A lot of burglaries can be prevented. Most are committed by opportunist thieves, and in two burglaries out of 10 the thief does not have to force his way in because a door or window has been left open. Burglars like easy opportunities. They do not like locked windows because breaking glass attracts attention. They do not like security deadlocks on doors because they cannot open them even from the inside and they have to get out through a window. They do not like steel frames because their inherent strength makes them difficult to force.
Steel for Strength and Security
One of the best deterrents to a prospective burglar is the traditional “cottage” style steel window, divided into small frames, with interlocked steel glazing bars welded or tenon-riveted into steel frames.
The weakest link in a window assembly subject to forced entry is the method of attaching the hardware. Screws and rivets can too easily be torn out of the base material, but hardware mountings held by steel screws threaded into steel frames are more resistant.
A burglar resistant steel window can still allow air movement, either with two point handle closure which gives the option of fastening cracked open instead of tight shut, or with trickle ventilation through the head of the window, while still maintaining locked security.
The adhesive sealants and metal beads used to secure the glass in most steel framed windows ensures that it is not easily removed. For particularly vulnerable areas, consider having laminated glass, which can make breaking and entering through the glass pane very difficult.
Locked handles and stays will maintain security even if the pane is broken.
Crime Prevention Initiatives
The Home Office advise that a third of burglars get in though a back window. Easily visible locks deter thieves, because a window lock forces the thief to break the glass and risk attracting attention.
- Fit key-operated window locks to all downstairs windows, those which cannot be seen from the street and easily accessible upstairs windows
- Even small windows such as bathroom fanlights need locks – a thief can get through any gap larger than a human head
- Remember to remove keys from locked windows and to keep them out of sight in a safe place
Steel Window Locks
Locking handles and locking devices can be incorporated during manufacture or fitted subsequently, often with minimum preparation.
Handles with cylinder locks operated by removable keys can often be fitted as direct replacements of those
originally supplied on residential side hung and pivoted windows.
They are usually retained by a hexagon nut or pin between the glass and the handle mounting plate. The nut or pin can be withdrawn by using an appropriate spanner. Provided the handle plate is compatible, a new locking handle can be substituted and its nut or pin re-tightened with the same tool. The alternative locking handle is face fixed with four M5 machine screws.
These locking handles can be toned brass, or have a satin chromed finish and are available left or right handed to match the original.
Stay Clamp Locks
A peg stay clamp lock
Removable clamp locks are even simpler to install as they require no tools. These firmly clamp the peg stay of a top hung window to the stay rest and are operable only with a removable key.
A variety of other proprietary locks and bolts are designed for steel windows. Some prevent movement of the fittings. Others prevent opening of the frame. Fitting them to existing windows involves drilling and tapping holes in the frames.
Enhanced resistance to intrusion is offered on new windows in the W40 range with a concealed multipoint cremone bolt locking system operated through the frame by a geared handle.
- Have all exterior doors fitted with bolts top and bottom.
- Glazed steel framed doors are fitted with security mortice deadlocks. A key-operated deadlock is preferred, so a thief cannot smash a nearby panel to open the door from the inside. Even if thieves do gain entry though a window, they cannot carry your property out through the door. Shoot bolt Mortice lock for doors to BS 3621
- Door hinges are sturdy and well secured
- For added security hinge bolts can be fitted, which help reinforce the hinge side of a door against the use of force.
Steel Window Association manufacturing members can provide locking devices, locking handles, concealed bolts and mortice deadlocks if these are ordered with new windows and doors.
For fitting to existing installations SWA trading members can supply locking handles. Other window locks are available through window distributors, builders merchants, do-it-yourself and hardware stores.
The Steel Window Association represents the great majority of UK steel window manufacturers, ranging in size from the smallest of craft-based companies that specialise in replacement and repair work, particularly on windows for Heritage buildings, through to large, multi-site companies that manufacture and install windows in literally every type of building. There is not a single steel window project of any description, anywhere in the UK, that one of the SWA members cannot handle.
All windows produced by SWA members in hot rolled steel sections to BS.6510 are protected by the hot dip galvanizing process in accordance with BS.729. Cold formed steel section windows are also available and all steel section windows can be supplied with a decorative finish available in a range of colours. This process, in which polyester powder is electrostatically applied then heat fused under factory controlled conditions to BS.6497, gives a high quality, attractive and durable finish with a life expectancy of at least 20 years.
The Steel Window Association supports its member companies with a wide ranging service relating to product development, market research and promotion and the SWA helps ensure that each member operates to the highest industry standards. Every contract undertaken has the personal attention of senior management and SWA member companies operate established and flexible services in window design, manufacture, installation and repair and refurbishment.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this fact sheet is correct at the time of going to print. However, the technical information and services referred to in it are subject to revision from time to time and may be added to or withdrawn. © Steel Window Association 2012