How to Make Windows Burglar Proof – Home Security Tips
Making Windows Burglarproof
sorts of locks for wooden and metal windows, including some that lock automatically when you close the window. Locks for attaching to metal window frames are rather more difficult to fit, as you may have to cut threads for thefixings.
- Drill bits
- Marking gauge
- Power drill
- Try square
Choosing the right lock
The type of lock suitable for a window depends on how the window opens. Sliding sashes are normally secured by locking them together, whereas casements — which open like doors — should be fastened to the outer window frame or locked by rendering the catches and stays immovable. Whichever type of lock you choose, it makes sense to buy the best you can afford for the more vulnerable windows and to spend less on ones that are especially difficult to reach.
Any window lock must be strong enough to resist forcing and has to be situated correctly for optimum security. On small windows, for example, fit a single lock as close as possible to the centre of the meeting rail or vertical stile; on larger windows, you will need two locks, spaced apart.
Locks that can only be released by a removable key are the most secure. Some keys will open any lock of the same design (an advantage in that you need fewer keys, although some burglars may carry a range of standard keys). With other locks, there will be several key variations.
Wooden windows need to be fairly substantial to accommodate mortise locks, so surface-mounted locks are often used. These are quite adequate and, being visible, act as a deterrent.
If the fixingare not concealed when the lock is in place, drill out the centre of the screws once fitted, so they cannot he withdrawn.
Locking a Sash Window
There are two effective ways to prevent a forced entry through a sliding. You can either use dual screws to immobilize both sashes or restrict their movement with sash stops.
Fitting dual screws
A dualconsists of a bolt that passes through both meeting rails. The screw is operated by a special key, and there is little to see when the window is closed.
1 To fit a dual screw, with the window shut and the catch engaged, drill through the inner meeting rail into the outer one. Wrap tape around the drill bit to gauge the depth accurately.
2 Slide the sashes apart and tap the two bolt-receiving devices into their respective holes. Close the window and insert the threaded bolt with the key until it is flush with the window frame. If need be, saw the bolt to length.
Installing sash stops
When the bolt is withdrawn with a key, a sash stop fitted to each side of a window allows it to be opened slightly for ventilation. As well as deterring burglars, sash stops prevent small children from opening the window any further.
- To fit a stop, drill a hole in the upper sash for the bolt then screw the faceplate over it (on close-fitting sashes, you will probably have to recess the faceplate).
- Screw the protective plate to the top edge of the lower sash to prevent the bolt bruising the wood.
Locking a Casement Window
A locking bolt can be fitted to a wooden window frame: the bolt is engaged by turning a simple catch, but it can only be released with a removable key.
Fitting a surface-mounted casement lock
With the lock body screwed to the part of the window that opens, mark and cut a small mortise in the fixed frame for the bolt; then screw on the coverplate.
A similar device for metal windows is a clamp which, when fixed to the opening part of the casement, shoots a bolt that hooks over the fixed frame.
Locking the handle
A cockspur handle, which secures the opening edge of the casement to the fixed frame, can be locked by means of an extending bolt that you screw to the frame, just below the handle. However, ensure that the handle is not worn or loose -otherwise the lock may be ineffective.
Lockable handles, that will allow you to secure a window which is left ajar for ventilation, can be substituted in place of a standard handle.
Locking Fanlight Windows
You can buy a variety of casement-type locks, as well as devices that secure the stay to the window frame. The simplest kind is screwed below the stay arm to receive a key-operated bolt passed through one of the holes in the stay arm. Purpose-made lockable stays are also available.
A better alternative is a device that clamps the window itself to the surrounding frame. Attach the lock first, then use it to position the staple.
Securing French Windows with Rack Bolts
French windows and other glazed doors are fairly easy to force open — a burglar only has to break a pane to reach the handle inside. Key-operated locks are essential to prevent a break-in.
Fit two rack bolts in the closing edge of a single glazed door. Locate one bolt near the top of the door, the other close to the bottom.
Each door of a double French window needs a bolt at the top and bottom, positioned so that one bolt shoots into the upper frame and the other into the threshold below. It is necessary to take each door off its hinges in order to fit the lower bolt.
- Drill a hole — usually 16mm (5/8in) in diameter — for the barrel of the bolt in the edge of the door. Use a try square to transfer the centre of the hole to the inside face of the door. Mark the keyhole and drill it with a 10mm (3/8in) bit, then insert the bolt.
- With the key holding the bolt in place, mark the recess for the faceplate; then pare out the recess with a chisel. Screw the bolt and keyhole plate to the door. Operate the bolt to mark the frame, then drill a 16mm (5/8in) diameter hole to a depth that matches the length of the bolt. Fit the locking plate over the hole.
Locking sliding doors
If you have aluminium sliding doors, fit additional locks at the top and bottom to prevent the sliding frame from being lifted off its track. These locks are costly, but they offer at least a thousand key variations and provide good security.