This is a guide on how to secure sliding windows and the tools you will need.
Approximate costs (both DIY and locksmith fees) are given in Australian dollars. I will also provide some extra security tips and advice on double checking your insurance policy fine print.
Newer Sliding Windows
Many new sliding windows have key locking latches already installed. Some allow the window to be locked slightly open for ventilation. If your home has these window locks they are usually secure enough to keep your insurance company happy.
Older Sliding Windows
If your home has only a simple non-locking latch, you should secure them with a key-locking sliding window lock or a window grill.
Installing window locks yourself will cost AUD$15-$20 per window. Having these locks supplied and installed by a locksmith will cost $40-$50 per window.
Window grills vary greatly in price depending on the size of the window and the style of the grill but probably the average is $150-$200 per window.
Most insurance policies require either a key-locking window lock or security grill. This is sometimes in the fine print. If you don’t have one of these forms of security you may be giving your insurance company an easy way to deny your claim and you will be wasting the money you pay on your insurance premium.
Sliding window locks are often called vent locks as they allow the window to be locked slightly open for ventilation. The recommended gap is 100mm but never have more than 150mm. The theory is that if a head can get through a window, a person can squeeze through.
The venting position is not as secure as when the window is shut and locked. Therefore you should only leave your windows locked open you are at home.
To install sliding window locks, you need the following tools:
- Cordless drill
- Sharp 2mm drill bit
- Sharp 8mm drill bit
A Good Idea
Sliding windows can be lifted to varying degrees within their track. If you are using the venting position it is a good idea to fit something in the track to stop the window from being lifted. Small blocks of wood or plastic or just a screw can be used. If fitted correctly, this can make the window a lot more secure especially when locking the window in the open position.
Window grills provide very good security and ventilation. Windows can be left open even if you are not home. Window grills are relatively expensive so best fitted in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens or areas requiring good ventilation.
If a window lock is correctly installed, the glass would need to be broken or a considerable amount of force used to get the window open.
© Mark McLean 2010
Fremantle Lock Service
Stirling Highway, North Fremantle 6159
Tel: 0409 086 497