Burglary protection /

particularly important for windows

Alongside insulation, security also plays a major role in the design of windows and doors. After a break-in has taken place it is not the loss of valuables from your home that is most distressing, but the intrusion on your privacy. You always feel less safe and secure in your own home after a burglary. The number of break-ins has actually dropped over the past decade, but the police still frequently report burglaries. Most apartment and house burglaries are the result of forced entry through a window. It is therefore essential when building a house or modernising a building to choose burglar-proof windows.

Burglary protection is particularly important for ground floor windows

Security for windows and doors

At first glance, the German police crime statistics are alarming. According to these 2012 figures, there were approximately 144,117 break-ins throughout Germany. This means one burglary every four minutes on average. Anyone who has been victim of a burglary knows that being burgled means more than just losing your valuables. In many cases, break-ins leave devastation and destruction in their wake and cause substantial damage. But it is the intrusion on your privacy that is so much worse. Knowing that a complete stranger has gained access to your home and rummaged through your personal belongings is often more troubling than your financial loss. Even if the break-in was not carried out when people were at home, the fear remains that it may happen again. A burglary that takes place when the residents are in the house is even more unsettling. A break-in can quickly turn into a violent crime in which there is an immediate danger to life and limb. Homeowners are, however, not completely defenceless against burglars and organised gangs. Burglary protection has improved over the past decades significantly and this is highlighted by the fall in the number of burglaries. As a comparison, in 1993 the number of break-ins per year in Germany was almost 230,000.

How can we protect our homes against burglary?

Burglars look for the easiest way in, and in most cases they head for the windows and balcony doors. Old windows offer only a low level of burglary protection and without any window locks they can be entered by burglars in a matter of seconds. Tilted windows offer burglars particularly easy access. Homeowners often expect burglars will smash windows or doors, but this is quite incorrect. Using simple aids, windows without adequate burglary protection can be easily opened by inexperienced people or even children. The police therefore regularly provide advice brochures and hold seminars to improve burglary prevention. Crime prevention brochures inform homeowners about suitable protection measures for windows and doors, for instance, and emphasise the importance of the different resistance classes provided by windows. In addition to this, window manufacturers work with the police to carry out break-in tests. The security level of windows and doors undergoes tests and measurements are taken about how long a window can withstand attacks from the outside.

The most important factor homeowners can gain for window and door burglary protection is time. Many break-ins are abandoned purely because forced entry into the home is not accomplished quickly enough. If a window or door can withstand forced entry for at least three minutes, burglars often give up.

Which windows and doors are particularly important to provide with burglary protection?

All windows and doors should, of course, offer a certain level of security. But some windows are considered particularly susceptible to breaking and entering. These include basement windows, for example. These windows are often of a simple design, they are positioned behind front garden flower beds or other planted areas and are difficult to see. This makes it easy for burglars. Many households do not bother to fit basement windows with special protection features. This is a big mistake, because once the burglars have managed to enter the home the rest is child’s play. In blocks of flats in particular, burglars are not in any real danger of being discovered either. Windows on the ground floor and lower floors also offer easy access to burglars. It is a general rule that any window within easy reach should satisfy the requirements of an appropriate burglary resistance class.

Terrace and balcony doors are just as vulnerable as windows. Older locking mechanisms provide hardly any resistance to burglars. The locks can be disengaged using just a screwdriver. Homeowners should therefore fit their balcony and terrace doors with an appropriate window security system.

Resistance classes for windows and doors

Resistance classes have been defined for windows and doors based on an in-depth collaboration between window manufacturers, the police and insurance companies. The resistance classes for burglary protection are categorised in the DIN V ENV 1627/2011 standard. There are six resistance classes for windows and doors which enhance burglary protection. The resistance classes concern the resistance time on the one hand and the type of intruder on the other. The simplest form of protection is offered in resistance class RC 1 N. A window security system of this kind is suitable for windows and balcony doors on the upper storeys of a building, for example. This burglary protection level relates to a relatively simple break-in using physical force. Maximum burglary protection is offered in resistance class RC 6.
The burglary resistance capacity offered by the individual classes is as follows:

Resistance Class RC 1 N

As explained above, windows and doors in this resistance class offer the lowest burglary protection level. If the window in question is a clearly visible window or one on a top floor, this resistance class is quite sufficient. Break-in tests show that a window of this resistance class can withstand an attack by an opportunist burglar for about three minutes. This window, however, is only protected against the use of physical force such as kicking, using a shoulder or attempting to pull the window out. The window is not made of safety glass and can therefore be smashed.

