Installing secure windows in your home is important on a couple of fronts. Firstly, strong frames and locks can protect your home against intruders, significantly reducing the risk of break-ins and burglaries. Secondly, restrictive window openings can create a safe environment, opening just wide enough to ventilate a room without the risk of falling out.
The best way to compare windows’ security is to research their credentials. Windows must achieve the British Standards certification PAS 24:2012 – the minimum security standards required for residential properties. As of October 2015, all new build homes must be fitted with double glazing that achieves PAS 24:2012 in order to be Document Q compliant.
Some windows also boast ‘Secured by Design’ accreditation, an initiative to reduce crime through secure glazing, backed by the UK Police.
Internally beaded windows
Window glazing is held in place against the frame with a small strip called a ‘bead’ which runs along all the edges of the window sash.
Early uPVC windows had the option of external window beading, but this has largely been dropped due to security concerns. Window beads used to be a lot weaker and offered an easy opportunity for burglars to simply peel them away and remove the glass.
Most windows nowadays have internal glazing beads (on the inside of the window), which is the most secure option.
GrabLock - Exclusive to Everest
GrabLock is exclusive to Everest and has been designed and developed with leading lock manufacturer, Yale. GrabLock has three times the locking surface area of a standard, multi-point or shoot-bolt window lock, making it our most innovative and secure lock ever. Formed of a sleek rotating cylinder that quite literally 'grabs' a specially designed 60mm long 'keep' on the window frame, it forms an extra secure and highly effective bond.
Made of aluminium, highly durable and non-corrosive, it's not only functional and durable, offering you the best in home security, but it's also been designed to be smooth-looking, stylish and discreet.
There are many more options regarding locks than you might have first thought, offering varying levels of safety and security.
Technically, a window with just two locking points can be considered “multi-locking” but the more points that a window can be locked, the more secure it is. There isn’t a standard number of mechanisms, but if you can find a window that has eight or more locking points, you have yourself an incredibly secure window.
Bi-directorial locking adds a layer of complexity in the frame that prevents the intruder from being able to jemmy your window out of place.
Key lockable handles
All modern window handles are key lockable, which makes it infinitely more difficult for potential intruders to simply wriggle your windows open. It also adds an extra safety feature for top storey rooms accessible by children and vulnerable. It is recommended that you leave your key inside the lock, however, so you don’t need to look for it in case of an emergency.
Hinge-side security brackets
Some uPVC window frames incorporate tough, interlocking brackets that secure the outside of a window sash when fully shut and locked. This means that if an intruder tries to lever the window on the hinge side, the brackets will prevent them from being able to jemmy the window out of place.
Used for fire escape windows, egress hinges allow a casement window to open fully outwards in order to provide a fire escape.
Opening restrictors limit how much a window opens, either by connecting the sash and the frame via a cable, or by fitting key-lockable restrictors that allow windows to open no more than a couple of centimetres wide for ventilation purposes.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reports that 4,000 children under the age of 15 are injured falling from windows every year – something that could easily be prevented by using window restrictors.
Lockable ventilation & night vents
Windows have the option of leaving a small, 1-inch gap when closing, locking them ‘nearly closed’. This is also known as the night vent position, and many people use this as a means of ventilation. However, leaving a window on the latch is far less secure than shutting a window fully, and can present an opportunity for a potential burglar to prise open the window.
New windows can be provided with ‘trickle vents’ instead, which provide background ventilation without compromising the security of your home.