better sound insulation, making them ideal for bedrooms, home offices, or any space where privacy and reduced noise intrusion are essential. Additionally, you can explore the option of acoustic seals and weatherstripping to further enhance soundproofing. When selecting doors, pay attention to the Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating, as it indicates the door’s ability to reduce sound transmission.

Door Hardware

Door hardware, including handles, locks, and hinges, not only influences the functionality of your doors but also adds a touch of style. The choice of hardware should complement the door’s design and your interior decor. Lever handles, for instance, offer ease of use and can suit modern aesthetics, while traditional knob handles may be more fitting for a classic interior. High-quality locks and hinges are essential for security and smooth operation, so invest in reliable hardware that matches your door’s purpose.

Door Installation Tips

Proper installation is key to ensuring that your doors function correctly and look their best. Whether you’re replacing an existing door or installing a new one, precise measurements are critical. Ensure that the doorframe is level and plumb, and consider consulting a professional installer if you’re uncertain about your DIY skills. Proper alignment, hinge installation, and sealing gaps are essential steps to prevent drafts and ensure the door swings smoothly.

Maintenance and Care

To extend the lifespan and appearance of your internal doors, regular maintenance is necessary. Depending on the door’s material and finish, maintenance tasks may include periodic cleaning, refinishing, or resealing. Keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear, such as scratches or dents, and address them promptly to prevent further damage. Lubricate hinges and locks as needed to ensure smooth operation. A well-maintained door not only functions optimally but also adds to the overall appeal of your home.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient doors can contribute to a more comfortable and cost-effective living environment. For external doors, consider those with effective weatherstripping to prevent drafts. Insulated doors can help regulate indoor temperatures and reduce energy bills. If privacy is a concern, you can choose doors with energy-efficient glazing options that allow natural light to enter while maintaining thermal efficiency. Investing in energy-efficient doors is not only environmentally responsible but also financially beneficial in the long run.

Cost Considerations

The cost of internal doors can vary significantly based on factors like materials, size, style, and brand. Solid wood doors tend to be pricier than MDF or engineered wood options, and customized or bespoke doors will typically come with a higher price tag. It’s essential to establish a budget before shopping for doors and weigh the benefits of different materials and features against your financial constraints. Keep in mind that while high-quality doors may have a higher upfront cost, they often offer greater durability and long-term value.

Interior Design and Styling

Internal doors play a pivotal role in interior design and styling. The choice of door style, color, and finish can impact the overall aesthetic of your home. For a cohesive look, consider doors that complement your existing decor and architectural style. Modern homes may benefit from sleek and minimalist door designs, while traditional interiors may call for more ornate and classic options. Don’t overlook the potential of doors as design elements; they can add character and elegance to your living spaces.

Online Resources and Tools

In today’s digital age, numerous online resources and tools are available to aid in your door selection process. You can find door size calculators to determine the right fit for your openings, browse design inspiration galleries to visualize various door styles in different settings, and even use virtual room planners to experiment with door placement and design. These online resources can be valuable aids in making informed decisions and ensuring that your chosen doors align with your vision for your home.

Allowing for Disabled Access

When considering door sizes, it’s crucial to factor in accessibility, especially for private residences or commercial buildings. Wider doors, typically at least 900mm (35.4 inches) in width, are recommended to accommodate wheelchair users comfortably. Ensuring that your doors are wheelchair-friendly is not only a matter of convenience but also a legal requirement in many cases. Consider the needs of all potential occupants or visitors to your property to create an inclusive and accessible environment.

Bespoke Doors

For those who desire a truly unique and tailored solution, bespoke doors offer endless possibilities. These doors can be created to any size, style, or specification in specialized manufacturing facilities. If the standard door sizes or designs do not align with your vision, bespoke doors allow you to express your creativity and design preferences fully. Keep in mind that while bespoke doors offer flexibility, they may come with a longer lead time and higher costs due to their customized nature.

By including these expanded sections in your article, you’ll provide readers with a comprehensive guide to internal doors in the UK, covering essential topics and considerations for selecting, installing, and maintaining doors in their homes or properties.

