External blinds and security: see how screening protects you against burglars
Leaving for a vacation and want to protect your property against burglars? See how external blinds reduce the risk of your house being burgled and whether insurance companies consider them a security measure (which reduces the amount you have to pay for insurance).
External blinds can slow burglars down, and often even deter them.
External blinds partially protect your property. When a burglar is preparing to burgle your house or apartment through a window, the closed slats of external blinds prevent them from seeing inside. They also present a mechanical obstacle which the burglar has to overcome.
“With external blinds, such as the ones we make at NEVA, you can make a burglar’s job harder. If you leave the blinds down during your vacation, the burglar needs to cut the lift tapes or pry the slats out of the guiding rails, which makes a lot of noise. That means the blinds will both slow them down and give them away,” says NEVA’s product specialist, Jan Gajdoš.
External blinds in a Smart Home system can protect you against both burglars and fire.
According to Jan Gajdoš, blinds are even better when connected to a Smart Home system. “External blinds connected to a Smart Home system can make it seem like you’re at home, even when you’re on vacation. You set your scenario to make your blinds automatically drop or close. In combination with, for example, automatic lighting activation, you can create an illusion that will make even an experienced burglar think that somebody is moving around the house.”
Even though external blinds are not acknowledged as a security element, the Smart Home connection will make up for that, giving you a tool that will secure your house against burglars, and alert you about a fire or a gas leak. The system:
- can detect if somebody is trying to break in through a window or a balcony based on vibration and motion sensors, and activate an alarm,
- can use smoke sensors to detect a fire and activate lighting
- or detect a gas leak and open the windows.
Smart Home systems are considered as security elements by insurance companies. Connected to your mobile app, it lets you know about any dangerous situations even when you’re not at home. The application sends you a push notification or an e‑mail about the situation. You can simply call the police and/or fire brigade or set the application to act on your behalf and connect it to a security agency.
Combine the security elements and protect your windows and balcony doors.
In order to make a burglar’s job even harder, it is a good idea to combine the security elements. For example, we recommend combining external blinds with one of the following:
- Security doors
- Additional locks on doors and window handles
- Security windows and balcony doors with unbreakable glass on the ground floor and the first floor of the house
- Reinforced security film, which reduces the risk of burglary as well as prevents glass from scattering across the floor if broken (as the film holds the pieces together)
- Alarm and camera system
- Sensors that activate external lighting if movement around the house is detected
- Electronic security, which (in addition to activating an alarm) reports the break-in to a security agency or police department
For example, if you want to protect your holiday cottage without using electronics (which could take burglars several hours to overcome), we recommend using more robust alternatives such as:
- Lockable metal roller blinds
- Fixed metal window bars
- Lockable or retractable bars
External security blinds can also be used for stores.
In addition to traditional external blinds, there are also external security blinds available on the market made by specialized companies. The slats of security blinds resemble arches with grooves that fit into each other when closed, forming a continuous surface with no gaps.
Security blinds have several specific properties, such as:
- They are made of hardened aluminium materials reinforced with titanium.
- They do not have simple lift tapes or cords, which the burglar could cut.
- They are controlled via a motor, so that the packet cannot be manipulated manually from outside.
- All of their control and guiding elements are encased within robust guide rails, making the closed slats very hard to pry out for the burglar.
Unlike regular blinds, external security blinds cannot be mounted onto wide and French windows as they would lose their security qualities with wider slats.
The more security elements, the bigger the guarantee from the insurance company.
If your house does get burgled, there is household insurance to help you out. However, you need to meet certain pre-determined security level requirements in order to have the insurance company pay out. With most insurance companies, the more valuable your property is, the better security elements you need to have.
“It can also be said that the loss payment is proportional to the difficulty of overcoming the security elements for the burglar,” says insurance advisor Radim Řičica from Kooperativa.
For family houses, such devices with good security value include electronic grids with camera systems or security windows and doors with additional locks. If the loss payment is higher, the company may also demand increased window protection in the form of safety blinds or roller blinds.
If you secure your property more than your insurance company requires you to, you can get up to 20 % off your premium. “However, you should still ask an expert personally once they have inspected your house and its security elements and written up the assessment of the value of your property,” adds Radim Řičica.
If you plan to improve the way you protect your house from burglars, ask our partners how to combine external blinds with security elements. They will be happy to advise you.