The argument over externally and internally beaded windows has been ongoing for many years and many people hold differing views. The focus here is to show the security of externally beaded aluminium windows and this is what this post will concentrate on.
The point remains, that any window could possibly be broken into given enough time. The current standards set a time limit for a break-in with various methods used to force entry.
Laminated glass would obviously make the job harder for anyone trying to smash the glass beforehand.
Over the years many arguments have been put forward:
External beads cannot possibly be secure. Internally beaded pvc windows can simply have their panel or glass “kicked in”. Internally beaded has to be more secure by simple design. I have often gained entry through a pvc window causing minimal damage…
The arguments continue.
Nobody can argue with the simple method of breaking into a window by simply breaking the glass. We all know this can happen and is the easiest method. Additionally we all accept that given enough time without interruption anyone can break into anything and the more time they have to break into a secure window or door the more damage will occur to that window or door. Similarly nobody can argue that today’s espagnolette and shootbolt locking systems haven’t advanced in recent years and the argument is not about the hardware and how secure that is, but about the beads themselves.
The simple fact is that externally beaded aluminium windows are secure and the industry standard tests are there to prove it.
The first argument to put forward is the British Standard 7950 and also the Police Preferred Secured by Design Standard. Many externally beaded aluminium (and internally beaded pvc) window systems have this standard. Therefore if an externally beaded window can meet this specification, in the absence of any other even more stringent tests and standards, it is deemed to be secure.
In recent years externally beaded aluminium profiles and aluminium beads have undergone a lot of design to make them secure. There are externally beaded systems on the market that have beads that simply cannot be removed without removing the internal wedge gasket first. They simply won’t budge. The internal wedge gasket needs to be removed first.
This is now typical of many modern systems whereby as shown in the left picture the internal wedge locks the right hand side of the bead into place and any external pressure simply pushes the leg of the bead deeper into its recess.
As a further example, SAPA Crown Casement Window now has a kinked bead which by design SAPA Building Systems say is intended “straighten out” into the lip in the aluminium vent should any force be exerted on the bead. This window can meet both BS7950 and Secured by Design Specification.
Therefore with just these two SAPA Building Systems alone as an example externally beaded windows remain as secure as internally beaded. There is very little to “prove” that internally beaded windows are actually more secure and I’m unaware of any specific tests done comparing the two.
Obviously internally beaded windows have their advantages. They allow for a more contemporary “flat” look externally and of course the obvious choice for high level windows. Other than that from a security point of view, are externally beaded windows less secure than externally beaded?