Tuesday, 06 June 2017 05:56

In The Safe Zone

In The Safe Zone
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Nobody wants to be the victim of a break-in, which is why reliable security is so important. René Hart investigates the key safety aspects to consider when choosing security doors and screens that will keep your home safe and sound.

Home burglary is one of the most common crimes in the country, which gives homeowners good reason to invest in security doors and screens. Security doors are more than a home’s accessory – they are its safeguard. Here, Western Australia Home Design + Living looks at the nitty-gritty of installing security into your home, with the help of Liam Dolan from Alutech.

“Security doors and screens remove any discreet invasions of the home through open windows and unlocked wooden or glass doors,” says Dolan.

“They provide peace of mind to homeowners they can leave a window open at night to allow airflow, and know that the opening is still protected.”

Just like energy-efficient components for sustainable living or outdoor living areas for entertainment, good-quality security doors are desirable features for potential homeowners. Not only does adding a security system keep intruders out, but it also goes a long way towards increasing the value of your property. After all, every homeowner wants to feel safe and secure when they are in their home, as well as when they are away.

“It’s important to remember security doors and screens are mostly about occupied security [which mean] the homeowner can answer the door or ventilate their house with peace of mind that access is denied to any unwanted visitors,” says Dolan.

“Security screens and doors are also an unoccupied deterrent [which means] when the homeowner is absent, access is extremely difficult and a substantial amount of effort would be required in order to attempt to break-in.”

Security doors and screens provide a higher degree of overall protection than regular doors. If you’re thinking about installing a security door or screen into your home, there are a few factors to consider to ensure you make the right choice.

Secure Style

Security doors have come a long way from the rather grim-looking contraptions of the past. In departure from the fortress look, security doors now come in a variety of styles and designs, and can often be custom-made. Generally, they are built from steel or aluminium to make them a vital part of your home security equipment. The infill can be made from steel (in the form of bars or a decorative motif), aluminium grille, structural-grade aluminium perforated sheet or stainless steel mesh. Screens allow you to look out from the interior of your home, while making it very difficult to look in, and therefore provide you a great deal more privacy than traditional bars.

“The most popular security screening systems are the woven stainless steel types, such as the Crimsafe system, which is supplied and manufactured by Alutech,” says Dolan.

This system is high strength but neutral in terms of appearance, so it does not affect the appearance of the home or the view out.”

“Stainless-steel-mesh security products, such as Crimsafe, have made a huge surge in the security market, [and taken] over from older, diamond-grille options, [which are less secure]. Diamond-grille security doors, which Alutech still offer, are still a popular option for those who don’t have the budget to purchase high-quality security products such as Crimsafe.”

The diamond-grille style of doors and windows are available in a large range of styles and colours to suit virtually any décor. Although they’re not considered top-of-the-range, these doors have a strong aluminium grille that provides a reasonable physical and visual barrier, while also performing as good-quality, solid screen door that will keep out annoying insects.

Framing Facts

The effectiveness of a security door or screen depends on the strength of the infill and the adequacy of its installation, as well as the strength of the doorframe or window frame in which it’s installed.

“The strength behind a security door is as much in the fixing to the door or window frame as it is in the fixing of the wire to the security frame,” says Dolan.

“A product like Crimsafe has strong screw clamp systems holding the mesh into the frame of the door or screen, which makes it extremely difficult to gain entry into a house through penetrating the mesh inside the door. Security doors are fixed into the door or window frame using three-point locks, a minimum of three hinges and tamper-resistant screws that are concealed as much as possible. Only licensees of a security product are able to unscrew the tamper-resistant screws that fix the door into place.

A good way to ensure your security door will be correctly installed is to look through all the testing a company has done on their product, via external sources, such as universities,” says Dolan.

The use of unsuitable fastenings or installation into a weak door or window frame can seriously undermine the ability of a security screen door or window to resist the intentions of an intruder.

Lock It In

Common misconception is that burglars often break open windows to gain entry to homes. The truth is, they are far more likely to slip in through unlocked doors, or gain access through poorly secured windows and doors. No matter how sturdy the door is, an intruder can easily open a security door that has a low-quality locking system.

“The most effective and secure locking system is the three-point locking mechanism [that’s found] in both hinged and sliding doors,” says Dolan.

“This means that when the door is locked, locking mechanisms engage at the top, centre and base of the door.”

The three-point locking mechanism will make a door even more difficult to force open than a standard lock system would.


Meeting Standards

A security door or screen that’s not manufactured to specifications of the highest quality is unlikely to be able to do what it’s intended to do – keep your home safe and secure. Buying a product that has passed Australian standards should reassure you that it’s manufactured from quality materials and will perform as it should.

“The Australian standard for security is no different to the standards implied on your weekly groceries or restaurant [visits],” says Dolan.

“If the food does not meet Australian health standards, you shouldn’t eat it. If [your-security [system] does not meet Australian security standards, then it is not doing what it should be doing and you are most likely wasting your money.”

“Only engage a police-licensed security company [that is] registered and [supplies] products] that meet] Australian standards. Don’t fall for a cheaply priced product as this generally means that its quality, strength and post-installation support has been compromised.”

Whether you have an investment property, or one that’s owner-occupied, security doors and screens add value. High-quality security doors and screens will not only protect your home, but they will also seamlessly blend with your façade and look fantastic. Security doors and screens can contribute to your home’s design, increase its kerb appeal, and, most importantly, keep your family and your home safe and sound.

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