Elevate your space with Secure House Doors – where unmatched security meets stunning design. Contact us today to discuss your door requirements and experience the difference for yourself.

fire escapes

Fire Escapes: A Lifeline in Emergencies and an Urban Architectural Marvel

Working alongside a variety of commercial, industrial and residential clients, here at Secure House we are very well versed in the lifeline in emergencies and the urban architectural marvel that fire escapes provide.

As well as being an essential component of urban architecture, the primary objective of a fire escape is to serve as a lifeline in emergencies when a building is on fire. This unique combination proves testament to innovative design and engineering. Protect your home with reliable steel fire doors→

As a key structure in millions of buildings, fire escapes are a vital means of egress during fires or other disasters. They facilitate the occupants of buildings, offices, flats and multi-storey properties to quickly and safely evacuate to ground level. Simultaneously, fire escapes contribute to the aesthetic appeal and historical charm of many urban landscapes.

A fire escape as an emergency lifeline

When it comes to providing an emergency lifeline in any property where people are living or working, a fire escape has a number of different objectives when it comes to function including:

1) Safe evacuation for the occupants of a building. In the event of a fire occurring or any other sort of emergency, such as a terrorist attack, in which the stairwells or hallways of the property are impassable, the fire escape will provide an alternative exit. As such, fire escapes must be made of strong, durable materials and constructed in such a way that they can be accessed easily to enable those inside to leave the upper floors of the building safely and swiftly.

2) Facilitate quick response and access for emergency personnel. Emergency services, predominantly fire fighters and ambulance crews will often utilise a fire escape to enter a building in order to rescue those inside as well as tackling any blaze internally as well as externally. A fire escape will allow fire crew to gain access to the higher floors more efficiently and provide the means to fight the fire effectively alongside conducting rescue operations.

3) Increasing evacuation capacity. Another benefit of fire escapes as an emergency lifeline is that they add increased evacuation capacity thus allowing more people to evacuate a building at the same time. For example, multiple fire escapes for a single building, such as a high flat block of flats housing many people, is not uncommon.

The architectural marvel of fire escapes

1) A sense of history. When it comes to the architectural effect of fire escapes, it is safe to say that a fire escape can undoubtedly reflect the architectural style of the era in which the property was designed and built. Fire escapes, just like architecture, have evolved considerably over time and so they serve as a key no
2) Aesthetically appealing. While primarily functional, fire escapes actually contribute to the visual appeal of a building. Their intricate ironwork, geometric patterns, and unique designs can turn them into captivating urban elements.

3) Engineering excellence. Fire escapes undoubtedly require careful engineering to ensure they can support the weight of multiple people and provide a safe exit route. The design and materials used to construct a fire escape can really showcase the craftsmanship and ingenuity of architects and builders.

To sum up

Whilst fire escapes can have architectural and historical significance, modern building codes and safety regulations have evolved to prioritize more reliable and efficient means of egress during emergencies. This includes features such as fire-resistant stairwells, smoke evacuation systems, and advanced fire suppression technologies.

Fire escapes are ultimately an unmistakable lifeline in emergencies, offering a critical exit route, and they also contribute to the rich tapestry of urban architecture as awe-inspiring design elements.

If you’d like to find out more about creating a fire escape, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 [email protected]

Front door installation – 5 top tips

When it comes to front door installation, here at Secure House there’s nothing we don’t know about! We’ve lost count exactly how many front doors we’ve installed over the years. From different sizes and shapes to front doors with glazed side panels or top lights, we’ve installed them all.

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Our knowledge and experience of front door installation is second to none which is why we’ve decided to put together a blog post to outline and share our 5 top tips for front door installation. So, if you’re considering installing your next front door yourself, you’re in the right place!

Here are the Secure House top 5 tips and things you should consider if you want to ensure a successful and secure installation:

1) Choose your material and style carefully

There are literally thousands of door styles to choose from and a wide variety of materials that your front door can be made off including steel, timber, plastic, aluminium and more. Choosing both the right material and style combination are crucial and here’s why. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to durability, energy efficiency and aesthetics. Steel, for example, can provide a higher level of security whereas a timber door might be more in keeping with the conservation area you live in. The style of the front door should, of course, complement the overall architecture of your home and be in keeping with the feel of the property.

