When choosing the type of windows for your home, there are different factors that you should consider. One of these factors is, of course, the level of security.
You want your windows to provide adequate levels of security. Burglars and thieves, while casing properties, always look for weak spots and entry points that will allow them to enter the property quickly. And windows happen to be one of the easiest ways to break into a property.
So, are tilt and turn windows secure? Tilt and turn windows are very secure because they have multiple locking points and are made of thicker glass and durable frames and internal hardware. Tilt and turn windows are also very difficult to pry open or break into, which means they are safe against burglars and thieves.
Tilt and turn windows are found mostly throughout Europe, but they are not nearly as hard to find in the USA as they used to be. Today they are slowly gaining popularity, and with this, more and more people will wonder about how secure they are.
So let’s take a look.
- 1 How Secure Are Tilt and Turn Windows?
- 2 Are Tilt and Turn Windows Safe?
- 3 Are Tilt and Turn Windows Safe in Case of an Emergency?
- 4 What Type of Tilt and Turn Windows Is the Most Secure?
- 5 How to Make Tilt and Turn Windows More Secure?
How Secure Are Tilt and Turn Windows?
Tilt and turn windows are fairly popular among homeowners. Tilt and turn windows are very practical, aesthetically pleasing, easy to operate, and secure, making them the go-to option for many families.
How Tilt and Turn Windows Work?
As the name suggests, these windows are equipped with a tilt and turn mechanism that allows the window to be opened in two different ways:
- The first way tilt and turn windows can be opened is inwards like a standard casement window. This way, you can fully open the window, which allows greater ventilation.
- The second way they can be opened is by tilting the sash inwards at the top like a standard hopper window that has hinges on the bottom. By tilting the window, you benefit from having good air ventilation while keeping it partially closed.
When the handle is in the bottom position, the window is locked, turning it 90 degrees to the horizontal position opens the window fully. And turning it in the upwards position allows the window to tilt.
Usually, tilt and turn windows have an integrated fly screen, which can also be opened if necessary.
When the tilt and turn window is fully closed and locked, they are one of the safest and most secure window types.
The security concern with these windows comes when they are fully opened or tilted. While the window is fully open, as expected, people can easily climb through the window. So you have to ensure the window remains closed if you want to ensure your home is as secure as possible.
However, upon leaving their home, many homeowners will usually keep the window in the tilted position to provide some air circulation in the rooms while they are away. So are tilt and turn windows secure enough while in the tilted position, and can somebody break-in?
Are Tilt and Turn Windows Easy to Break Into?
When talking about their safety and security, we should also consider how far the tilt and turn windows open.
Tilt and turn windows usually open inwards between 1.5 to 5.5 inches. Some windows may have only one preset option of how far inwards they can tilt, while others can have a restrictor switch that allows the window to be tilted open in different ways.
The good thing is that when in tilt mode, tilt and turn windows usually do not open wide enough to allow a person to slide through and enter the property. However, the person from the outside may be able to reach inside by sliding through their hand. Thus it is not recommended to leave anything valuable within an arms reach.
This fact may cause some concern of whether or not the burglar may be able to reach around the handle and open the window or other nearby windows.
But here’s the thing.
To open the window, they need first to close it and then turn the handle, which they cannot do from the outside. And on top of that, the surrounding windows are usually stationary, so they cannot really be opened. So a burglar cannot really do much even if they try sliding their hand through the gap.
The locking mechanisms that are typically installed at various points around the window frame normally are very sturdy, preventing the burglar from being able to break into the property by prying off the window without that being an extremely arduous, time-consuming, and, more importantly, noisy task.
In the video below, you will find a short demonstration of how hard it can be to actually pry open a tilt and turn window that has been tilted.
Are Tilt and Turn Windows Safe?
Tilt and turn windows are considered safe. However, they may not be safe around children because they can be opened fully. This creates a risk of the child falling out of the window. If the window is in the tilt position, however, it will be extremely difficult and unlikely for the child to fall out.
Depending on which position the window is left at and the child’s ability to operate the handle tilt and turn windows can be a safety concern for some parents.
Are Tilt and Turn Windows Safe in Case of an Emergency?
A window is supposed to offer security not just when it comes to preventing break-ins but also during emergencies.
Here’s what I mean.
Although the primary purpose of a window when it comes to home security is to be difficult to break open from the outside, it should also allow for an easy and quick escape from inside the property in the case of an emergency.
If a fire broke out, your only chance of escaping could be through a nearby window, in which case you do not want that window to prevent you from doing so.
Unlike some other window designs, tilt and turn windows are easy to operate and should not pose a security concern in an emergency.
What Type of Tilt and Turn Windows Is the Most Secure?
Generally speaking, there are a few different types of tilt and turn windows frames.
uPVC frames are considered the cheapest and the best option in terms of value for money. The uPVC frames require little maintenance while providing excellent levels of security. However, cheaper models can be of inferior quality and thus may need to be avoided.
Aluminum frames are more expensive but offer higher levels of security and durability than uPVC frames. However, aluminum frames require more maintenance, are more prone to condensation issues, and can develop rust over time.
Composite frames can also be found. These can vary in their make, but some of the more popular ones are aluminum-coated wooden frames, which try to combine the toughness of aluminum frames with the wood’s naturalness. They can vary in price but are somewhat expensive, though, they do provide adequate levels of security.
Timber frames are fairly expensive, require the most maintenance and care, and can start to rot over time. Timber frames usually cannot offer as much security as the other types of frame materials.
How to Make Tilt and Turn Windows More Secure?
There are a few different ways to improve the security of tilt and turn windows.
- Using tilt and turn windows that have multipoint locking hardware. This allows the window to seal a lot more tightly, making your home quieter and safer. Tilt and turn windows that utilize a multipoint locking system are a lot more challenging, if not nearly impossible, to pry open.
- Ensuring you are going with high-quality, well-engineered, and designed tilt and turn windows. Not all windows are created equal. They are some designs that are of inferior quality. For example, if not properly closed while switching between the different modes, some tilt and turn windows can even fall off the casement or end up hanging on just one hinge. These windows may be easier to break over time or pry open.
- Switching to thicker, tempered, or laminated glass and applying security window films—all these serve the purpose of making the glass shatterproof, meaning that the window will remain in place even after multiple direct impacts.
- Ensuring the windows are made with high quality reinforced frames. Some frames can even be reinforced with steel making these windows extra tough and durable.
- Installing a home security system that utilizes security cameras, motion-detecting sensors, window (magnet) sensors, glass break detectors, and is 24/7 professionally monitored.
- Installing window security bars. Window security bars are a fundamental but extremely effective way of upping your home’s security. However, they are unsightly and can pose a hazard in the case of an emergency.
Windows remain the easiest way for many burglars to enter a property simply because they can always be shattered, granting easy access for the burglar to the property.
This means that the type of window frame you are using is not the be-all and end-all of home security.
That being said, it is important to understand that nothing is completely burglar-proof. If a burglar has the right tools, experience, knowledge, and time they can potentially get around any security measures homeowners can set in place. Even window security bars are not completely burglar-proof.
The real goal is to make the whole process of breaking and entering as difficult and time-consuming as possible. Burglars simply cannot afford to waste too much time or be too noisy as this attracts attention—something they want to avoid as much as possible.