• 3 in 5 social housing residencies suffered a security breach in the last year, with a third of landlords victim to at least 20 breaches
• Only 63% of landlords felt the level of security their properties offered was ‘adequate’
New research¹ from leading door manufacturer JELD-WEN reports high levels of security breaches in social housing properties, and the challenges of maintaining safety protocols in multi-occupancy developments.
The survey, conducted in partnership with Inside Housing, collated responses from housing associations and social housing landlords to investigate the level of safety and security provided across multi-occupancy properties in the UK - including apartment blocks and communal living spaces - and to highlight the challenges facing the sector.
It found that 59% of respondents had security breaches in their properties in the last 12 months, with more than a third (34%) reporting to have had more than 20 breaches.
The main cause of security breaches was reportedly due to a tenant mistake or issue (e.g. leaving a communal door open), which accounted for 34% of all breaches, followed by faulty entrance doors for 26% of properties.
Among other industry issues, only 22% of respondents ranked security as a top priority for their organisation. The main concerns around delivering high-quality security included:
• a lack of understanding among tenants about security protocols (46%)
• expense (37%)
• a lack of understanding within procurement about what security products are in the market (21%)
A high proportion (60%) of landlords had received tenant concerns about the level of security offered by their property, citing poor locks or closers on main doors, security systems needing repairs, non-residents gaining access, and anti-social behaviour resulting in damage to entrance doors.
Of those surveyed, only 63% felt that the security measures in place in their residential blocks were adequate. Yet despite this, and the high level of concern from tenants, only 13% of organisations surveyed are considering smart locks on communal doors - such as wifi-enabled or keyless entry locks - compared to the 54% who aren’t.
Commenting on the findings, Glyn Hauser, R&D Senior Group Manager at JELD-WEN, said:
“The survey results are a clear indicator of two major challenges facing the social housing sector today - engaging with tenants on the importance of adhering to security protocols, and instilling the responsibility of landlords and developers to ensure doorsets offer an enhanced level of security as the first stage of protection.
“It’s concerning to hear that more than a third (37%) of social housing landlords and providers think that the security measures in place in their properties are inadequate. With one burglary taking place every 13 seconds in the UK, this is simply not good enough.
“A secure flat entrance doorset is, arguably, the most effective first line of defence, and by investing in a purpose-built, certified doorset, we believe that landlords can elevate safety standards and rebuild confidence within their properties, so that tenants can feel safe and secure in their homes.”
The research also reports challenges in delivering high quality fire safety in multi-occupancy properties, despite fire safety regulations attracting continued scrutiny and an increasing pressure on developers and landlords to ensure better standards for residents.
Nine in 10 respondents had an inspection on internal fire doors in the last two years, with 50% finding a flaw. These include poorly fitted doors, damage to door closers and hardware improvements required.
“Understandably, the housing sector continues to face many challenges, but everyone has a right to feel safe at home and the urgent need to improve fire safety and security standards cannot fall by the wayside. It has never been more important to ensure properties have the correct products and protocols in place, and by investing in a certified, purpose-built doorset, landlords have the best chance of reducing risk and keeping their tenants secure.”
As the UK’s largest manufacturer of high quality timber interior doors and doorsets, JELD-WEN offers a range of dual-purpose, certified interior doorsets providing assurance that both security and fire safety have been independently evaluated by specialists.
The JELD-WEN SecureFIT and SecureSET flat entrance doorsets are dual tested and certified to provide 30-minute fire, smoke and security protection as listed under the Certifire and CertiSecure certification scheme, giving complete assurance to social housing providers, developers and construction professionals that the people, property and assets within the building are safe and secure.