uPVC lock

The most expensive thing nearly any family will buy is a house. It is therefore of vital importance that a house is secure against burglars and house breakers. There are few things worse than coming home after a holiday and finding your back window broken and your house violated. Even if you are insured against theft of your home possessions and against damage to your house it is not something that is easy to come to terms with. People need to feel safe and secure in their house. A burglar destroys this peace of mind and leaves many families with a sense of vulnerability and unease.

One of the key things you can do to prevent this frightening scenario from becoming a reality is to check your windows, especially the windows at the back of your house, hidden from the road and the eyes of your neighbours. If you have timber frame windows you need to be especially vigilant. Timber frame windows look beautiful but quickly deteriorate under the continual bombardment they get from extreme weather. If it rains a lot and the paint is chipped then moisture gets into the wood and rots it. Rotten timber window frames are easy to pry open. If timber frame windows are exposed to bright sunshine for several years the wood dries out and starts to crack. Again it is easy to get a pry bar between the frame and the window aperture and force the window open because the wood has been weakened.

If you have timber frame windows and you live in an area where burglary is a real possibility you must either repair the timber in your window frames every year or consider switching to an alternative window frame material.

In terms of strength and ability to deter house breakers there are only two choices for window frame. They are aluminum frames or uPVC window frames. Both materials are impervious to extreme weather and maintain their strength and integrity. Aluminum is a metal and stronger than uPVC. However, aluminum window frames are expensive and have poor thermal resistance. By thermal resistance I mean the ability to stop heat from a house leaking outside.

uPVC is a tough plastic and ideal as a window frame material. It doesn't swell or shrink in weather and remains tightly flush against the window opening. Furthermore, uPVC windows multi point locking systems are difficult to force open. Combined with double or triple glazing uPVC window frames deter any would be burglar who will normally slink off looking for easier pickings.

The Metropolitan Police of London on their website suggest ways to further strengthen an uPVC window. They insist you should only buy uPVC windows with a locking system fitted within the frame work of the window. If your uPVC windows only have a locking handle you should consider getting more locks fitted, especially to downstairs windows. Usually an uPVC window comes with either a multi point locking system or a deadlock shoot bolt system. Both systems are more than adequate. However, if you want to further deter burglars you can have hardened aluminum or galvanized steel reinforcements fitted within the hollows of the uPVC which can bolt the window frame to the wall.

Lastly, you should check that the uPVC window beading is on the inside to prevent the window being removed easily.

If you follow these tips then your UPVC windows will deter 99% of opportunist house breakers and allow you to return from your holidays without having your windows and your sense of safety being destroyed.