What makes a window secure?
Sunday, February 16, 2020
When it comes to your home, you want to make sure it is as secure as possible. After all, you put a lot of hard work into paying for that home and the things in it, so you don’t want to make it easy for a burglar to get in and steal it all. One of the ways you can do this is by making sure all of your windows and doors are safe, strong and secure. Windows are often the weak points in a home, which means you need to pay attention to the security mechanisms they have, and if you need to upgrade them. You have a few security options for windows, and today we want to explain what each of them is, and the various pros and cons to each one.
Internally beaded windows
In this type of window, the glazing is held in place against the frame with a small strip known as a ‘bead. This strip runs along all the edges of the window sash. In early uPVC windows this was a standard, but over the years it’s been dropped, mainly due to safety concerns, since window beads back then were a lot weaker, and accessible from the outside. This meant burglars could simply peel them away and remove the glass to get in through a window. Now however window beads have gone through massive changes – they are much more robust and secure, and in fact most windows now have internal glazing beads (meaning the bead is on the inside of the window), which is one of the safest options.
Multi-point locking might sound complicated, but in reality this is what most people know as a ‘self-locking; window. There are a lot of options for multi-point locks on a window, with varying levels of safety and security. Technically, a window that has just two locking points could be considered multi-locking, but the more points that a window can be locked through, the more secure it is. There isn’t a ‘standard’ number of mechanisms for this kind of window, but if you can find one with 8 or more locking points, you have a very secure window! Bonus security points if you have bi-directional locking, since this adds another layer of complexity to the lock and stops a burglar from being able to just jimmy the lock open.
Key lockable handles
You might think we’re tricking you here, since all modern windows are key lockable. But this simple lock mechanism makes it infinitely more difficult for intruders to just wriggle your windows open. It also adds in an extra layer of safety on upper level windows, especially in homes with small children or vulnerable people who could try to open windows they shouldn’t. Unlike with doors however, it’s recommended you leave the key for the window inside the lock, so you aren’t having to scramble around for it in case of an emergency.
Hinge-side security brackets
These brackets are an option on some uPVC windows, and incorporates a set of tough, interlocking brackets that secure the outside of the window sash when it’s fully shut and locked. Don’t worry – they’re not big or really visible at all, so they won’t spoil the look of your window – but they do mean that if an intruder tried to lever the window on the hinge side, the brackets will get in the way and stop them.
This kind of hinge lock is pretty much only used on fire escape windows, since they allow a casement window to open fully outwards to provide an escape route during a fire.
If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel you’ll be familiar with this kind of lock. Studies show that every year 4,000 children under the age of 15 are injured from falling out of windows, and opening restrictors aim to reduce this. They limit how much a window can be opened, either by connecting the sash and the frame via a cable, or by fitting a key-lockable restrictor. These are more often used in commercial premises, but can also be used in homes with small children or vulnerable people on upper floors to prevent accidents.
Choosing the right materials
If you’re trying to compare the security of a few different windows, the best way to do this is to research their credentials. All windows are required to meet the British Standards Certification PAS 24:2012. This is the minimum security standard for residential properties, with new laws stating that any ground floor windows must achieve this standard to be fitted, along with including laminate glass. Some windows will also boast additional certifications, like ‘Secured By Design’ accreditations – which is an initiative to reduce crime through secure glazing, and is backed by the UK Police.
If, after all that, you’re still not sure what to go with, we recommend you talk to an expert. At Truglaze, we stock all varieties of window with all ranges of locks, so we can help you understand the differences and find the best window type for your home. Feel free to visit our showroom to see your options in person, or get in touch with our team for some completely free advice and information.