What you need to consider when investing in home security screen doors and windows.
When buying or building a home, security screening can be overlooked in early decision making or design processes. Security screens give peace of mind, but if you choose the right one, they come with additional benefits which contribute to the outlook, safety, energy efficiency and comfort of your home. Here’s what you need to look for.
Australian Standards and tests for security screens
The starting point for selecting a security door is checking it meets the Australian Standards: AS 5039-2008: Security screen doors and security window grilles and AS 5040-2003: Installation of security screen doors and window grilles. These two standards set out the requirements of security doors to ensure they fill their vital functions.
A further standard, AS5041-2003: Methods of test - security screen doors and window grilles, sets out the six tests screens must pass:
- Dynamic Impact Test: simulates the impact of a physical attack on the screen.
- Jemmy Test: mimics the use of a screwdriver to lever open a screen at the hinge or lock.
- Pull Test: checks if force can be used to pull the screen out of its location.
- Probe Test: simulates an intruder attempting to create a gap in the security screen so they can unlock the door or window.
- Shear Test: an attempt to cut open a security screen with a sharp object.
- Knife Shear Test: use of a Stanley knife to see if the mesh can be cut.
Is my screen door frame strong enough?
Working from the outside in, a security screen door requires a robust frame which won’t bend or flex like a standard flyscreen door. For example,
Do I need screen mesh, perforated metal, bars or grilles?
Known as "infills", the main options for materials used within the security screens frames are stainless steel mesh, perforated aluminium sheets, or bars/grilles made from steel or aluminium. Which type is best for you depends on the level of security required and the importance of characteristics such as:
- optical clarity and impact on views
- location and need for anti-corrosion properties
- fire resistance in bushfire prone regions
- cyclone protection
A tightly woven stainless steel mesh, such as used in all
How about security door locks?
Just as important as the infill and frame are the components which attach the security screen door to the building and the handle and locking mechanisms. Basic security flyscreens or barrier doors may only have single wafer locks which are relatively easy for intruders to defeat. The best security door lock is a three-point locking system (standard across the
Hinges are also a vulnerable point in a screen, and all security screen doors should have a minimum of three hinges. These hinges should be fixed with steel pins that are unmovable or are welded.
Who can install my security screens?
The final link in ensuring a security screen door does its job is having it correctly installed. All the previous considerations depend on having the door fitted as prescribed in the Australian Standard AS 5040-2003: Installation of security screen doors and window grilles. With products such as
Invisi-Gard security screen solutions
If you’re after a security screen door which ticks all the boxes,
For a detailed discussion of home security screening see our White Paper: Smarter Security: A Guide to Specifying Multi-Use Security Screen Solutions