Home Improvements

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Burglar Bars

In South Africa, burglar bars are a staple of many homes. But your burglar bars are only worth something if they are in a good condition. Otherwise, they’re just decoration, easy for intruders to remove or get around. 

This is why it’s important to upgrade your burglar bars when necessary. 

But how do you know when they need an upgrade? Keep reading to learn the top signs of old burglar bars. 

upgrade your burglar bars - orange wall with a window, thin external burglar bars have been painted orange over it

Rust on the Burglar Bars

While plexiglass burglar bars are becoming more popular, they’re not in the majority. Most homes have metal burglar bars. And for older burglar bars, a lot of these have iron in them. 

When iron is exposed to moisture and oxygen for too long, it starts to rust. This looks like a red or brown powder that develops, often on the flatter parts of the metal. Rust is a sign of weakness. It means the metal has corroded, so it doesn’t have the same structural integrity that it once did. 

If someone were to put enough pressure on rusted iron security bars, the bars would probably give way to them. This means they’re not doing much protecting. If you haven’t replaced your old burglar bars, rust is a sure sign that it’s time to do so.

If the reason you’ve been putting off getting new burglar bars is because you’ve got a unique shape or design to your burglar bars, don’t worry! Contact one of our expert welders, who can help you make new ones. 

tiny window with rusty burglar bars

Loose Burglar Bars

When the burglar bars have a little bit of “give” to them, it’s a bad sign. The bars should be firmly fixed against the window frame. If you can wiggle them slightly, it means their join is loose. 

This means an intruder can, with enough force, jimmy the burglar bars even further out of the frame. It makes the task of removing the burglar bars much easier. 

Loose burglar bars are common in older homes with wooden frames that haven’t been looked after. As the wood ages, it becomes more brittle. The screws bolting the bars to the frame slowly come loose, and the bars have some give. 

Do a test of all the burglar bars around your home. Make sure you’re testing them from the outside. If any of them feel loose, it’s time to replace them. 

If the bars seem like they’re in a good condition, but the wooden frame is the problem, then it might be time for new window frames. Speak to a builder about upgrading your windows and burglar bars. 

upgrade your burglar bars if they're loose - yellow wall with small window in bottom right corner, old and loose looking external burglar bars

Poor Design

Sometimes burglar bars are installed with a specific fashion or trend in mind. While it looks good at the time, it isn’t practical in the long term. 

Older burglar bars often have decorative gaps which leave enough space for smaller people to slip right through. 

Other burglar bars are poorly designed to allow someone to reach right into the room. This means that even though they can’t get into the room themselves, they can still reach your possessions and steal them. 

Even if your burglar bars are in a good condition, they might be designed to fail. If the screws are poorly placed, someone can remove the burglar bars from the outside. 

Sometimes it’s worth asking someone you know to try to break into your house. This way they can assess your security bars with fresh eyes, and test the effectiveness of the design. If they’re small and able to reach far through the bars, even better. 

window with wide window panes acting as bars, but someone small could fit through those glass panes

Old Burglar Bars

As technology improves over the years, some security might become outdated. While your older burglar bars might be in a decent enough condition, new bars would be better. 

Burglar bars are designed through trial and error to have stronger materials that last longer and are harder to damage or remove. This means that your home is safer with newer security bars. 

If your security bars are more than ten years old, it’s a good idea to upgrade your security bars. 

upgrade your burglar bars - child looking out of a window through the burglar bars

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some signs that I should upgrade my burglar bars?

If you’ve got metal burglar bars and you see any rust, it’s time to upgrade. If you shake the bars and they move or wiggle, it means they’re loosely attached to the frame and could easily be removed. 

It’s a good idea to upgrade badly designed burglar bars. Don’t wait and see if someone could fit through a big gap, rather secure them now. 

Newer technology is often more effective, so new burglar bars are better at keeping intruders out. If your burglar bars are older than ten years, it might be time for some new ones. 

What if I want unique designs?

While it’ll cost a bit more to customise, welders are usually happy to work with you to create unique and interesting burglar bar designs. 

Just make sure the bars are effective at keeping people out too!

burglar bars that have been custom made to fit in an arched window

When to Upgrade Your Burglar Bars

You don’t want to mess around with your safety. Burglar bars keep intruders out of your home, keeping your family and your possessions safe. When in doubt, it’s best to invest in improving your security. 

Looking out for these signs will make sure you upgrade your burglar bars sooner rather than later. 

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