Window Lock Security and Repairs

Good window security is often overlooked compared to door security. This is surprising when in 65% of domestic Burglaries gain entry through a ground floor window often at the rear of the property.

Here is a short list of Window lock types the Albany Locksmith Edinburgh encounter on a day buy day basis.

Sash Windows

By far the most common window type used in Edinburgh and the Lothian's. Sash windows have been used in the UK for 400 years. The basic design comprised of two sliding panels or "Sashes" that hold the glass panes.

Picture of three sash windows taken from the interior looking out.

Sash windows are traditionally secured by a single metal mechanism called a "fitch fastener" which sits top center of the inner pans a simple plate can be rotated into place connecting with the outer pane locking them together. The simplicity of this fastener is its downfall. It takes little effort or skill for a crook to overcome the mechanism and gain entry to a property.

a picures of sash bolts and studs plus keys

The most secure method is to install either Sash bolts or Sash stops. Both these devices are secured and opened by keys and therefore meet insurance standards.

Sash bolts are fitted in the central frame and are screwed in via a brass threaded sleeve. The hardened steel bolts are virtually undetectable from the exterior and secure the exterior and interior panes in place. In operation the key unscrews the bolt from the sleeve until the inner pane moves freely. There is no need to completely remove the bolts as they only need loosened of until the pane is free to move. We recommend fitting two bolts per window.

Sash stops are a more flexible option than the Sash bolts as they offer a second locked position to allow for ventilation. Each set comprises of four screw-in receivers and two lockable studs. The receivers are fixed into the vertical sides of the outer pane. The lower position locks the window shut while the second position some 150mm higher allows for secure ventilation. To open the window or change the position simply use the key to remove and reposition the stud. The studs cannot be removed without a key.

Three Locking UPVC window handles

UPVC Windows

UPVC windows offer very good security when well maintained. The locks on these windows are fitted with a "mech" not unsimilar to what we see multipoint door locks. The handle for these windows is effectively the lock incorporating a key operated button that secures the handle in position. When unlocked the handle is free to rotate this movement operates the Mech which in turn slides rollers in and out of the retaining keep.

Common faults Albany Locksmith Edinburgh see are:

  • Lost keys when somehow all the window keys for the house have been misplaced with the Windows in the locked position.
  • Broken handles usually occur when one particular window in opened and closed daily. Simple wear and tear caused the handle to break and the handle needs replaced. Its good practice to spread the load and use other windows if possible. the end result is a longer life for handle locks.
  • Damaged or broken Multipoint mechanism. Can be caused by an obstruction in the keep or loose worn handle lock. If the handle has to be forced its usually the Mech that fails first.
Picture showing range of the most common window Mechanisms

Other Windows and Locks types.

This page covers the two most common types of windows we as Locksmiths deal with regularly in Edinburgh and the Lothians. There are other less common window types such as Aluminium framed windows, Wooden and metal casement windows shuttered windows etc. At Albany Locksmith Edinburgh we support all window type and if we can't supply your current lock from our extensive stock, we can normally source any lock within 24hrs from our dedicated trade Suppliers.