Flat roof

How to stop a flat roof from being a liability

Thousands of homes across the country have flat roofs. They’re often used as part of small extensions – particularly on terraced houses, due to their lower cost and ease of assembly. Unfortunately, they present an attractive opportunity to thieves, who can use a flat roof to access an upper floor.

Since many of us still forget to properly close and lock our upper floor windows, this makes it all too easy for an intruder to break in. The cost of replacing a flat roof with a more traditional pitched roof is likely too high for many people. With that in mind, we explain how you can stop your flat roof from being a liability.


Break-ins are more frequent during the warmer months, when thieves are often able to get inside through windows left open. The summer of 2018 was no exception. Speaking to Welwyn Hatfield Times, Hertmere DI Graeme Walsingham warned locals of the danger:

“Whilst residents are being more careful to properly secure downstairs windows and doors, we are finding some burglars are going through first floor windows that have been left insecure. Burglars also use flat roofs to gain access to upstairs windows and can be quite nimble, getting to windows that people may think are inaccessible. We anticipate burglaries increasing during the summer holidays, as historically this tends to happen across the county.”

The very first step to take if you have a flat roof is to make sure your windows are properly secure. If it’s not possible to lock your upper floor windows, consider installing window locks, at least on the ones it’s possible to access from the flat roof. If your windows do have locks, make sure they’re closed and locked when you leave the house.

Some homeowners may choose to install barbed wire, or even broken glass, on their flat roof to prevent an intruder climbing up. However, the appearance will be ugly, particularly for a residential property. Additionally, it may leave you liable should someone get hurt – even if they are an intruder. Combine this with the fact that these measures aren’t particularly effective, and it’s probably best not to bother.


If you’re serious about protecting a property with a flat roof, it may be time to invest in a high-quality security system. A common boost to an integrated system is the inclusion of impact sensors, which will detect if someone tries to force open a window or door. A security system will also incorporate classic (but highly effective) deterrents, like CCTV cameras, security gates, and security lighting, all of which will make a burglar think twice about trying to break in. Most thieves are opportunistic, and a flat roof is a vulnerability that will potentially make you a target. A visible security system counteracts this.

If you have a flat roof and you’re worried about the threat of burglary, consider investing in a security system today. Get in touch with a friendly member of our team, or take a look around our site to find out more.