Claims of “impenetrable” security should always be met with some scepticism. After all, ‘impenetrable’ is a pretty big claim! Would it resist a crowbar, or a hammer? What about a bull-dozer, or the jaws of life?
And even if a window was ‘impenetrable’, would it offer any real advantage if an intruder could simply break in through a door or through the ceiling?
As with all security measures, a balance must be struck between the level of security required, cost and other benefits or disadvantages of the security features under consideration.
Louvre Window Security Options
The customising choices available from Altair Louvre Windows extend beyond framing, sizes, colours, handle types and blade types to include an array of security options too.
Even without any of the customising options, security is built in to the basic design of the Altair Louvre. When closed, firm locking pressure makes it exceedingly difficult to prise the window open.
The next level of security is offered by the Altair Keylock which locks the side opposite the handle to make it even more difficult to break the window open.
Available as woven metal mesh screens or metal grill screens, security screens protect the window both when it is open and when it is closed. This could be an important consideration if the windows are to be left open while homeowners are not home or asleep. There is a wide range of security screens available with most window fabricators able to supply and securely install security screens.
Tip: Always check whether the security screens being considered have passed testing to the relevant Australian Standard AS 5039-2008, also a quality installation is critical to the performance of the screen.
Security screens have some additional benefits, but also some disadvantages.
Security screens provide some shade to the window which can help avoid homes overheating during summertime and when the windows are closed, screens reduce the movement of air next to the window which results in insulating properties better than many double glazed windows. WERS ratings are available for both screened and unscreened Altair Louvre Windows, visit www.wers.net
There are downsides to screens though, the reduced airflow caused by the mesh which improves the insulating properties of the window also reduces the desirable cooling ventilation when the window is open. Screens also obscure views through windows.
Altair Louvre Windows can have optional 16mm diameter solid aluminium bars fixed to the window frame to the outside of the blades and positioned to allow the window to open fully.
Like screens, security bars protect the window both when it is open and when it is closed. They do not affect ventilation significantly and offer no shading or insulating benefits.
Altair Security Bars will have a moderate effect on views with 16mm solid bars and 124mm vertical spacings between bars.
It’s worth noting that top-pivoting louvre windows offer security in the form of 8mm diameter solid stainless steel metal bars inserted into the hollow aluminium blade holders. This means that when these windows do not have security bars, the hollow aluminium blade holders are still required to hold the blades so unobscured views are not possible. These aluminium blade holders also have a greater effect on views than Altair Security Bars as they are both thicker (28.5mm) and positioned closer together (106.5mm vertical spacings between members).
Interestingly, these metal blade holders appear to negatively impact the insulating properties of these windows, with very high U-values listed in their WERS (Window Energy Rating Scheme) ratings.