Whether you are a home or business owner, a very important priority is that of security. Just imagine seeing a neighbor, somewhat jittery, stops by to warn you that a burglary took place just a few blocks away the other night. As a Melbourne home or business owner, you have good reason to be shocked and worried. Or if burglary cases have hit record numbers in your area, you might just utter, “burglary… again?
There are about 170,000 residential burglaries every year throughout Australia. That’s about one every three minutes! The facts are 79% happen during daytime, 54% happen through forced intrusions through the window, and more than 70% of victimised homes have no kind of home security system.
Not surprisingly, Aussies are cautious of this offence, with around 36% believing their home may be burgled in the forthcoming year.
Pic1 – Note the screw holes are invisible when the shutter is down and at 90 degrees to a screw driver.
The advantages of shutters available for windows and doors are plenty – for one they provide unequalled security, deterring forced intrusions or burglary. However, being in the industry for the last 30 years, every so often I run into shutters produced and installed by other companies. There are instances where I could not help but scrutinise window shutters at friends’ homes, their restaurants, retail stores and other commercial establishments.
I often see substandard installations that considerably lessen the efficacy and look of a shutter unit. Some techniques are mistakes, but others are long used methods practised by uncaring or inexperienced installers.
For example note pictures displayed here. Note the screw holes in Pic1 as opposed to Pic2. Pic1 has the screw holes behind the shutter at 90 degrees to a screw driver and cannot be accessed when the shutter is closed. In Pic2 however the screw hole is clearly in full view and accessible even when the shutter is fully shut, heck you could drill the screws out if you really wanted to.
Pic 2 – Incorrect installation. Screw hole locations are in plain view.
If the window’s overall depth is enough to fit the louver rotation, it is recommended to install shutters to the inside of a window opening. Attach the shutters directly if they are fitted to the window frame or if a rear hang strip is properly positioned. Just make sure that a rear hang strip is concealed when you close the shutter unit.
Use hang strips, also called frame strips, to mount shutters correctly on the outside of a window opening, specifically when there is not enough window depth for an inside mount. Many installers use L-shaped hinges as a shortcut. These hinges are then screwed directly into the existing trim; however the result could be dire. The shutters seem to float in front of the window with an unsightly gap between the existing trim and the shutters and the exposed hinges on the shutter’s edge looks shoddy and not up to scratch.
Another common violation is the overstated gap between the window frame (jambs) and the shutter, caused by flush mounted hanging hinges. These are hinges that are not mortised into the side of the shutter panel.
While shutter installation can be installed by DIY’s we don’t recommend it as it’s sort of like cutting your own hair. While it might seem like a good idea no one is going to tell you it looks terrible. They will just giggle behind your back.
Caution: Electronic window shutters should be wired by a licensed electrician. Wiring up the shutter yourself is illegal. For added security, make sure that the installed shutters cannot be unscrewed from the wall or while the blind is down as in Pic2. It would also be a good idea to have the installer come in every once in a while for maintenance checks.
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