I felt compelled to write this blog after hearing people say this:
“There’s no point in fitting window stays because thieves will cut through them with bolt cutters or unscrew them.”
I’ve heard this (or something similar) said quite a few times and never really had a ready answer. After having had a good chat with our excellent and knowledgeable locksmiths about ‘The Window Stay’, I hope I can convince you too that window stays really do contribute towards the safety and security of the people who use your premises, be they in your home or your business.
The Burglar: Burglars are more likely to gain access to property through a window than a door, because typically windows are less secure than externally-facing doors.
It is the unrestricted, open window that gives the burglar their best opportunity. You might say that an open window is an invitation to a burglar. If you’re asleep, or in another room, and an accessible window is open, then a burglar can be in and out of that building without you being disturbed.
The opportunistic burglar is unlikely to be carrying a pair of bolt cutters around with them as they’re big and bulky. Their normal tools of trade are more concealable items such as a screwdriver and hammer.
The Window Stay: Window stays are fitted to enable safe ventilation, and to prevent someone from falling out of the window, and, to a certain extent, provide some security.
Window stays are a part of your property’s overall safety and security.
Securely fitted and being of the correct type, your window stays will restrict how far a window can open to allow you to safely ventilate your property, prevent anyone falling or climbing out of the window, and give you some level of security while you’re in your property.
Securely fitted and being of the correct type, your window stays can allow you to be in another room whilst having windows open elsewhere in your property and you can feel relatively safe.
Some window stays can be disconnected to allow a wider opening, but we recommend that this only be done for maintenance, such as cleaning the windows, or painting them, etc., or for emergency egress.
Potentially, a burglar could unscrew your window stays, but it’s not a quick job, they’d need to have brought the correct screwdriver with them, they probably should have brought their lunch too, as it is quite a fiddly job…..
Be Safe and Secure: You should always close all the property’s windows before you leave your property unoccupied. If you leave accessible windows open, then even the window stays may not be enough to keep the burglar at bay (see next paragraph). If you’re away for some time, you should also consider locking your windows with deadbolts for improved security.
A wise locksmith said to me “a lock is only as secure as its fixings” and this goes for the window stay too. So, please make sure your window stays are securely fitted with the correct fixings and haven’t come loose. On the very odd occasion, burglars have been known to wrench open window stays with a screwdriver or similar tool. Generally, though, doing this creates noise and increases the risk of disturbing occupants, so burglars are generally deterred from even trying to do this.
Ensure you have the correct window stays for the type of windows you have and that they are securely fitted.
In Summary: Opportunistic burglars want to be in and out of any property as quickly as possible. Your aim should be to make it as hard as possible for burglars to do this without making your property into a fortress.
If you leave an accessible window open and without restriction, especially if you’re asleep, or distracted, or the property is unoccupied, then you are giving a burglar a great opportunity they may not be able to resist.
If you have window stays on all your accessible windows, as a minimum, then you are providing more of a deterrent to burglars.
Window stays on windows that are higher up the building will also prevent falls from windows; they are a safety feature.
Maintenance! Ensure your window stays remain securely fitted.
Give your local friendly locksmith a call to boost your property’s safety and security with some window stays.
Call 0800 GO ALBA to talk to a locksmith about your window security needs.
Top image Shutterstock, all other images copyright Assa Abloy NZ Ltd
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