Most burglaries are carried out through a window. The majority of people deadlock their front and rear doors, but completely overlook their windows. A thief will often enter a property by forcing a window open, and then exit with whatever they can carry via an un-deadlocked door, such as a ranchslider, or a garage rolladoor. A quality, double-cylinder deadlock, that requires a key on both sides, is absolutely essential on all exterior doors, but the windows are the first point of entry for most burglars, so don’t forget to do something about your windows too.
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Modern window latches are designed primarily for modern aluminium joinery. They are designed to be strong and light weight, and convenient and easy to use. They come in a range of styles for both aethetics and also for the kind of application for which they are needed. Once upon a time, they used to be available in only black, but now come in a wide variety of colours and often match the colour of the powder coating of the aluminium they are being installed to.
As a result, there is now an almost endless variety of window handle styles and colours on homes and offices around New Zealand. Window latches do wear out and break from time to time, especially earlier models with pressed shafts and no kevlar washers to eliminate wear. When they do break down, Northland Locksmiths can replace like for like with an identical model and in an identical finish within a few days from the original manufacturer.
Window locks are designed to prevent a window from being opened without a key and effectively make a home more secure. They are either a lockable version of the window latch discussed above, or a lockable deadbolt which complements the existing non-lockable window latches. These can be easily installed to either aluminium or timber joinery. When we are asked to make a customer’s windows lockable for insurance purposes, installing a window deadbolt to complement the existing window latches is normally the most economical way to achieve this.
This is also the most convenient method for the customer too as only one deadlock is required per window, and the window can still be opened and closed most of the time as normal without a key, the deadlocks only being used at times when the customer wants to have extra security, like when leaving for work, for example.
Window stays are the metal brackets that prevent a window from opening more than approximately 15cm. They can be fitted to either timber or aluminium joinery. They are designed to conveniently allow a window to be opened and closed easily without a lock or a key, but prevent a burglary by restricting the distance a window can be opened. They are also great idea if there are young children in the house, as we are often asked to install them for safety reasons to prevent children from falling from upstairs windows, or prevent children from having access to areas where there is a pool, for example.
Window stays are resilient and hard wearing too. We were once called to an attempted home break-in where the stainless steel window stay had been twisted around and around and was completely ruined. The window could no longer be closed, but more importantly, the window stay had not failed and the window was still secure. The window stay had force the would-be burglar to give up and wander off. The window itself was in perfect shape and all the customer needed from us was a new $18 window stay fitted. The other big advantage of window stays fitted on aluminium joinery is that they are largely invisible. They fit snugly between the window frame and window jamb making the window safe, but they cannot be seen at all when the window is closed. In my view, this is perfect blend of practicality and functionality. The window is made safe, but can still be opened and closed easily without extra locks or keys.