Isn’t it funny how you can manage for years without knowing anything about a particular subject, and then suddenly have to become an expert in about ten minutes flat?
That can be the case when the lock mechanism suddenly fails on your PVCu window. Would you know how to choose a new lock that will put things right and improve your security at the same time?
Or perhaps your insurer wants to know which sort of locks you currently have fitted, so that they can give you a quote. It’s important to remember that if you don’t have the right sort of locks fitted to your windows, your insurance could be invalidated if you need to make a claim. You don’t want to be left out of pocket.
And bear in mind that one in three burglars gets in through a window. Good locks are going to deter thieves from targeting your home.
This article has been written by the expert locksmiths at ITCC to give you a bit of background information about window locks. Just bear in mind that locks are useless if you leave the window open, or if you leave the keys in the locks when the window is locked open!
Check that you have:
- Key-operated locks for all accessible windows. ‘Accessible’ means all windows that can be reached without a ladder, which have an opening of at least 9″ by 9”. Even small windows such as bathroom fanlights need locks – a burglar can get through any gap that is larger than a human head.
The two most common types of window locks are casement locks
and fanlight locks.
Casement locks make it impossible to open a window without having the right key.
Fanlight locks have a metal bolt that secures the metal arm used to open and close a window. You can get versions that are embedded into wooden window frames, or you can buy a device that will stop the window being opened beyond a certain limit.
- A multi-locking system for your patio doors. If your wooden French windows don’t already have a multi-locking system, you’re advised to at least fit some special bolts at the top and bottom of the door. Even better, it’s worth asking a locksmith to fit a five-lever multi-locking system for you, at about a third of the way up the door. This will ensure that the lock is fitted at the strongest and most secure point possible. If you have a PVCu door, it must be fitted with at least a three point multi-locking system, and preferably a five-point version. Different insurers have different requirements; check with them first.
- Barrel-type sash window locks are designed to operate in addition to the window fastener. Fit two to each sash window, especially if the windows are extra-wide and are at the front of the house. Some types of sash window locks allow the window to be locked open, which is a big bonus during hot weather.
Now you should be able to chat about window locks with your local locksmith to your heart’s content!