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Types of Window Locks

Your home’s security takes top priority over everything else with your home. Keeping yourself and your family safe is extremely important and you should do whatever it takes to do so. Knowing the different types of window locks and their benefits is a small step you can take that makes a big difference.

Did you know that there are many different types of window locks? Do you know what kinds of locks are on your windows right now? What’s the best window lock available? You should be able to answer all of these questions in order to keep your home safe.

types of window locks

Don’t worry, we’re here to answer those questions for you. We’ll go over the types of window locks available and what you need to know about each one. Reading this article is going to change how you view your window locks forever.

Why Are Window Locks Important?

You’re probably wondering why window locks are so important. Can’t intruders just break the window? Won’t they just use the front door? These are popular opinions that aren’t the right mentality.

For starters, intruders can break the window, but it isn’t in their best interest. Their goal is to get in and out of your house without being detected. Breaking a window draws the attention of you, your neighbors and anyone nearby. Next thing they know, the police are on their way.

Also, why would an intruder head right for the front door? You already know they don’t want to draw attention to themselves when trying to break into your home. Walking right up to the front door is the worst idea an intruder can have. They’re looking for a well hidden entry point into your home – like a window.

Knowing the types of window locks can help you be more prepared for anything that could happen. Your goal is to make it as difficult as possible for someone to break into your home.

Do All Rooms Need Window Locks?

If you don’t want to have window locks on all of your windows, that’s ok. Some areas of your home, such as second story bedrooms, are difficult for intruders to reach. However, there are a few rooms that absolutely need window locks.

Your basement, front windows and any windows that are on the first level and aren’t protected by a fence should definitely have window locks. They make for easy access to your home otherwise.

We also suggest any large windows a person could fit through have a lock. They make it much easier for intruders to sneak into your home.

Even though we already mentioned you don’t need locks on second story windows, we make an exception for children’s rooms. The last thing you want is to put your child in danger so make sure there’s a lock on their window – especially if it faces the street.

There Are Many Types of Window Locks Available

There are many types of window locks available for your windows. Some locks are there when it’s installed and others can be added post installation. Mixing and matching locks is beneficial to your safety and we highly recommend it.

Below we’ll go into greater detail about each lock and how it benefits your safety.

Window Latch

Window latches are the most common type of window lock. They’re found on most single and double hung windows when they’re installed. Window latches are simple locks that should be reinforced by other locks to help fortify your window.

They’re found on the top of a window sash to secure the two sashes together when they’re both closed. When the lock is unlocked, you’re able to operate both sashes (if it’s a double hung window).

Keyed Locks

If you’re looking to buy an additional lock for your windows, try a keyed lock. They’re often paired with single hung windows, double hung windows and sliding windows.

They’re installed on the side of your window and secure it to the frame. Keyed locks, as the name implies, can only be locked and unlocked using a key. It’s important that you know where the key is otherwise you won’t be able to open your window ever again.

Child Safety Latches

Child safety latches allow your window to open to a certain degree. Double hung and sliding windows often have two sets of child safety latches found at 3 and 5 inches. You’ll be able to circulate air in your home while preventing anyone from getting into your home.

The reason they’re known as child safety latches is because they’re made more to keep children in your home than intruders out. If your children are playing near an open window, they’re in danger of falling out. Child safety latches alleviate the problem by preventing your windows from opening too far. Your kids are safe and you can enjoy a cool breeze.

Swivel Action Locks

These are a more unique style of window lock. Swivel action locks are self locking thanks to a snib that prevents the window from opening once it’s closed. There’s no key used to lock or unlock your windows.

This sounds like you can’t unlock your windows once they’re shut. How will you enjoy fresh air again? Don’t worry, it’s as simple as turning the snib from left to right which releases the lock.

Lag Screws

If you’re looking for a cheap way to add extra security to your window, lag screw locks are a great option. You’ll need to drill a couple of holes on the window and insert the lag screws. Then, by tightening washers on each side, you’re able to prevent the window from opening.

While it’s an extremely cheap option, we don’t recommend using a lag screw lock as your main source of protection. It’s more of a complement than anything else.

Sliding Window Locks

Sliding window locks are very primitive looking locks that are extremely effective in preventing home invasion. These locks can only be used with sliding windows and sliding patio doors thanks to their design.

sliding window lock

It’s a long solid lock that’s placed in the track on the side that prevents the window/door from opening. If you want to open your sliding window or door, all you have to do is take the lock out of the track. That’s it –  it couldn’t be any more easier.

The biggest benefit of sliding window locks is that there’s no installation required. All you need to do is put the lock in the track and take it out when you want to use it. Some sliding window locks are becoming more advanced and require a key to open them.

Hinged Wedge Locks

The great thing about hinged wedge locks is that they give you control over how much, if at all, your windows open. Like the child safety latches, they’re beneficial to families with small children who have play areas around an operable window.

Hinged wedge locks can be pushed inward toward the window allowing it to completely slide open. The more it’s pulled away from the window, the less it will open. You have complete control over air circulation and safety of your windows.

Window Pin Lock

There are two pieces to a window pin lock: the part that’s installed on your window and the one on your window frame. When these two parts are attached, they prevent your window from opening.

How does it do this? The piece that’s attached to your window frame has a long chain. That chain can slide into the piece that’s attached to your window creating a bond that’s difficult to break. This will make it almost impossible to open your window.

Folding Latches

Folding latches are often used to lock casement and awning windows. They’re found on the frame of the window and, once the window is closed, fold down to lock it into place.

If you want to open your window, it’s as simple as unfolding the latch by pulling it up. These effective locks are found on most casement windows and some awning windows upon purchase and installation.

casement window lock

Handle Lock

A common window lock that’s associated with hopper and awning windows is a handle lock. They’re a simple latch that, when horizontal, locks your window. When it’s pulled vertically, it unlocks and doubles as a handle to open your window.

Make Sure They’re Installed Properly

The lock won’t protect your home if it isn’t installed properly. When installed poorly, your lock will be easy to break and gaining access to your home will be simple. It’s almost like you don’t have a window lock at all.

The different types of window locks come with instructions on how to install them. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and install them properly.

What about the window locks that come as a part of your window such as handle locks, folding latches and window latches? The installation of the window is crucial for the lock to work properly. That’s why you want to hire a trustworthy window installation company.

Feldco is known for their replacement windows. We offer only high quality products and ensure that they’re installed properly and efficiently. It’s no wonder we’ve been named America’s #1 window and door company.

Know Lock Ratings

When buying new locks for your windows, make sure you check out the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) lock grades. These grades determine the quality of lock.

Here are the grades your lock can be rated:

  • Grade 1: highest ranking for residential locks. Extremely difficult to break into and safest for your family. Most expensive option
  • Grade 2: intermediate lock and the ranking most locks fall under. Will keep your home safe but isn’t the same quality as a grade 1 lock
  • Grade 3: basic lock. Great for complementing other locks in grades 1 and 2. The least expensive option of the three

Types of Window Locks: Which is Best for Your Home

Knowing the types of window locks is crucial for keeping you and your family safe. They can discourage intruders from attempting to break into your home and some can even protect your children from falling out of the window.

The quality of your locks is heavily determined by how well they’re installed. Window installation plays a role in locks that come attached to the window. Proper window installation is the key to keeping your home safe.

Feldco offers high quality windows that are installed by factory trained and certified professionals. Over 350,000 homeowners have trusted us with their home improvement project and you can be next. Get a free quote now!

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