As an extension to your house, it can be very easy to pay less attention to the condition of your conservatory. However, carrying out regular checks on its structure and fittings will ensure the space is safe and suitable for the whole family, and less attractive to potential intruders. This is especially important as burglary rates rise in the summer with people away on holiday or leaving windows open.
Now is the time to give your conservatory the once-over. To help, IronmongeryDirect, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of specialist ironmongery products, offers 10 tips on choosing fixtures that will keep your conservatory safe, secure and looking great.
Invest in quality
First and foremost, when choosing a company to install or upgrade a conservatory, do your research such as reading reviews. It’s also important to ask potential suppliers to confirm that their work meets benchmark security standards including British Standards 7950 and 7412.
Choose high security locks
There’s an array of window and door locks available today, but for a high-security product, try a multi-point lock that is suited to timber and uPVC. These are easier to lock and unlock than traditional options and protects the door or window from changing weather conditions.
Pick the right alarm
Finding the right burglar alarm for your conservatory is essential. Changing temperatures in a conservatory can render standard passive infrared (PIR) alarms practically useless, triggering lots of false alarms. A dual technology sensor uses PIR and microwave technology, making it a lot more reliable in a warm environment.
Install external lighting
In addition to an alarm, fitting external lighting with a motion sensor will act as an extra deterrent to intruders.
Buy friction hinges for added safety
Before buying friction hinges for your conservatory windows, accurately measure the dimensions and check that they’re suitable for your timber, uPVC or aluminium frame. An egress-only friction hinge restricts how far the window can open, providing less temptation to burglars, and preventing children from climbing out.
Update door and window handles
Replace old conservatory door and window handles with more secure options. For instance, a multi-point window handle automatically locks when it is closed, and can be deadlocked. Suitable for both uPVC and timber windows, these handles come mainly in white, but other colours such as ‘gold effect’ are available for a touch of glamour.
Opt for easy openers
Spending time in your conservatory should be relaxing, so opt for a telescopic skylight opener, which makes opening windows and skylights effortless, and keeps the window secure when closed. It’s ideal if you need to replace stiff or rusty handles.
Trim back shrubs
This may seem unrelated to security, but cutting back overgrown shrubs around the conservatory will expose the building, making it trickier for burglars to use the foliage and its shadow as cover. This will also let more of that glorious light into your conservatory.
Avoid a timber frame
Choosing a conservatory frame is not just about the aesthetics. While wooden frames are attractive they require more care and are easily damaged. uPVC or metal frames need less attention and provide better security.
Safely prop open doors and windows
A traditional cabin hook and eye can add a rustic charm to your conservatory decor, while restricting door, window and shutter movement. Although not a security product, it helps to prevent damage and makes entrances more accessible for everyone, perfect when entertaining friends and family on lazy, summer weekends.