Security Grilles: A Buyer’s Guide
By Giovanni Bergantini
Feb 11, 2016
In our last post we talked about security shutters and how the various types can protect your property from ‘grab and run’ intruders. We also discussed the downsides to certain types of shutters in some situations.
In this post we are going to take a look at a similar physical security measure: retractable security grilles.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Security grilles offer the benefit of being unobtrusive, for the most part. Internal models are generally not visible from a distance as they fold back and can be secreted behind curtains or blinds. When extended they clearly display an added layer of security, and as most intruders work on an opportunistic basis, many of them on seeing a grille will move on to an easier target.
However, as we discussed with security shutters, there is the possibility that the presence of such a security measure will alert potential intruders to the fact that there is something worth protecting, and so they may make the extra effort to break down the defence. CCTV and an intruder alarm are therefore vital additional elements to your multi-level security system.
Common Uses of Security Grilles
Security grilles are used more often to protect commercial property than residential, although in areas of high crime, some homeowners may opt to install them to protect windows and doors that are at particular risk, such as basement windows or those that open out onto quiet or poorly lit thoroughfares.
There are numerous instances in which security grilles are particularly beneficial. For example, if your bedroom is in a risky position, such as over a flat roof, and you wish to keep the window open during warm nights, then a grille will prevent an intruder gaining access. They are also advantageous when fitted to the inside of a glazed entrance door to a communal area.
Something important to consider is the fact that when locked, security grilles can prevent emergency access, for example by the fire brigade. Keys should therefore be safely kept nearby at all times.
Another important consideration is installation. If your insurance policy is dependent on the presence of a security grille, it is likely that there will be a warranty providing that installation must be carried out by a certified professional.
Planning permission may also be required, particularly if the building is listed or in a conservation area, as security grilles are clearly visible when in use and can be said to change the character of a property.
External Security Grilles
External grilles can be plain or decorative. The frames are usually made from steel, and fitted onto the sides of the window reveals or the brickwork facing.
It is never advisable to permanently fit security grilles to windows that form part of an emergency escape route. Permanent grilles also make it tricky to clean windows or maintain them, and outward opening windows will obviously be prevented from being pushed open to their full extent.
The alternative is hinged grilles, although these are still not suitable if the window is relied upon as an emergency exit.
External security grilles usually work by rolling down or across and covering the full doorway or window. They lend themselves to situations where aesthetics are not a key consideration, such as retail or commercial premises out of trading hours. Where aesthetics are important, internal grilles are often the better option.
Internal Security Grilles
Internal security grilles are generally a more popular choice across the board as they can easily be hidden when not in use. If you are worried about spoiling your décor when they are in use, rest assured there are plenty of design options, as well as various systems to meet individual needs when it comes to risk levels and operation.
There are usually cut-outs built into the grilles that allow you access to open and close your windows.
It is not really advisable to permanently fit internal grilles as we said with the external grilles, because it can make it difficult to clean and maintain the windows. Instead we recommend hinged models with built in locks or padlocks, or lift-out alternatives that lock into brackets. In an emergency, they can be released without having to use a key.
The Advice you Need
Security grilles really need to be tailored to specific situations and requirements, which is why consulting with a security expert with experience in both commercial and domestic settings is vital. If you are considering retractable security grilles for your home or business premises, talk to Barry Bros Security. With several decades of expertise in protecting all types of properties, we are well placed to deliver the advice you need.