Hardware for Security Windows

Q. Why is the hardware (locks, hinges, handles) important for security windows?

A. Hardware is important for three reasons.

              • Hinges must be strong enough to hold heavy security glass
              • Locks must frustrate intruders so they abandon the break-in attack
              • Handles must operate flawlessly. Plus they must look great and feel great to the touch

Burglar Proof Learning


Hinges must be secure while at the same time offer ease of operation. The discrete hinges shown below are typical of the elegance and robustness of European design. 

Top Hinge (closed)

Top Hinge – Open

Top Hinge – Tilt Open

Bottom Hinge (closed)

Bottom Hinge (closed)

Frame and Sash (locked position) 


Locking mechanisms are the strength between the sash and the frame of the security window, when engaged, the locks create multipul positive physical connection points between the sash and the frame, essentially creating a single impenetrable unit. 


The higher the security rating of the window the more locking points there will be. All multi-point locks are controlled with one handle.


Precision engineered handles control the triple operation of the window, Tilt + Turn + Lock.

Precision Engineered Handle

Exploded view of Handle and multi-point lock controller 

Elegance and Strength combined – many shapes and finishes available

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Good hardware doesn’t come from a ‘race to the bottom’

As mentioned before the hardware for high security windows and doors needs to be strong. Much stronger than regular window and doors hardware. Here’s the reason, regular windows and doors are manufactured according to the lowest standard possible. This is so simply because most of the window and door industry has been a ‘race to the bottom’. Meaning most manufacturers want to have the lowest price window on the market.

When low price is the main influences behind the design of a window or a door than all aspects of those products are analyzed from the point of view “How can we make this window or door cheaper?”. The designers and engineers ask questions like, “How can we use lower cost materials?”, “Is it possible to substitute out high quality materials and use lower quality materials instead?”, “What’s the bare minimum we have to design into the window or door to make sure its just ‘good enough’?”. This is the race to the bottom.

There are only 2 forces which inspire most window and door manufacturers to improve their products.

1. Government Regulation

2. Competition

Government Regulation:

In most parts of the world there are standards which are enforced by governments and industries to ensure that products sold to the public have a minimum level of quality. This is true for the window and door industry. Windows and Doors need to meet specific safety requirements simply because the correct functioning of a window or a door may be the difference between life or death for someone who is trying to escape, from a fire for example.

Safety standards require locks and hardware be of a minimum level of functionality. Windows in bedrooms, for example, need to meet egress requirements, this means that a bedroom window needs to be able to open far enough to allow a person to pass through the opening in case of an emergency.


In the US for example, an egress window needs have 5.8 square feet of clear opening with no dimension less than 20” to be considered a true egress window. In addition to the ‘clear opening’ measurement, the hardware must be simple to operate and not require the use of any special hardware which is not already attached and functional. Which makes sense because it isn’t reasonable to expect a person to be able to find and attach a special tool to a window in an emergency circumstance. Furthermore the insect screen needs to be able to be pushed through or ‘popped out’ with minimal effort.

So these types of safety requirements, which are law, will inspire manufactures to invest in their products because if they don’t meet these requirements, then it is illegal to sell their products, and they will go out of business.

Another governmental influence which causes window and door manufacturers to invest more money into their products are performance standards. Governments, and societies in general, have recognized that energy efficiency isn’t a ‘nice to have’ feature anymore. Energy efficiency is a MUST HAVE feature, for many reasons, which everyone knows about.

Energy Efficient

Governments across the world and in different jurisdictions have set minimum energy efficient standards which must be met. These programs are enforced and supported by organizations and programs like the “Energy Star” rating program. Some energy efficiency standards are absolutely required for some products. In other cases if a product exceeds the required energy efficiency level and becomes ‘super energy efficient’ there are occasionally special incentives for these products too, sometimes offered in the form of government subsidies or price discounts.

Because windows and doors play a huge role in the energy management of buildings and homes, (it is estimated that windows and door account for 30% of the energy lost from the regular home), minimum energy efficiency requirements have been instituted wold wide.

Energy Efficiency requirements inspire manufacturers to invest more money into their products and manufacturing practices. Unfortunately, for most of the window and door industry products are designed to ‘just meet’ their requirements and no more.

So governmental influence inspires window and door manufactures to invest (spend) more money into the making of their products, simply by making laws which require it to be so, public safety and energy efficiency are two examples.


Window manufactures know that window buyers will not always look for the lowest price but will search for a window or door which has an attractive blend of “nice features and good price”. This buying behaviour forces manufactures to always be looking for ways to add value to their products and to keep their product offering in comparison with all the other manufactures. Blinds between the glass is a good example of a competitive advantage in the industry, at least is was when it came out  but by now it is commonly available in most products.

There’s a long list of of competitive features which manufactures invest in hoping to define their product as different or better than the competition. Paint coatings and colours, materials, improvements in functionality are all examples.

But ultimately it comes down to the fact that if a manufacture is not always looking for some way to make their product better than or equal to  the competition, then the competition will slowly and surely take all their buyers away.

Apart form these reasons most manufactures don’t have any incentive to invest more money into their products. Their business model is to churn out as much product which is ‘just good enough’ and go to the bank.

How SwissShade + Security thinks about design

On the other hand, there are a very small group of manufactures (like the ones SwissShade works with) who design, engineer and manufacture their products against a different set of criteria. These other criteria don’t mean that the products are over-priced, what it means is that the approach to creating a beautiful and functional security windows is **not** “How cheap can we make it?”. Rather it’s,

“How well can we design this window or door, where we use the best materials available, and combine those materials with leading manufacturing practices to achieve the most desirable product our customers want at a price they can afford.?”

This is the philosophy which has driven German manufacturers to become world leaders in many industries.

When it comes to high security windows and doors we are inspired by a variety of influences and healthy curiosities.

For example,

“How can we make this window as secure as possible against a break and enter attack, even when it is open a bit to let air in?”


“Now that we have designed this window to withstand bullets, how can we make sure it looks attractive and has fine lines?”


“This window has many sophisticated security features (multi-point locking for example) how can we ensure that the operation of the window is simple, consistent and reliable, while at the same time looks great?”

At SwissShade, the custom high security windows and doors we design and build for our valued clients are always loaded with features and functionalities which are never skimped on. This is clearly demonstrated with the hardware we have selected as a key part of our engineering and design.

What you get

The hardware you get with SwissShade windows and doors is industry leading. It has been designed and is manufactured according to exacting standards which are inspired by robust functionality, meaning that they not only work, but that they work really really well. And on top of that they must also look and feel of craftsmanship and quality.

You may choose to protect your family and property with SwissShade security windows and doors, and if you do, you will know each time you look at or touch the hardware that you are protected by and using the absolute best engineering and craftsmanship available.

Keep Learning about Burglar Proofing by reading these great articles.

Hardware for Security Windows
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