Windows are not just an essential component of a home's aesthetics but also play a crucial role in ensuring security. As technology advances, so do the means for burglars to compromise the safety of your home. One often-overlooked aspect of home security is the type of window handles and locks in place. This article delves into the different types of window handles for UPVC and wooden windows in the UK, considerations for upgrading Window Security, the vulnerability of older window handles, insurance requirements, and the practicality of homeowners upgrading their window locks.

types of window handles

1. Traditional Handles for Wooden Windows:
Wooden windows, with their classic charm, often come with traditional handles. These handles may feature a latch mechanism that secures the window when closed. However, they might lack some of the advanced security features found in modern UPVC handles.

2. UPVC Window Handles:
UPVC windows are popular due to their durability and low maintenance. UPVC window handles come in various styles, including cockspur handles, espagnolette handles, and tilt and turn handles. Each type serves a specific purpose and offers varying levels of security.

- Cockspur Handles: Commonly found on older UPVC windows, cockspur handles feature a wedge that secures the window when turned, providing a basic level of security.
- Espagnolette Handles: These handles are more modern and are often part of multi-point locking systems, providing enhanced security by securing the window at multiple points along its frame.
- Tilt and Turn Handles: Offering versatility, tilt and turn handles allow the window to open in two ways – tilting from the top or swinging open like a door. They often come with integrated locking mechanisms for added security.

Considerations for Upgrading Window Security

1. Burglar Vulnerability of Older Window Handles:
Older window handles, especially on wooden windows, may lack the robust security features present in modern designs. Burglars can exploit weaknesses in outdated locks, making it easier for them to gain unauthorized access to your home.

2. Upgrading Locks for Enhanced Security:
Homeowners should consider upgrading their window locks to modern, secure alternatives. Key-locking handles, multi-point locking systems, and handles conforming to the PAS 24 standard (a British standard for enhanced security performance of windows and doors) are excellent choices to deter burglars.

Insurance Requirements and Standards

1. ABI Requirements for Window Security:
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) sets standards for home insurance, and these standards often include requirements for window security. Meeting these standards not only enhances the safety of your home but may also result in reduced insurance premiums.

2. Key-Locking Handles and PAS 24 Certification:
Insurance companies may recommend or require key-locking handles as an additional security measure. Handles conforming to the PAS 24 standard are designed to withstand various burglary techniques, providing a higher level of protection.

Cost Considerations for Window Lock Upgrades

1. Investment in Security:
While the initial cost of upgrading window locks might seem daunting, it is a worthwhile investment in the long run. Enhanced security not only protects your property but also provides peace of mind.

2. Comparison of Costs:
Different types of window handles come with varying costs. Key-locking handles and multi-point locking systems may be more expensive than traditional options, but the added security justifies the expense.

DIY Window Handle Replacement

1. Ease of Replacement for Homeowners:
Many homeowners may wonder whether they can replace window handles themselves. The answer depends on the type of handles and the skill level of the individual. Some handles are relatively easy to replace with basic tools, while others, especially those integrated into more specialised multi-point locking systems, may require professional installation.

2. Professional Installation vs. DIY:
When it comes to security, professional installation ensures that handles and window locks are fitted correctly, maximizing their effectiveness. However, some handles, particularly standalone models, may be suitable for DIY replacement if the homeowner is confident in their abilities.


Upgrading window handles is a crucial step in enhancing home security, and homeowners in the UK must carefully consider the type of handles they have and whether they meet current standards. From traditional handles on wooden windows to the advanced multi-point locking systems on UPVC windows, there are various options available to suit different preferences and security needs. By understanding the vulnerabilities of older window handles, complying with insurance requirements, and investing in secure locking mechanisms, homeowners can significantly reduce the risk of burglary and create a safer living environment for themselves and their families.