2) Get your measurements and sizing spot on

Ensuring you gather highly accurate measurements for your front door is crucial to achieving the correct fit. First off, measure the door frame opening and take measurements for both height and width. Then measure again and check they’re right. Your finished front door should fit snugly within the frame. There shouldn’t be any gaps anywhere since this would comprise insulation and security within your home.

3) Focus on quality and security

Quality and security really are two of the main features that you must get right when choosing and installing a new front door. It’s wise to invest in a high quality door that will afford adequate security features for your home and provide you with peace of mind when it comes to home protection. Look for doors that include multi-point locks, strong hinges and reinforced frames. You may also wish to look at extra security features such as keyless or fingerprint entry systems or security cameras depending on your location and specific security concerns.

4) Don’t skimp on energy efficiency or weather resistance

With energy costs showing no signs of decreasing, obtaining maximum energy efficiency from your front door is vital if you’d like to keep your energy bills as low as they can be. Do your research and look for doors that have proper insulation to prevent drafts and minimize energy loss. Here at Secure House, many of our doors offer xxxuvalue. Energy efficient doors can certainly help you save on heating and cooling costs. At the same time, always take into account the general weather conditions in the area in which you live and choose the appropriate weather-resistance to suit.

5) Ask the professionals

It’s fair to say that front door installation isn’t a DIY project for the majority of homeowners. That’s why we’d always recommend employing a professional door contractor or installer with relevant experience to do the job for you. A skilled installer will not only ensure that the door is properly aligned and sealed but also that it is fit for purpose and will function as you require it to. If a front door is installed improperly it can lead to a variety of issues such as air leaks, water infiltration and security vulnerabilities.

Finally, remember to do thorough research on the various door options available and talk to experts door and windows companies if you need to. By selecting the right front door AND having it installed correctly will enhance your home’s curb appeal, security and energy efficient so it pays to do it right in the first place!

If you’d like any information or advice on front doors and front door installation, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 or email [email protected] – they’ll be only too happy to help you.


external door frame

How do you fit an external door frame?

Fitting an external door frame is something we’re no strangers to here at Secure House! We’ve installed thousands over the years so we’re pretty good at it. As such, we thought we’d put together a step-by-step guide on how to fit communal entrance doors frame for anyone wanting to try it themselves.

The installation of an external door frame, or any door frame for that matter, demands a series of precise measurements and cutting and proper fitting in order to guarantee both a secure and water/weather-tight fit. The last thing you want is for the frame to leak when it rains or let in a draft because it is the wrong size and fit for the aperture.

Have the right tools and materials to hand before you start

In order to facilitate all of the above, before you even start, we suggest that you take a look at the checklist below to ascertain what you might already have and what you will require. This is the very first step and you will not be able to fit an external door without access to the various different tools, equipment and materials needed to complete a successful fitting.

These items include:

  • A tape measure of adequate length, preferably an industrial, metal tape measure
  • Hammer and various screwdrivers
  • Saw and workbench
  • Screws, nails and rawl plugs
  • Drill
  • Spirit level
  • Shims
  • Sandpaper
  • Insulation foam if required
  • An external door frame kit
  • An external door (and weatherproof hinges) to hang once you’ve fitted the frame

One step at a time

1) First of all, measure the opening for your external door. You’ll need the height and width of the door opening before you can purchase the correct sized external door frame. Be sure to measure the width at the top, middle and bottom of the opening as it might not be perfectly rectangular in size

2) Once you have the correct measurements for the opening, you can purchase an external door frame kit. These kits are widely available and they will usually contain each of the necessary components such as door jambs, sill and head

3) If applicable, remove the existing door frame and door with care, paying attention not to damage the surrounding structure in any way

4) You will then need to prepare the opening itself making sure it’s clean, level and plumb. This may require sanding and clearing away any debris from the previous frame that might interfere with the fitting of the new external frame

