A solid, secure lock is the first line of defence against would-be thieves and burglars. If your doors and windows are not locked, or if the current lock is unsuitable for use, then you are effectively inviting trespassers to rummage through your valuables, or worse. As a result, taking the time to research the best locks for your home is not just recommended – it is absolutely essential.

That being said, replacing a lock for a door or window is not quite as simple as flicking through a catalogue and choosing the cheapest item. Certain locks work better with certain materials – uPVC windows, timber windows and older generation windows are more secure with specific locks – and it’s up to customers to conduct research and liaise with experts to acquire the right replacement locks for their home.

One thing to bear in mind with replacing and upgrading old locks is to ensure you measure the old lock positions. By reusing the existing fixing positions, customers can easily upgrade their old locks. However if customers wish to choose a brand new lock, there is no limit on which lock to choose – providing there is enough material on the window frame for the lock to fit into.

With that in mind, here’s a brief run-down of some of the most commonly-used locks for doors and windows:

Bolted shut

For heavy duty protection, an ERA door bolt could be the perfect fit for a front or back door. As a finalist in the G13 Awards Component Supplier of the Year category, E RA is a well-known supplier of effective, strong door bolts and could be the perfect fit for a property that requires an additional level of strength. With key locking and a spring bolt for easy release, an ERA bolt lock could be the right lock for your property.

Elsewhere, a flush bolt might suit a contemporary property, especially those that require locks for slave doors, double doors or French doors. Also found on timber doors, these bolts work via a discrete lever action that shifts the shootbolt to either fully open or fully closed positions. As they require standard sized bolts, they can be replaced easily or changed to a different colour, allowing property owners to match their lock to their room’s décor.

The classic barrel lock could also be used to strengthen your property’s security. Found on many doors, cupboards and cabinets, the familiar barrel bolt is easy to fit and easy to use. A simple slide action, followed by bracing the lock makes these locks ideal for adjacent flat surfaces.

Brown Era Door Bolt

Windows closed…

There are a variety of locks on the market for different types of windows; cockspur, casement and sash windows to name but a few.

For older uPVC and aluminium double glazing frames, cockspur window locks could be the perfect addition. A strong and long-lasting addition, the cockspur window lock closes across a ramp-shaped wedge or striker plate which is found on the opposite side of the window. With a contemporary look, these locks are made to last.

However, cockspur models are not always suitable for timber or wood windows. For these types, consumers should turn to casement window latches as they fit the older wooden windows (but can also be used on newer frames). Click here for a full guide to window latches for timber windows.

For sash windows, consumers may want to replace their old, worn locks with a brand new SW11-PVC sash lock.

uPVC Window Sash lock

…windows open

Keeping windows and doors secure at all times is imperative but, on the other hand, we are but human; opening windows and doors when our property becomes hot and stuffy during the summer is second nature. Unfortunately, this leaves properties open to ne’er-do-wells, as evidenced by Wiltshire Police’s crackdown on burglaries. Due to the warm weather, people tend to leave doors and windows open to bring in cool air; unfortunately, it creates more opportunities for burglars.

While opening windows as wide as possible leaves a property open to risk, consumers can improve this scenario by purchasing locks that allow windows to stay open in a locked position.

Key and snap lock window restrictors are the perfect objects to keep fresh air flowing throughout the house without compromising on security. Not only that, window restrictors can also help with safety; it’s no secret children love to climb and having fixed restrictors on open windows helps to prevent accidents.

There are a variety of window restrictors to suit every frame; from wood, sash, uPVC and aluminium, where each frame has an adjustable restrictor to suit. For instance, sash windows tend to use a screw-in mechanism designed to stop each window opening past each other, while RO4 uPVC window restrictors are concealed within the window and self-engage upon closure.

Replacing locks in all entrances and exits is absolutely vital. However not only do homeowners have to think of the front of their property, the back needs to be extensively secured too. After all, a third of burglars enter properties via back windows, even if the gap is only as large as a human head. While no lock guarantees 100 per cent to keep out all intruders, the mere presence of a lock is enough to deter most criminals and, if not, a strong, durable lock goes a very long way to keeping out the hardest of criminals.

Brass Sash Window StopOperation of a R04 Window Restrictor

Author: George Mitchell