Window Latch Types

Written by augustus clipper
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Window Latch Types
Window latches unobtrusively protect homes. (window image by Daria Miroshnikova from Fotolia.com)

Window latches are small devices installed to prevent unwanted intrusion. Choose from a number of designs to fit a variety of uses, environments and styles. From offering light to heavy security, window latches subtly offer additional protection at a small cost.

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Traditional Latch

Historic and common, traditional window latches connect the bottom and top window, or the window to the bottom sill from the inside to prevent lifting from the outside. The user simply turns the latch a half circle to secure the window. Often made of ornamental metal to add flair to windows, they come in a variety of forms. They are not unbreakable, and an intruder may break the glass, reach in and unfasten the latch. Concerned homeowners or business owners can supplement traditional window latches with other security systems.

Sliding Latch

Sliding latches fasten manually along the sliding window's track. The advantage to this type is that it allows the user to determine where the latch will sit, varying the amount the window may open. Often found in hotels, screw-type models not only to keep people from getting in but also to prevent children from opening the window too far and getting out. This type of latch works for protection both inside and outside the home, and is a design homeowners might want for windows above the first floor to prevent accidents. Of course, this latch only works for protection if positioned to allow a small opening and if screwed or fastened securely.

Keyed Latch

The latch offering the most formidable security, the keyed latch requires a key for opening; its housing is more substantial than other models. It is ideal for bottom floor windows or for homes and businesses in dangerous areas, and it may provide an alternative to bars across windows. It works well to prevent intruders who manage to break the glass because they still cannot unfasten the latch and gain entry. Bulkier than other types of latches, some homeowners may not want them. In addition, in cases of emergency, such as a fire, the keyed latch may make evacuation more difficult, thus increasing risk instead of safety. For users with keyed latches, it may be prudent to keep spare keys hidden near windows in case of an emergency.

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