5) Don’t secure the frame in place straightaway! Instead implement a ‘dry-fit’ to check the frame’s alignment and fit and make any necessary tweaks. Use the spirit level to ensure it’s plumb and straight. This is the point at which you may wish to use the shims to attain a tight fit and sustain alignment

6) When you’re happy with the position of the frame, you can fix it securely in place with the correct screws and nails if required. Make sure you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct fasteners and the placement of those fasteners

7) Now it’s time to install the external door itself. If you have selected a pre-hung door, this will usually already be attached to the frame so you simply have to fit it into the opening and secure it according the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you have chosen a separate door and hinges, first attach the hinges to the door and then attach them to the door frame

8) Test the door by opening and closing it. Check that it operates smoothly in each direction and doesn’t rub or stick against the frame at any point. Again, you may need to make slight refinements

9) You may want to apply a weatherstripping or insulation foam insulation around the edges of the external door frame to create a weather-tight seal and enhance energy efficiency. If you do choose to do this, take your time and don’t rush this part of the process

10) The last step is the addition of any aesthetic finishing touches, perhaps staining the frame or painting it to match the door. Then you can stand back and admire your work!

If in doubt, ask the experts

Fitting an external door frame is a tricky task and shouldn’t be underestimated. You must always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and allow yourself plenty of time to complete the installation; never rush or skip a step. If you’re not sure about any of the steps outlined above or you consider it too much of a challenge, please don’t hesitate to ask an expert.

You can contact any of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 or email [email protected] – they’ll be only too happy to assist and advise.

door viewer

What height do you install the door viewer?

What height do you install the door viewer on a security door? It’s a very good question and there are specific tips and guidelines that we use here at Secure House that we’re happy to share to provide a professional and comprehensive answer!

What exactly is a door viewer?

A door viewer, sometimes also referred to as a spyhole, doorhole, magic eye or peephole, is a small, usually round, opening in a door that allows the person inside the property to look through and see outside the door. The lenses of the door viewer are structured in such a way that viewing is only possible in one direction i.e. you can only see out, you can’t see in.

As a security feature, door viewers are very common and affordable and can often be found in apartments or flats where there are perhaps multiple dwellings on each floor. If there is a knock or the doorbell rings, the occupant can use the door viewer to discreetly see who is outside before affording that person entry.

The average adult height

Since a door viewer is most commonly used to identify who is standing outside the door, it makes sense to install the door viewer at a height that allows the average adult to comfortably look through without having to either crouch down or stretch up on their toes.

As such, the typical height that we would recommend the installation of a door viewer is between 147cm to 168cm (58 to 66 inches) measure from the floor level. This specific height range accommodates the majority of adults’ eye levels and provides a good viewing angle from which to see the person standing outside the door.

A few guidelines for installing a door viewer

Having ascertained that the best height for a door viewer is between 147cm to 168cm, the first step in installing one is to measure the height (from the floor) to establish the appropriate height. A top tip is to stand next to the door and have someone measure your height and place the door viewer according so you can easily see through it.

Once you’ve done this, mark the spot with a pencil and use a tape measure or long ruler to see where the exact centre of the door is and mark the exact spot on the height line you’ve just measured.

If you’re installing the door viewer yourself, you will need the appropriate tools to fit it correctly including a drill and hole saw bit to create the opening in which to place the door viewer. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions that accompany the door viewer and take your time, don’t rush.

Finally, make sure that the door viewer is installed securely so that no-one can tamper with it and to prevent accidental removal.

Consider specific needs

If you’re installing the door viewer for someone else, you must consider the primary user’s specific needs. For example, if the door viewer will predominantly be used by someone with mobility issues or a wheelchair user, a lower height will be required to allow easy viewing.

Also, be aware that installation guidelines will vary based on different models and brands, so always follow the specific instructions for the product you select.

Here at Secure House we have vast experience of installing a variety of door viewers for a range of different people and their own requirements. So, if you’d like some professional guidance or advice, please feel free to contact any member of the Secure House team on 0207 859 4207 or email [email protected] – we’ll be only too happy to help!