A window is only as safe as its lock; no matter how much time and care is spent during the building or installing process, the security of a window is almost completely dependent on the strength and reliability of its locking system. PVC or aluminium frames are strong, tough and resistant to force entry, the double glazing itself is often very hard to break and certainly hard to break quietly.
However, no matter how strong these elements are, a cheap or ill fitted lock will render a window completely unsecured. From cheap metals to poor keys, there are many ways that window locks can be unsafe for use. Ultimately, when deciding what lock to use, it is always worth paying extra and getting a high quality lock to ensure you have high quality security.
It is not just the quality of lock that will effect how secure it is; it must also be suitable for the person using the lock. For instance, fitting a lock too high for the user will mean they cannot lock the window if it was ever opened by someone else, it can also be easy to forget that it is unlocked if it is not easy to check. Security is not the only important factor with windows locks, it is important to get the right colour in order to fit in with the style of the house; chrome is mainly for more modern homes and white looks perfect in almost any style of home.
Another important piece of window hardware to get right is window handles. These are the one component of the window that will be used the most, often every day. A good quality handle must be chosen so that it does not wear out quickly or fail after only a few years. A good window handle will have a smooth but firm action and come with a strong, reasonable sized, key. Small keys are a very big issue with window handles; they can easily break or be lost due to their flimsiness and the fact that they are only small. The finish on the handle must also be of sufficient quality to not start to fade or wear over time, white handles will rarely do this; however, it can be an issue with gold handles. Chrome handles are generally the toughest and are unlikely to ever fade; the issue here is normally the metal scratching easily which can damage its aesthetic value. Some manufacturers have reacted to the fading of their handles and added quality coats to ensure they last for up to 10 years.
Overall, it is important to select good quality window hardware to go with newly built or newly installed windows. If not, security and style may be needlessly compromised.