The Beginners Guide To Security Screens Image

The Beginner’s Guide To Security Screens (Types, Benefits & Pricing)

When it comes to protecting your property and family, it pays to take extra precautions. And one of the first steps would have to be the security screen, which is fast increasing in popularity all over Perth and wider Australia.

But before you can do that, you need to know what options are available and which ones best suit your property.

We’re going to take a look at the types, benefits, and costs of security screens. Choosing the right one could be the difference between a successful robbery or a failed break-in.

The true definition of a security screen

Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of confusion with regard to what constitutes security screens. So let’s set the record straight. If a security screen door does not meet AS 5039, then it is not a security screen or door. Of course, you might hear claims that a door ‘exceeds’ standards. But unless it has been independently tested, this is simply hot air.

You’ll also need to consider the quality of installation: what good is a security door if it’s not properly installed? The standard for this is AS 5040. Ask your installer for a guarantee, in writing, that it meets this standard. Finally, AS 5041 outlines the tests security doors and window screens must undergo.

This is not just technical jargon. Either a door meets the legislative requirements as a security door, or it does not. These legislative requirements are not arbitrary. The screens are tested to demonstrate they have the ability to withstand pressure, pulling, knives, and even fires. If they meet these standards, they can claim to be security screens.

Different security screen types

The following are five of the most common kinds of security screens:

  1. Bushfire-rated screens
  2. Cyclonic screens
  3. Diamond grille screens
  4. Emergency escape screens
  5. Security fly screens

The names of the above security screens are self-explanatory. Cyclonic screens will protect you against cyclones, whereas bushfire-rated screens protect against bushfires. Diamond grilles are grilles that protect against intruders in general, provided they are properly installed. But not all diamond grille screens are at the proper security level, so you have to make inquiries.

The name or type of screen itself is meaningless unless the screens are actually tested by independent authorities to prove that they do as they claim.

Wait a minute – what’s the difference between a security screen and a security door?

Perhaps the most confusing aspect of security screens is that they are often mentioned interchangeably with security doors. The official legislation, as per AS 5039, describes security screen doors, so they are actually the same thing. This is why most articles you will find online describe security screen doors instead of just a basic screen.

Some, however, will investigate the screens as well. Pure security screens are relevant where you need to cover windows, just be sure to avoid fly screens, as they will only prevent flies, not burglars!

The best bet is to avoid the lingo and focus on the tests. At the end of the day, the door and/or screen is either fit to keep out intruders, or it is not. With regards to security screens, the main tests are:

  1. Dynamic Impact Test
  2. Knife Shear Test
  3. Pull Test
  4. Shear Test.
  5. Probe Test
  6. Jimmy Test

These are the official tests that screens have to pass in order to be called ‘security’ screens. So ask your installer/manufacturer whether the doors pass these tests or not. In many ways, it’s a lot more simple than you’d expect. More information on these tests and what they entail can be found here.

Components of security screen doors

Security screens are made from either steel or aluminum. Steel is typically regarded as the best choice due to its inherent strength and price. Both steel and aluminum are resistant to corrosion. The main components of the security screen include:

  1. The Frame – The most important part is the primary door structure. Weaker frames will have thin receiver channels. This will be made of steel or aluminium.
  2. The Infill – Connected to the frame. This is either a stainless steel mesh or a grille. Bars and grilles are considered the most secure. Ideally, the grille would be welded to the frame so it cannot be removed.
  3. The Lock(s) – Security doors must have five pin cylinder locks in order to qualify as security doors as well as a three- point locking system. A security door is only as secure as its locking mechanism.
  4. The Hinges – Security doors need to have at least three hinges for maximum protection. Hinges are best recessed, and the pins should be securely placed.

Needless to say, a security door is only as strong as its weakest component. So you need to ensure that all possible areas are well manufactured. For instance, there should be a deep receiver channel in the frame in order that the edge cannot be pushed out. You may also want to look for a grille that is welded to the frame: even the best grille is useless if it’s not securely attached.

The door lock is going to be a prime consideration. If it does not meet the AS 5039 mandates, then it is not a security door. You can cut through a lot of the technical details by asking your provider for a written guarantee of AS 5039 compliance.

