Police statistics indicate that around 30% of burglars gain access to homes via a window.
So, conduct a security-review of your home window security from a thief’s point of view: –
- Inspect all window locks on the ground floor windows and those above, that are vulnerable via a flat roof or drain pipe, not forgetting fanlights.
- Check the frames are strong and free from rot or rust, or loose hinges and handles.
- Look for British Standard Kite-Marks for home window security BS7950, BS 7412 – PAS 011 for PVCu systems, BS 644 – PAS 011 for timber.
- Consider the quality of the glass, modern double glazed units are hard to break.The best protection for vulnerable windows is laminated glass at least 6.4 mm thick that conforms to PAS 011. The Glass in wooden windows should be secured on the outside with wooden beading and security screws rather than putty.
- Examine existing key operated window locks, (handle locks, are easily broken) or have some fitted that also secure the frame. Some home insurance companies now require window locks, or offer discounts for this added protection.
- Any skylights or fanlights? Protect them with locks.
Hints and Tips
Louver Windows are extremely vulnerable as the slats are easily removed from the frame.A special louver lock is available but best advice is to replace them with fixed glass.
Sash Sliding Windows The central sash catches are not reliable. Fit dual screws that effectively bolt the two sashes together, or sash stops are a strong alternative but should be fitted in pairs.
UPVC or PVC-U Double glazed windows are usually fitted with locking systems when manufactured. The locking system should be fitted within the framework and activated by the handle.Consult your installer before fitting extra locks to PVC-U or metal windows, to ensure your warranty is not affected.
Aluminium Framed Windows A locking handle is the only means of security fitted to standard aluminium windows, which is not considered to be burglar proof as the handles can be easily forced open.The window frames are usually very narrow and special locks have been designed to secure them. The sliding horizontal window can be secured by fitting a lockable clamp to the lower frame.
Leaded Windows Leaded windows are attractive but very vulnerable and require secondary glazing, decorative grills or security film to make them secure.
DIY shops sell inexpensive, key-operated locks to fit most windows.