Today’s window locks tend to be low profile affairs that blend in with the color of the window frame. These locks are inexpensive and often come as part of the frame itself. For a unique and attractive accent, sash window locks are an alternative usually found on older or custom homes.
This type of lock is used on double and single hung windows at the meeting of the rail, securing the top and bottom when they are closed. Unfortunately, they are easy to break, and from a security standpoint, should be combined with additional measures to prevent access to the home.
Two common types of window sash locks are the cam and spring action cam types, both of which are common to single and double hung frames. To secure the hardware to the sash, it is screwed into the material on both sides of the frame. The latch then rotates to a fixed slot on the frame to prevent the window from being opened.
Although this basic measure will deter casual burglars and prowlers from gaining access, a skilled and determined thief will bypass this lock easily. However, there are steps that can be taken to make this entry point more secure.
To begin with, a good security alarm system that is wired to the window openings is always a smart choice. Although it would be nice to prevent entry completely, the loud alarm going off may be enough to scare away potential intruders. If it is linked to a security service patrolling the area, this is even better.
In addition, a simple metal tab can be installed on the face of the top sash frame. When this tab is sticking out, the sash cannot be raised. While this feature is common on recently manufactured double hung models, owners of older homes can purchase this piece of hardware and install it with ease. Ease of use is important with a sash window lock.
An alternative to a window sash lock is to take out the double or single hung units and replace them with more secure casement windows. This is an excellent choice for owners of classic homes who are renovating and want to bring the fixtures up to modern standards. Casement style units increase security because they utilize a crank on the inside for opening up. So long as they are closed, the window will need to be broken to gain access. If you were interested in this article on sash window locks, you may also like to read up on the general uses and benefits of a sliding door lock or more specifically on the installation of a sliding glass door lock.