Security screens: the benefits

There are a myriad of benefits to security screens, otherwise, there would be no point in making a purchase! We’ve outlined the four major benefits of security screens below. Keep in mind that there is typically a tradeoff between price, security, and aesthetic appeal.

Security

The main benefit is obviously that your home is going to be more secure. The mere fact that you have a security screen door is going to put off burglars. According to the statistics, criminals prefer to enter through open doors and windows. Of course, even if they do try their hand at an entry, the door will have undergone security tests to resist a break in.

Aesthetic appeal

While there was once a time that security screens looked pretty utilitarian, the industry has come a long way. You have plenty of customisation options, and no longer are security screens clumsy, clunky, grilles that are fitted into place. They are sturdier, nicely finished, and perfectly spaced.

Increase home value

If you are considering selling the property, then potential buyers will want to know that it is safe. This is especially true for those that are looking for a family home where safety takes increased prominence. At the very least, the front entrance will have to be reinforced as this is a prime point of entry.

Ventilation

Security screens also support better airflow in a home. For example, the diamond grille allows for easy inflow of air so the inhabitants of the home don’t suffer from a lack of fresh air. Another perk is that they also allow for some natural light to make it inside.

Security screens: the price

Putting an exact figure on the cost of security screen doors is tricky for a number of reasons. There is great variance in terms of the quality of these doors and multiple customisation options. Practically all security screen doors are custom made. If they are not an exact match for your door, then they will not be fit for their intended purpose.

It’s always more difficult to put standard prices on customised services. But the table below should serve to give you a good indication of general costs. The thing to keep in mind is that it is a one-time expense. When you pay for the door, you will be safe and have it in place for a long, long time.

Product/Service Price
Typical Sized (860mm x 2100mm) Triple Locked Steel Security Door $800 – $1,400
Hourly Installation Rate $80 – $100
Non-Standard Colour $150 Extra
New Tracks $50 Extra
New Door Frame $400 Extra

Of course, you should contact local installers or manufacturers for more information related to your specific project needs. The choice of mesh you use will impact the price, as will the size of your door. Be wary of going for cheaper security screens, as these are probably not security doors at all.

How do I know if my security screen door is legitimate?

This is more simple than you might think. In one sense, you could say that you don’t need to know the quality of individual components – the finished product will have been tested to meet the all-important criteria:

  • Dynamic Impact Test
  • Knife Shear Test
  • Pull Test
  • Fire Safety Test
  • Probe Test
  • Jimmy Test

Haven’t we seen this before? Yes, but it is the most important factor when selecting a security screen door and is quite worth repeating.. If the screen meets these criteria, it has met the official standards. You can then trust that the door will function effectively. The two questions you have to ask your installer are whether the door meets the above tests and whether they are licensed to install security doors. Once these two all-important criteria are met, you can’t go far wrong.

Can I install a security screen myself?

Yes, but it would somewhat defeat the point. The security screen has to pass rigorous testing in order to be classified as a security screen. If it is not installed by a police-licensed installer, then it might easily come away from the frame. It’s most likely a better option to have the door installed professionally, especially where your home security is concerned.

If you do wish to install the screen by yourself, then you’ll have to consider how the mesh is attached to the frame. It’s better to use a clamping system where possible as opposed to using glue. It would be rather ironic to buy a higher-level security screen and then simply glue it together! You’ll also have to decide between tube framing or flush mounting.

Can I put security screens on my windows?

It’s certainly a useful idea to install security screens for windows while also availing a strong front entrance security door. The installer could most likely take care of them both at the same time. Placing a security screen over a window is far more affordable and is an excellent added deterrent. You will typically pay between $100 – $350 per window depending on size and type of screen.

Remember that most break ins occur due to negligence. Perhaps you locked your expensive security door while leaving a back window open? It is often the most simple thing that leads to a compromised home. Just like a security door, a home is only as secure as its weakest part.

What is the difference between security screens and security fly screens?

Security screens are made from stainless steel (grade 304 or 316). