3 Frequently Asked Questions about Security Window Screens Answered

Posted on: 14 July 2016


Security window screens offer additional protection against burglary, apart from keeping insects away while allowing you to keep your windows open. With a screen, you can comfortably open your windows without worrying about intrusion or insects disturbing the peace of your home. There are different kinds of security screens in many styles, and you should consult an expert to recommend the best screens for you budget depending on your location's security needs. The following are commonly asked questions to help you understand your choices.

What do security screens offer that simple fly screens do not?

Australian standards forbid manufacturers and suppliers from labelling their products as 'security products' unless they adhere to strict testing protocols. Therefore, security window screens must be rigorously tested and proven to withstand common break-in scenarios. These requirements are outlined in Australian Standards 5039 (manufacturing/features), 5040 (installation) and 5041 (testing methods). Such screens have undergone:

  • Impact testing where there's a simulated intruder attempt at bashing the screen in
  • Leverage testing where they try to lever/lift off the window screen from its mountings, such as by wrenching
  • Lock testing where the system is tested for vulnerability to picking
  • Cutting and shearing tests on the screen-mesh 

What features should I look for in my security screen? 

Security window screens comprise of the frame, grilles and mesh. Window handles, locks and hinges will be attached onto the frame to facilitate installation, and these should be very high quality fixtures that have also been subjected to standard 5039 above. Confirm that the screen has at least two hinges or one continuous hinge, and that its pins are irremovable following installation. Ask your supplier whether installation adheres to the standard 5040– ask the supplier to give you a written compliance guarantee. Provided they do, don't be alarmed by the securing method – screwing, welding, riveting, wedging or crimping.

What materials are best for the window screen?

Security window screens are mainly made of aluminium and steel. While the former has corrosion-resisting properties, it isn't as strong a material as the latter. Steel screens offer the highest level of protection and so should be used if you're in a relatively crime-prone neighbourhood. If the screen complies with standards, it will be adequately protected against corrosion.

In more secure but more humid neighbourhoods, an aluminium security screen can offer adequate protection for lesser cost. You can also get heat-strengthened/tempered aluminium which is stronger, or have aluminium frames with a stainless steel mesh if you want a stronger screen. In very humid areas, however, ensure that any steel parts are both powder-coated and galvanized for extra corrosion protection.