Fixed security gates can be fitted to windows, large expanses of glass and hazardous upper storey balconies. They are usually made from galvanised steel and are available in a wide variety of designs. The quality can vary considerably. So if personal safety is a high priority reason for installing the fixed security gate, there are six tell-tale signs of a good quality product to look out for.
- Design integrity
Security gate design is a crucial part of how long the gate will last and how well it will stand up to an attack by an intruder. This because if intruders cannot get into a home through the front door, they will try to break through a window.
A well-designed fixed security gate fitted next to the window should be able to stand up to a violent attack, keeping the people inside the home or office building safe.
If the fixed security gate has a full, four-sided frame it will be much stronger than one without a frame. Even a semi-framed fixed gate, meaning one with a frame on two sides rather than four, provides better protection than one with no frame.
Security gates in South Africa vary considerably in terms of quality. A good quality fixed security gate is going to cost you more than a poor quality one, so you need to weigh up what is more important: the price of the security gate or how well it will protect you?
Another important part of the design integrity of a fixed security gate is whether or not it is custom-made for the opening. This type of specially made gate will fit the window space better than an off-the-shelf gate.
This is because the service provider measures the space and specifies a product that will fit the space tightly. The fixed security gate is then manufactured according to these measurements so that it fits perfectly, leaving no weak points for a burglar to exploit.
An off-the-shelf fixed security gate cannot offer the same level of design integrity as it is a one-size-fits-all concept that may not fit your window space as well as a custom-made one.
There is, of course, a price difference between purpose-made and off-the-shelf security gates, but there is also a vast difference in quality. Trellidor security gates prices, for example, cannot be compared to a hardware store bought product due to the difference in manufacturing and installation quality.
Another point to consider when it comes to fixed security gates is where is should be fitted. Your service provider should offer advice on this. Some homeowners prefer to have the gates fitted to the outside of the window as they believe this provides better protection for the window.
A safer alternative is to fit the fixed security gate inside the home, in front of the window. The benefit of this is that when intruders want to break into the home, they first must break the window. This creates noise and the intruders run the risk of discovery.
They then have to break through the fixed security gate. If it is a good quality one, this will take too much time and is frequently not worth the risk to them. They may choose to move onto a less protected home.
- Protective coatings
Steel that is galvanised already has a protective zinc coating that stops the steel from rusting or corroding. During the manufacturing process, good quality fixed security gates will be provided with additional protection through a pre-treatment process for enhanced corrosion and UV resistance. The gates are then powder coated in the client’s selected colour, providing yet another layer of protection.
These protective layers ensure that the security gates stay strong under most local conditions, both coastal and inland. They will stay strong and provide a high level of protection even in cities where pollution is a problem or at the coast where sea air is extremely corrosive.
Once installed, the fixed security gates must be regularly cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure these protective layers stay intact. Regular cleaning is a condition attached to manufacturer warranties for most good quality fixed security gates.
- Security gate installation
An important tell-tale sign of the quality of fixed security gates is how they have been installed. As mentioned in point two, custom-made gates are considered to be of better quality than do-it-yourself, off-the-shelf products.
A purpose-made fixed security gate fitted by an expert technician will provide better protection for several reasons:
- Expert technicians have the necessary tools required for a neat, secure installation.
- If your installer is from Trellidor, the burglar bars will be installed with tamper-proof fixings to add to their strength under attack. They do not use hardware store fixings that can easily be removed with tools that an intruder can access.
- If a gate is damaged during an attack, an expert technician is the best person to give you advice on whether a repair or replacement is advised.
If you purchase a good quality fixed security gate, you should be provided with a reliable warranty. The difference between a reliable warranty and one devised purely for marketing purposes is that the reliable warranty can realistically be implemented, whereas the marketing ploy version will be extremely difficult to implement.
If a warranty seems too good to be true, it probably is. Rather choose a supplier that you are confident will still be in business when you need help. Check social media to see how quickly your supplier responds to problems customers are having with their fixed security gates.
Also check how many customers actually benefit from warranties that are unrealistic in terms of time periods offered.
A better route is to choose a supplier than has been around for many years. Even if their warranties don’t seem as generous, it is in that company’s best interests to help customers in need find a solution to their problem. That’s how they’ve stayed in business so long.
- After-sales service
Strong security gates may not need much after-sales service, but if you have had an attempted break-in then you may have to repair or replace your window protection.
Again, the rule of thumb is to opt for a supplier that has been in the business for decades rather than weeks or months. They are far more likely to assist you.
Their length of time in business is an indication of how good their products are. They would not have survived the test of time if their security products were of poor quality.
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