4 Things to Consider When Deciding Between Retractable & Fixed Security Gates

Security gates in South Africa are manufactured in either retractable or fixed formats. The two types look very similar but there are key differences between them and each has their own set of benefits. To decide which version is better for your home, there are four things to consider: location, convenience, budget and purpose.

1. Location

Where do you need the security gates be installed? The main difference between retractable and fixed security gates is that retractable gates slide open whereas fixed gates cannot be opened at all. Retractable gates can be fitted to doors and windows. Fixed security gates are pointless for doors because they do not open but they are ideal for windows.

Some points to consider about the location of your security gates are:

  • In a low crime risk area, you can opt for lower priced fixed or retractable security gates as the likelihood of an attempted break-in is minimal. There are some good products on the market that do an excellent job without costing a fortune. Take a look at the Trellidor Burglar Guard range.
  • In a high crime risk area, you should look at installing more expensive and usually stronger security gates, whether fixed or retractable, as they stand up better to an attempted break-in. Trellidor Retractable gates are available in various strengths and prices, so find out from your nearest outlet which is best suited to your circumstances.
  • Single storey homes can be fitted with matching fixed and retractable security gates on all doors and windows for seamless security and great protection.
  • Double storey homes give you the option of fitting stronger security gates to windows and doors on the ground floor and similar but cheaper products upstairs.

2. Convenience

Fixed security gates are a good choice for most windows. They are usually called burglar guards in South Africa and grilles in other countries and are a common form of window protection. A point to note is that you cannot open them for easy window cleaning. Once fixed security gates are fitted, all you have to do in the way of maintenance is to wipe them down regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  

Retractable security gates, on the other hand, are very convenient as burglar guards as well as security gates. When unlocked, they slide open and out of the way so that windows can be cleaned easily. Or you may want them open to enjoy the view without the clutter of burglar bars at times.

These sliding gates are one of the best options for doors of any type, including front doors, back doors, patio doors, passage doors and outside office doors. If fitted by Trellidor, the bottom track can be recessed into the floor so that it is not a tripping hazard.

Reputable manufacturers fit retractable security gates with strong, patented locks, adding to their strength and convenience. If kept closed and locked, with the keys stored in a safe place, retractable security gates provide great security for doors and windows.

For added convenience, if you buy multiple retractable gates from Trellidor, they can all be keyed alike so that one key can lock and unlock all the gates. Or you can choose to have different keys for all your retractable gates.

An image of a Retractable Security Gate covered with Cottage Guard security screens.

3. Budget

One of the benefits of fixed security gates for windows is that there are some very reasonably priced designs that are budget-friendly. Retractable security gates are a little pricier due to the fact that they are fitted with locks and other security features such as a full, four-sided frame.

Be aware, though, that with security gates you get what you pay for. Better quality gates have additional benefits, such as a stronger construction that gives you more time to call for help if you hear criminals trying to break into your home.

High quality security gates are usually custom-made so that they fit the window or door properly. This ensures the security gates are strong and robust, making it difficult for criminals to break through.

Good quality retractable security gates are made to slide open and closed smoothly, whereas cheaper versions often stick and are harder to close quickly. Better quality products have a full, four-sided frame that makes them far stronger than semi-framed or unframed products. They also have dependable, excellent quality locks rather than off-the-shelf locks that are easy to breach.

In most cases, criminals are under time-pressure and don’t want to be caught. The noise of a difficult break-in through strong retractable or fixed security gates may attract the attention of the homeowners, the neighbours or the security patrol. The better the quality of the security gate, the harder you make it for them to break in and the less likely they are to try.

4. Purpose

What do you need your security gates to do for you? The answer to this question will help you decide what type of security gate you need.

  • Do you just want a visual deterrent to keep criminals away from your home?

    If yes, then a lower priced fixed security gate may be what you need on windows and reasonably priced retractable gates on doors.
  • Do you want to create a safe zone in your home?

    In this case you will require a mix of retractable and fixed security gates. At least one window in the safe zone must have a retractable security gate on it so that you have an emergency exit if you need to escape this way. The rest of the windows in this zone can be fitted with fixed security gates. The passage will have a retractable security gate in it so that you can open it up during the day and lock up at night.
  • Do you want serious protection throughout your home?

    If you want your entire home to be properly protected to prevent a home invasion, then look at fitting high quality fixed and retractable security gates to all doors and windows in your home. Get some help from expert security barrier manufacturers to make the process of deciding on a package of products to suit your home and budget easier.

For help on deciding on retractable or fixed security gates, contact your nearest Trellidor outlet

They will assist you with a free assessment of what you require and recommend products based on this as well as on your budget.

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