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Upvc doors and windows in Brighton, East Sussex

A standard lock used on the uPVC window casements can use a variety of locking points to secure the window into the frame.

These locking points have greater security and resistance to attack by the window. Knowing which lock you have is important so you can make a judgement as to whether you need more security.

White secure UPVC window with lockable handle. Closeup, selective focus

How to make UPVC windows more secure?

For every window in a house or flat, it is important to consider the following;

Open Window Security
Closed Window Security

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Windows Security Insurance Policy Requirements

Always check your insurance policy for their stipulations on window security requirements – if you don’t comply, your insurance may be invalid and your provider won’t pay out!

There are many ways to secure the windows. At the very least, every window should have a key-operated lock.

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Window Locks

Locks for windows are a must! The type of window locks required will depend on the kind of windows you have.

Window Restrictors

They have their role as window protection, but it is important to be mindful that window restrictors are not sufficient to prevent an attacker gaining entry. Window restrictors are more of measure for safety than a security mechanism. Window restrictors are primarily used to stop children falling out of windows. Windows popular in loft conversions for example, can be a critical risk in this respect.

A handle and a restrictor, window stopper or limiter on PVC double glazed window with horisontal aluminium blinds close up.

Cockspur Window Handles

Cockspur window handles don’t have a spindle on the rear like spag handles; rather, they feature a spur (as the name suggests), mounted on a wedge. Such handles are available in left and right versions and different size backsets. Cockspur wedges are available in different sizes to accommodate different backsets on the handles.

ESPAGNOLETTE (ESPAG)

Window lock system, consisting of a central gearbox and a face-bar with locking points mounted on the front bar. Locking points can be in the shape of roller or mushroom cams or retractable or non-retractable hooks.
The level of security offered by the espag systems can vary from minimal to full security performance depending on the locking point.

padlock and shootbolt on a garden shed

SHOOTBOLT

A window lock mechanism, consisting of a central gearbox, a face bar (sometimes concealed in the glass) and a shutter that stretches outward from the top and bottom (or either side of the top hanging curtain) of the window securing it close to the frame.
Lower performance shot bolt systems may also include mushroom cams. These may also be fitted with a roller cam for pushing the sash into the frame for optimal weather-sealing.

Measuring Espag uPVC window handles

The Espag handles have a spindle bar on the back of the handle. The most popular spindle sizes are 15 mm, 20 mm, 30 mm and 40 mm. The width between the screws is the usual 43 mm.

The Espag window handles come in two choices, in-line and cranked. In-line UPVC window handles are straight and transform left or right. This is why espag window handles are sometimes referred to as common window handles

TILT AND TURN

This type of window has different keys, handles and hinges to the typical casement window, as it has around the locking points of the window to allow it to function in a unique way.
There are many different types of tilt / turn windows, based on how the window will work-Turn before tilt, Tilt before turn, Tilt only or Turn only windows.

Tilt Before Turn (TBT) is the most common of these. Using a TBT handle that can be closed, stopping the sash from shifting to an open position, meaning it is safer for younger children.

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Key industry terms

LATCH

Latches are a part of some of the shootbolt systems which run from the central gearbox as the handle is rotated to the locking points.
Latches are usually available with a range of modifications to satisfy the air gap specifications of specific window systems.

MUSHROOM & ROLLER CAMS

Rollers are often used for weather-sealing on PVCu doors; and are a cylindrical shape. In addition, they also often provide an adjustment mechanism that allows the compression of the sash against the frame to achieve the correct weather seal.
Mushrooms have an item that interlocks within their hold to provide the sash separation resistance from the container.

KEEP

The holder is attached to the window frame and is where the rotating lock bolts (hooks, rollers, mushrooms, shootbolts) are locked in. Keeps can be made of zinc or a mixture of metallic and plastic elements.
Keeps typically feature a chamfered (angled) entrance, which leads the cams to the final lock position gradually, reducing the force needed to close the window.

NIGHT VENT

A facility through which the window can be placed in a partially open condition to provide improved airflow. Typically, this is given by a second lock position inside the keeps.

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Pip Harris

My name is Pip Harris and I have been a locksmith since 2013. I am fully accredited local locksmith and member of the National Guild of Certified Locksmiths. I live in Hove and have easy transport access to most of Sussex.

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