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Hi there everyone
We are moving to the Costa Del Sol area in the next 3 months. Have been looking at properties to buy/rent. We are a little concerned that the majority of villas/houses seem to have the ugly security bars on the windows. Is there a high crime rate in the Costa Del Sol?

Presumably there is an alternative if a property needs to be secure... ie.. security fly screens (aluminium mesh) or similar.

We are a little spoilt at the moment; living in Kefalonia where the crime rate is virtually nil, we accept that we have to make this compromise to a degree when we re-locate to Spain.

I look forward to your comments.

PS just seen another thread whilst I was browsing the forum... some people are saying that Insurance companies insist on the bars ! Is this true?
 

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I would say that it is wise to have bars on windows and doors. My sister was burgled 3 times in less than 2 years despite having bars and 2 big dogs. Everything of value that she had built over her lifetime was stolen.
This made her decide that after 18 years of living in Spain things had changed so much that she no longer felt safe there so she left and went back to the UK.
 

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I would say that it is wise to have bars on windows and doors. My sister was burgled 3 times in less than 2 years despite having bars and 2 big dogs. Everything of value that she had built over her lifetime was stolen.
This made her decide that after 18 years of living in Spain things had changed so much that she no longer felt safe there so she left and went back to the UK.
And then got burgled how many times ? ;)
 

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PS just seen another thread whilst I was browsing the forum... some people are saying that Insurance companies insist on the bars ! Is this true?
It was certainly true of the insurance company who covered our old house. Any window less than 3m from the ground had to have them. Possibly the roll down shutters on more modern windows are acceptable too, but as we lived in an old house we didn't have those.

It doesn't just apply to properties on the Costa del Sol, though. Houses in the smallest inland villages where crime is virtually non-existent also have them.

Ours were the type withe lots of fancy curlicues and I just looked upon them as a decorative feature.(a nuisance to clean, though, given the amount of dust we get). Now that we've bought an ático I find it a bit strange not to have rejas on the windows, suppose I will soon get used ti it.
 

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It doesn't just apply to properties on the Costa del Sol, though. Houses in the smallest inland villages where crime is virtually non-existent also have them.
That's true, though even in the villages there is petty opportunistic theft. I have grown to love them because you can leave the windows open at night without worrying about unwanted intruders. They also provide nice perches for visiting birds.
 

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Spain is no different to anywhere else, there are locations where this happens and where it does not. I'm sure even on Kefalonia there was crime, nature if the human beast. I'm pretty sure there are equally as many if not more burglaries in the U.K. so important to keep perspective.

I live in an isolated location 8 km down a track from the nearest person and we have bars on our windows and are about to have an iron gate put across our front door entrance

Insurance. - our company insisted on bars on all windows

Security. - Should we both go to the U.K. together, due to our isolation it's sensible, there are opportunists everywhere.


Don't be put off

They're not intrusive. We like the above poster have pretty bars and the ones at th back that were "prison" like our local metálica Carpentira added some frills and spills on, plus they're Spanish, my house is old Spanish, I've got pots hanging on mine..........
 

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Ours (Linea Directa) gives a discount if you have rejas, but they don't insist on them. Same with the deadlock on the door.
Interesting, due to our location they insisted that we have all the bells and whistle
 

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Bars are also more common is Spain because of the heat - they allow you to leave windows and doors open all day.

It´s not necessarily that there is more crime in Spain - if you had doors open all day in the UK, you would also want bars!
 

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Always had a bad feeling about rejas.

Had this picture in my mind of people trapped inside a burning house unable to get out through an open window.

I'm pretty sure roller blinds (persianas?) are an allowed substitute.

I was in a house once where all the blinds could be raised and lowered from a central switch.

Useful if under zombie attack.
 

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There have been rejas on windows in Spain for a long long time. I am not sure if it was anything to do with burglary or not. Up until the late sixties when young courting couples were not allowed to be unchaperoned, they were sometimes allowed to speak with the bars between them. On fiesta days, young men serenaded their novias at the rejas
 

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Always had a bad feeling about rejas.

Had this picture in my mind of people trapped inside a burning house unable to get out through an open window.

I'm pretty sure roller blinds (persianas?) are an allowed substitute.

I was in a house once where all the blinds could be raised and lowered from a central switch.

Useful if under zombie attack.

Was going to say similar, I dislike them greatly because of that.
These days there are enough security options around for bars to be obsolete.

We never locked ours anyway.
 

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Jimenato, in my sister's old town house, it was possible to very quickly undo the rejas from the inside but not the outside. I have lived in the Ross-shire area of Highland Scotland for 24 years. I do not have to lock my door. It is practically unheard of to have house burglaries. When I lived in Glasgow every house I lived in was burgled
 

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They are not much of a deterent anyway. My sister in law has a chalet near Madrid and they simply used a chain ratchet to pull the bars out of the wall. Just to steal a flat screen TV....

The insurance still insist on them though.
 

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They are not much of a deterent anyway. My sister in law has a chalet near Madrid and they simply used a chain ratchet to pull the bars out of the wall. Just to steal a flat screen TV....

The insurance still insist on them though.
This is exactly what my husband says, they'll stop passing trade however the determined thief will drive up, knock down the gates, tie a rope to a car and "yank" them off!
 

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They are not much of a deterent anyway. My sister in law has a chalet near Madrid and they simply used a chain ratchet to pull the bars out of the wall. Just to steal a flat screen TV....

The insurance still insist on them though.
Our house is insured with a Spanish company (Unión Alcoyana Seguros) and they do not insist on rejas and give no discount if you have them. As you say, they are pretty useless because they can easily be pulled out or cut through with an angle grinder and anyway we did not come to Spain to live in a prison cell! After a spate of robberies in our area we did install a burglar alarm a few years ago and this is very effective. We have cameras inside and outside of the house and the system is monitored by the supplier via their own private cellular network. We can also control it via our mobile phones and even when back in the UK we can log on and look around the property. Much better than living in a cage!
 

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Always had a bad feeling about rejas.

Had this picture in my mind of people trapped inside a burning house unable to get out through an open window.
We didn't need to have them on the upstairs windows of our old house as they were too far off the ground, we just had a decorative rail which came about a third of the way up the window, and the windows were the old wooden kind which opened all the way, so I'm sure we could have been rescued by that route had it ever been necessary.

I remember when we had UPVC double glazed windows installed in the UK that regulations said that only one window upstairs had to be capable of being opened to allow us to get out in the event of a fire, so I don't see that we were any worse off in Spain in that respect.
 

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When I initially moved to Spain I vowed I would never install rejas, with a perception of living in a 'guilded cage' whilst OH wanted to install them.

As a compromise, we installed window locks on all the windows and patio doors as a deterrent!!!!! This drove me nuts in the morning trying to unlock all the windows (not a simple process).

So we had rejas installed everywhere even on the external doors. I have actually grown to like them. The bonus of being able to go out in the evening and leave the windows open, if I am in the house on my own I leave the door open but shut the reja so can still feel a breeze through the house. Going to bed at night with the patio door wide open but safe in the knowledge that 'some chancer' would have to use a drill to cut through the reja to enter the property.

With regard to fire risk the ease of opening the rejas is far simpler than the dreaded window/patio door locks we installed.

The only downside, as others have mentioned, is keeping them cleaning and painting them.
 
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