WINDOWS, LOCKS AND INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
To start out, what I say in this blog post is what we have experienced in the years we have been working as locksmiths and asking our customers what their insurance policies require.
You must check with your insurer, as some policies may vary.
This is what we found when we’ve been called to our customers’ properties to upgrade their locks to insurance standards. We have looked at their policies and we found the same when we’ve looked at our own insurance policies. The locks what we’ve fit over the years are always the same locks to conform to what insurers require.
So, 90 percent of all insurers require key-operated window locks on all windows accessible from the floor or a flat roof. Some even say if you can climb a gutter and get to the window, those windows also need to be key-operated.
There are two main types of wooden windows. They are:
There are the various types of locks available:
• Manually-locking locks. These require that you push down or around a part of the lock in order to lock onto the other part. Once this is done, insert the key and lock the two parts together. To open the lock, turn the key and this releases the two parts. You then open the window.
Each type of window is suitable for various types of locks.
Wooden Sash Windows
Sash windows are the type of window that goes up and down. You can get various types of locks that fit on sash windows. The main ones, which are usually fitted in the middle of the window, are called fasteners.
Heritage Fitch Fastener
The Heritage Fitch Fastener locks by turning the lever that is mounted on the inside window so it will lock into the piece on the outside window. These locks are available in various colours, including brass and chrome. This lock does not conform to insurance standards as it doesn’t lock with a key.
Quadrant Sash Window Fastener
The Quadrant Sash Window Fastener is mounted half on the outside sash window and half on the inside sash window. The lever part is on the outside sash window and this locks into the keep part mounted on the inside window. This style of sash fastener is available in different colours, including brass and chrome. The lock pictured above does not conform to insurance standards as it does not lock with a key.
Brighton Sash Fastener
Brighton Sash Fasteners have a swing-over threaded piece that sits on the outside sash window. This piece flips over and is seated in the grooved keep part that sits on the inside sash window. Once in the groove, the nut is tightened in order for both parts to fit together.
There are many slightly different designs for fasteners, and they come in various colours.
There are many different types of locks you can get for sash windows that comply with most insurance policies, as most polices only require that they be locked with key- operated window locks. The main types installed are shown below:
Sash Stops are fitted to the outer sash window on the frame. They prevent the inside lower sash window from moving past the outside sash window. You can fit one right on top of the inner frame and prevent the window from moving at all. You can also fit a stud higher on the frame to allow for an air gap but still have the window remain locked. If your window is wider than 600mm, we advise fitting locks on both sides of the window.
Sash Stops Fitted at different heights
Sash Bolts have a brass sleeve part that is drilled into the inside sash window. The bolt is then screwed through the inside window into the outside window, and locked in place with the key. To unlock the Sash Bolt you simply turn the key and the bolt comes enabling you to lift the inside sash window or pull down the outside sash window. The problem with these types of locks is that over time the windows can come out of alignment (usually one sits higher than the other) and the bolt does not go in or come out smoothly.
There are other locks suitable for Sash Windows. The above are the most common.
Wooden Casement Windows
Wooden casement windows are the windows that are hinged either on the side or top and open outward. The older style wooden casement window usually has a casement stay and fastener.
The newer style wooden casement windows have a single handle on the inside and a multipoint locking system. This type of system is located on the side or underneath the window, and is not usually visible from the inside. This type of locking system is commonly found on UPVC windows and double-glazed windows.
The newer style casement windows conform to insurances standards if they have a handle that is key-operated, and also have a multipoint locking system. The older style casement window needs to be fitted with a key-operated lock to conform to insurance standards.
On older style wooden casement windows you can get locks that operate automatically—you just shut the window and the locks are secured, and you open them by turning the key, or you can get manually-operated locks—when you close the window you manoeuvre the locking parts together, then lock them shut with a key. All of these types of locks are made by various manufactures, including Chubb (ex-Chubb see article here), Union, Yale, ERA and many more.
Casement Window Locks (non-auto locking)
The pictures above show one of the most common non-auto locking wooden casement window locks. This type of lock has a piece fitted on the window frame and a piece fitted on the window. To it lock it you shut the window and flip the piece with the keyhole in it around the fixed piece on the frame. When you turn the key, a locking screw is threaded into the piece fixed to the frame (sandwiching both together, tightly).
Wooden Casement Window Locks (auto-locking)
Above are a several types of auto-locking wooden casement window locks. This type of lock has one piece fitted on the window frame and the other part fitted on the window. When the window is closed, the piece on the window automatically locks into the piece on the frame. To open the window, you simply turn the key and push the window open.
If you need any help or advice, please contact us. Thank you.