We all want to keep our valuables and families safe in our homes, and fitting keyed window locks on all window openings in your home is an easy job for the DIY/home enthusiast. Inexpensive but easy to fit keyed window locks will at least add a layer of security to your home, that will significantly reduce the risk of anyone trying to illegally enter your home.
Seeing keyed window locks invariably means those with criminal intent will simply move on to another less well protected property, rather than having to toil against these simple security devices.
As stated above, keyed window locks should be fitted to all of your window openings. Some people mistakenly think that a laminated or double-pane window won’t need to be locked as they are more difficult to break. Whilst that is true in terms of breaking the glass, a criminal could still more easily lever the casement away from the frame itself, if no keyed window locks are in use.
Types of Window Locks
There are several different types of keyed window locks available for sale but not all of them are suitable for all types of window. Of particular significance here is whether you have casement or sash windows.
Casement and sash windows do have keyed window locks specifically designed to suit the ways that the windows operate. Essentially a casement keyed window lock will have a locking catch and stay to secure the casement to the frame.
A sash window keyed lock will typically secure the two sashes together with dual screws clamping the sashes or they will be a surface mounted rail lock. Quite often sash window keyed locks can be fitted so as to prevent the window from being opened wide, at the same time letting them be fitted so as to allow the window to be opened slightly for ventilation.
Casement Window Locks
Whilst it is possible to buy casement keyed window locks that will allow the window to be both opened slightly and locked, the most secure ones will simply lock the casement window shut.
With the window closed, mark the positions for the striking plate on the frame and the locking body on the casement. With the window open if necessary, start the holes for the fitting screws with a bradawl.
If necessary, drill a pilot hole, or just screw home the retaining screws, fixing the striking plate and locking body in position. Close the window and test that lock is working properly. Fixing at least two keyed window locks per casement is recommended, with each one near the corners of the casement, on the edge where it opens away from the frame. If you don’t fancy creating holes in the window casement and frame, you can consider using a bolt screwing mechanism that locks the casement stay in place.
Sash keyed window locks basically have three components, a threaded barrel into which a projecting screw with a barrel top is locked in place with a key. In the case of sash window keyed locks that can allow some ventilation the threaded barrel is fitted into the frame and acts as a rail lock.
For maximum security to lock the windows shut, the threaded bolt will be fitted to the sashes. To fit a sash window lock all you need to do is drill a hole the correct diameter for the threaded barrel to fit tightly into, with the other component being screwed into it by the key.