Retractable vs. Fixed Security for your Windows – Factors to Consider

The difference between retractable and fixed security for windows

Most people looking for burglar proofing for their windows don’t know that they have a choice between permanently fixed security for windows and retractable security gates for windows that can unlock and open.

Fixed security gates for windows are permanently attached to either the window frame or to the wall around the window and does not move. These burglar bars can only be removed by unscrewing them. If you do this, you are left with no protection from criminals.

Retractable security gates for windows are burglar bars that can be opened without being removed. They do not have to be unscrewed or weakened in any way. The frame stays attached to the wall around the window but the burglar proofing inside the frame can be unlocked and opened or closed and locked as needed.

Types of Retractable and Fixed security for windows

There are many types of window security in both the ‘fixed’ and ‘retractable’ categories. Your choice will depend on your personal preference, the style of your home, your budget and how vulnerable to a break-in your home is.

Fixed security designs for windows

Some fixed security designs have been around for decades. Others are newer to the market. Here are some ideas of what is available.

1. Steel trellis-style burglar bars

This type of window security has been popular for many years. They range from DIY burglar bars that you can purchase from a hardware store and fit yourself to more robust custom-made units.

Your choice here will depend on how likely you are to be burgled. If you live in a low crime risk area, the cheaper version may be enough. They are usually only framed on two sides and lack dependable strength. Be aware that this burglar proofing is easy to kick out for burglars to get inside your home.

Galvanised steel trellis-style burglar bars custom-made by a reputable manufacturer like Trellidor will stand up far longer to an assault by criminals. These burglar bars are fully framed and have in-built strengthening features that make them a far more reliable form of physical protection.

2. Combination steel and aluminium cottage pane burglar bars

Trellidor manufacture a product called Cottage Guard that is a combination of steel and aluminium.

The outer frame is square aluminium tubing. Inside this tubing are steel threaded cruciform rods, which add incredible strength to this fixed security for windows. There are very few products on the market to compete with this one in terms of strength under attack.

Cottage Guard is custom-made to match the gap sizes in cottage pane windows. But these gaps must be within the size range acceptable to your insurance company. Generally, this means that the gaps must be small enough to stop a child or child-sized adult getting through them.

This fixed security for windows can be made for any type of window, not just cottage pane ones. It is a good choice for large expanses of glass that could be cut or broken by robbers for easy access into your home because the burglar bars will block them out.

3. Semi-framed steel Burglar Guards

These electro-galvanised steel burglar bars are less expensive than fully framed galvanised steel fixed security. They are available in several designs including flat bar, single trellis or double trellis. They are not as strong as fully framed burglar bars but still do a good job of keeping robbers out of your home.

These burglar grilles are perfect for homes with a lot of windows or where budgets are limited, because they are very cost effective. They are very practical as they’re made from oval shaped tubing that is easy to clean.

Trellidor Burglar Guard goes through a pre-treatment for enhanced corrosion and UV resistance, which makes them suitable for both coastal and inland conditions. It can be fitted internally, externally, face-on, in the reveal, horizontally or vertically.

4. Poly Guard fixed security

Polycarbonate bars are one of the newer fixed security products that have become available for windows. It is see-through and hard noticeable, so it is popular in residential estates where metal burglar proofing is not allowed.

This type of fixed security is usually installed to stop monkeys and baboons from getting inside homes and trashing them. It does not provide a high level of security against human intrusions.

This is because the Polycarbonate strips are usually just attached to the window frame, where it is easily removed by robbers. Trellidor manufactures a fully framed version that is attached to the substrate around the window with tamper-proof fixings, giving it more strength under attack.

Retractable security designs for windows

We’re all familiar with steel trellis-style retractable security gates for doors. But did you know that you can have them fitted to windows too? This is just one of the window security barriers that can be unlocked and opened when required.

An image of retractable security.

1. Steel trellis-style security gates for windows

The same gates that we have on our doors can be made for windows too. The main advantage of this design over fixed security for windows is that the gates can be unlocked and stacked to the side.

Why would you want to do this? There are several reasons. The first is that it makes cleaning your windows much easier than trying to fit your hand around fixed security barriers.

The second is that the gates can be quickly unlocked and opened if you need to get out of your home through the window. Reasons for this range from a fire to home invaders getting into another part of your home to a hostage situation.

2. Clear Guard retractable security

Clear Guard security screens are made by Trellidor to match the way your windows work. So, if you have sash windows, for example, your Clear Guards will be fitted in a sash format too.

The benefits to this are that you can easily get to your window handles to open them. You can then close your Clear Guard units and lock them so that you get fresh air without compromising on your safety.

Clear Guard is a very strong product and is fully framed, so is suited to high crime risk areas. It is popular in places where mosquitoes and malaria are a problem because the mesh screen blocks them out. It also blocks out snakes, monkeys and baboons.

This product can be manufactured in a fixed security format too, for fixed panes of glass. This means that all your window security can match and will be easy on the eye.

3. Aluminium louvre retractable security

Aluminium louvre shutters are well known as a pretty window treatment. Some designs, though, can be used as protected security for windows too. These are louvre shutters that have built-in strengthening systems and good quality locks.

These shutters can be very cost effective if you use them to replace curtains, window blinds and burglar proofing. It is a 3-in-1 answer to window treatments that suits just about any type of home and décor style.

Trellidor Louvre Shutters is an aluminium louvre shutter with internal strengthening features that make it a security barrier as well as a shutter. Each louvre is reinforced inside with a threaded steel bar along its entire length and the shutters are fitted with a patented Trellidor locking system.

When closed and locked, these shutters provide security whether the louvres are open or closed. The uncluttered, streamlined design is because operating mechanisms are concealed within each Trellidor Louvre Shutters and there are no external levers or rods.

4. Roller shutter retractable security

Roller shutters made from aluminium are an excellent choice for window security. Like louvre shutters, they can take the place of curtains, blinds and burglar proofing in one product.

When closed, these shutters provide a high level of protection. This makes them top of the list for holiday homes that are left unoccupied for long periods of time. They’re also a good option for the homes of people that travel frequently or that live in high crime areas.

Trellidor Rollerstyle roller shutters can be automated and remote controlled. Several shutters can be controlled using one hand-held remote or wall mounted control panel. This makes opening and closing all your retractable window security quick and easy.

Factors to consider in choosing retractable or fixed security for windows

Now that you know what fixed and retractable security for options there are for windows, here are some factors to consider when making your choice.

  • Windows that are easily accessible to criminals should be fitted with the strongest burglar proofing you can afford.
  • Less accessible windows can be fitted with less expensive security.
  • There should be at least one retractable security barrier on windows in your safe zone. This is the one you’ll use as an escape route should the need arise. It is preferable to have more than one retractable security barrier in this area.
  • If your budget is tight, consider securing all the windows and doors in your safe zone first. You can secure other windows when you have the funds.
  • You can have different types of fixed and retractable security on your windows if you have them all powder coated in the same colour for a seamless appearance.
  • Get a security expert in to help you decide which fixed or retractable security barrier or barriers for windows are best for your home and needs.
  • Ask your security barriers supplier to give you quotes on several different types of fixed and retractable security for windows so that you can compare them and make an informed choice.
  • Take advantage of any discounts on offer on high quality fixed and retractable security for windows so that you can get the best for less.

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