Resistance Class RC 2 N

This resistance class already offers substantially more burglary protection for windows. It is still not made using safety glass, but the window is so firmly anchored in the frame that it is difficult to break open within three minutes using simple tools. Windows of this kind are also suitable for upper floors or for clearly visible windows.

Resistance Class RC 2

Window burglary protection features have again been designed to resist break-in attempts by opportunist burglars and provide adequate resistance for three minutes. Using simple tools, such as wedges or screwdrivers, for example, the window is difficult to open. The pane of the window is also protected. This resistance class legislation requires that safety glass is used instead of standard glazing. Safety glass is comprised of at least two individual panes that are bonded together with an adhesive, transparent foil. This glazing is comparable to that of an automobile windscreen and is also referred to as laminated glass. If a perpetrator tries to smash the glass using stones or an iron bar, the intermediate foil provides further resistance that makes it significantly more difficult to break through.

Resistance Class RC 3

In this resistance class, windows offer resistance to burglary attempts by experienced burglars for at least five minutes. The window pane is made using safety glass and the frame is designed to withstand an attack using a crowbar for a certain length of time.

Resistance Class RC 4

Windows and doors in this resistance class already ensure a high level of burglary protection for commercial use buildings. This resistance class specifies that an experienced burglar will be unable to break into a building within ten minutes, even using heavy-duty tools.

Resistance Class RC 5

A window with this resistance class will even withstand angle grinders with a disc diameter of 12.5 centimetres or sabre saws.

Resistance Class RC 6

Windows and doors in this resistance class offer the very best protection for banks, companies storing large sums of cash and private residences with valuable possessions. This window security level withstands an experienced burglar attack using heavy-duty equipment for up to twenty minutes.


Resistance classes RC 1 N, RC 2 N and RC 2 cover approximately 85 % of all break-in categories.
Windows and doors with RC 1 N, RC 2 N and RC 2 resistance classes are therefore recommended for private homes. PVC systems can only be used for resistance class RC 3 in certain cases and cannot offer higher resistance classes.
The Inoutic / Deceuninck profile systems have been successfully tested for burglar deterrence at the renowned ift Testing Institute in Rosenheim, Germany. The test was carried out in collaboration with the well-known fittings hardware manufacturer Winkhaus in Telgte, also in Germany.
The Eforte, Prestige and Arcade systems are certified as being compliant with resistance classes RC 1 N, RC 2 N and RC 2.

Additional security fittings for windows and doors

The police recommend the use of special burglary protection, especially for windows that are easily accessible. This can be in the form of lockable window handles or, in the case of balcony and terrace doors, using a variety of locking handles that prevent forced entry. These systems can usually be installed without having to replace the window. In rented apartments, where the tenant has no say on the window security level, personal safety can be significantly enhanced by fitting special locking systems retrospectively.

Homeowners should also be aware that cat flaps in doors leading onto terraces can undermine the security of the home. If the flap can be opened from the outside without difficulty, experienced burglars can use tools to open the door relatively easily. It is recommended that you provide such doors with an additional locking mechanism.

There are, of course, also other ways to help to prevent break-ins, with alarm systems being just one example. House owners, apartment owners and tenants should, however, also make sure that they behave appropriately. When away on holiday, your home should not appear unlived in. Roller shutters with timers offer additional protection, for instance. Although the homeowner is away on holiday, if the roller shutters are routinely rolled down observers will think the occupant is still at home. Another way to enhance protection is to use motion detectors to switch lights on. Basement windows can also be protected relatively easily using bars.