Covid-19 has had a profound effect on the way we live. In recent months we have seen a gradual shift back to ‘normal’, but on balance we have all spent a disproportionate amount of time at home under lockdown since the pandemic began.
This, according to the ONS, has had a direct impact on levels of crime over the last 18-months. From May 2020 to March 2021, the ONS reported a decrease across a range of crime types, with domestic burglary offences down 33% year on year – in stark contrast to the upwards trend that has been prevalent since 2015.
“The majority of house break-ins are opportunistic, but a house full of people working or home schooling is clearly an effective deterrent to most burglars,” says Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing, aluplast.
“That’s created an anomaly in the crime statistics but with the easing of Covid restrictions over the summer and a push to encourage workers back to the office, the likelihood is that burglaries will increase again, especially as we head into the autumn and winter months.”
According to figures released by Co-op Insurance, burglaries spike by more than a third once the clocks go back at the end of October. This is consistent with research by NimbleFins, which analysed statistics from the annual Crime Survey for England and Wales, revealing the majority of break-ins (58.3%) occur under the cover of darkness.
Of those, 33% are due to intruders gaining access at the rear of the property, and 76% via a door.
October also marks National Home Security Month, a campaign that was launched to raise consumer awareness of protecting homes and possessions during autumn and winter as well as to drive demand for security products and installation services.
“Demand for home improvements remains at an all-time high,” continues Cocken. “And while homeowners are actively searching for high value, well designed products that deliver great aesthetics, initiatives such as National Home Security Month are a timely reminder that security should also be a top priority for consumers.”
Nominated for a G21 Product of the Year Award, Smart-Slide is a next generation PVC patio door from aluplast. Incorporating high quality hardware, it is tested to PAS24 as standard, an accreditation that extends its appeal into both the replacement and new build markets.
It’s unique design features also include locking on all four sides of the sash, providing additional peace of mind for homeowners in that they have the option to leave the door part open – for instance if they require additional ventilation – and still keep their property completely secure.
Smart-Slide’s design also delivers exceptional performance and energy efficiency. Capable of achieving a DER of A+, depending on glass specification, it can also meet BS6375 for weather tightness and U values as low as 1.3Wm2k – an energy rating that future proofs Smart-Slide ahead of proposed changes to Part L and stricter requirements for U values on replacement and new build windows and doors.
“Smart-Slide was designed from a blank piece of paper, it’s in a league of its own compared to other PVC systems on the market, many of which are fundamentally flawed because they are based on older technology,” explains Cocken.
“It’s an incredibly well-engineered system, it can accommodate individual sash weights of up to 200kg, but even at this size it is very easy to operate, opening and closing the doors is almost effortless. It can be manufactured to span a width of 4.5m at 2.5m high with just a sash and a panel –considerably larger than any other PVC patio on the market.”
Smart-Slide’s technical advantages over other PVC systems is significant, but it also represents an opportunity for installers to position it as an alternative to some aluminium doors, as Cocken explains.
“It has the size and contemporary aesthetics, but Smart-Slide is also compatible with our complete range of 40 foils,” he says. “That includes our smooth grey finishes and aludec, a next generation foil that looks and feels almost exactly like real aluminium.
“For installers, the current home improvement boom has demonstrated the value of products that can deliver on increasing demand for kerb appeal, design and quality of finish,” concludes Cocken.
“With Smart-Slide they have access to all of the above – and as the nights draw in, they also have a product that can be sold on the strength of its technical performance and its market leading security.”