If you’re looking for ways to improve the safety of your home, then this article is a good place to start. Doors and windows are by far the most common entry points for burglars and home invaders, and so focussing your security upgrades on these two areas means you will get more bang for your buck. This article chooses to focus on the latter and specifically takes a deeper look at supplementary window stoppers and restrictors, which can provide an extra layer of security to your windows.
Windows and Home security
Windows remain one of the most common ways for intruders to gain entry into a home. In fact, according to crime statistics released by security company ADT, approximately 25% of burglars enter the home through a ground floor or second floor window. Windows are a prime target, because they are fragile and often have weak or ineffective catches, when compared to a door lock. A thief can quite easily break the window pane or force the latch if given an opportunity. This problem is compounded by the fact that there are so many different styles of windows. While door security solutions are generally universal locks, chains and deadbolts, it is much harder to find one for your window.
Types of windows
Window security is complicated by the inherently fragile nature of the windows themselves, and the fact that there are so many different styles of windows. This means there are very few universal solutions that can help you lock any type of window. So, before we get into some window security solutions, let’s take a look at the different window types found in homes across America.
This is basically a window that works in the same way as a patio door. Sliding windows may open either vertically or horizontally, but in both cases they are secured to a track on one or both sides. Sliding windows are notoriously hard to lock, as they are made out of materials such as aluminum.
Awning windows are windows that open outwards and are hinged near the top, to open horizontally like a garage door. These are usually, but not exclusively, for windows that are wider than they are tall.
Casement windows refer to windows that open outwards and are hinged on the sides, opening like a door. They are one of the most common styles of window and come in a wide variety of sizes and materials.
Another very common style of window, sash windows slide vertically in the frame. These windows are usually made of wood, and their security options may depend on the size and weight of the windows.
Double Hung windows
Double Hung windows are a version of sash window style, where both the top and bottom sections can move. This gives you a lot of versatility in how you choose to open your window, but the more complex mechanism means they are much harder to lock in place.
A bay window is actually an architectural term originating in San Francisco and refers to protruding window spaces, which allow for more light and a better view. Bay windows may come in a variety of styles such as casement or sliding window styles.
Bow windows are very similar to bay windows, but feature a curved protrusion. This round shape means that the window styles are usually casement, or vertical sliding style windows. The rounded shape also means that these can be notoriously hard to secure.
Types of window locks available
One good thing about the susceptibility of windows to break-ins is that there are a number of security products available designed specifically for windows. These can be loosely grouped into the categories window stopper, window lock, or window restrictor. In the section below we look at the pros and cons of some of these solutions.
The major drawcard of the Andersen Double-Hung Window Opening Control Device (we know it’s a mouthful) is the fact that you can open your window without having to remove the lock and that it immediately locks into place when you shut the window. However, despite this ingenious design the Andersen lock does come with some limitations. Firstly, it is designed specifically for single or double-hung sash windows, and its construction is designed to be fitted to wooden windows only. Secondly, once it is installed the opening height is set and if you want to change the size of the opening, the device will need to be reinstalled. But if this meets your requirement it provides an elegant solution, if not keep reading.
Inspired by chain locks on apartment doors, window restrictor cables work by attaching one part to the moving part of the window and the other to the frame. A cable runs between these anchor points to stop the window being opened wider than intended. While the cable can be unlocked allowing you to open your window completely, it is not intended to lock a window in the closed position. These style locks are relatively easy to install, but require custom installation for metal and aluminium doors. In addition, a product is only as strong as its weakest part, which in this case is the cable, which can be cut, so while a good product it provides only moderate protection.
A sliding lock is more of a window stopper than a window lock. It doesn’t add much to the security of your windows, but instead represents a very easy to install and quick fix, designed specifically for sliding windows. The stopper fits onto the glass surface of the sliding window with a special 3M adhesive and while the fit is relatively secure it won’t keep anyone who really wants to gain entry out. Instead it is intended to add an extra level of safety rather than represent a security solution in its own right.
Lock Pins are a cost effective window security solution for many types of sliding windows. In fact, you don’t even really need to buy one. A lock pin works by drilling a hole through the window frame and the window itself and then inserting a pin to prevent the window sliding. The major downside is the fact that you have to drill a hole in your window.
Folding latches are designed specifically for top hung windows such as awning windows. The latch features a handle on the base window frame that locks when the window is closed, and unlocks when the handle is pulled, making for easy opening of these styles of windows.
The LockLatch range consists of three lockable window latches, LockLatch, PetLatch and MiniLatch. While each product has different dimensions, they all work by fitting to the window and the window frame with an adjustable steel arm (much like a window restrictor). This arm lets you lock the window in the open position, meaning LockLatch isn’t just a great way to improve your window security, but also comes with a host of other benefits.
Benefits of using LockLatch products
While LockLatch is primarily a window restrictor security device with a durable C304 stainless steel construction, the benefits of the range don’t end with home security. Across the range of products LockLatch offers easy installation onto all the styles of windows mentioned above. This makes the device a truly versatile, one size fits all security solution. The fact that it allows your window to be locked in the open position also means that you can reap the benefits of fresh air in the home and easier pet access without worrying about your security.
The LockLatch range is manufactured entirely from C304 stainless steel and this means that each device is highly durable and able to withstand corrosion from exposure to the elements. The simple design also means that the drive is resistant to wear and tear brought about by prolonged use, as there aren’t any small parts that can break or fail.
In fact, we have so much faith in the strength and durability of LockLatch, PetLatch and MiniLatch, that each device comes with a lifetime guarantee.
When compared to other options on the market, LockLatch provides one of the most cost effective ways to improve your window security. And this is before you consider the cost of installation, replacement and maintenance that other options require.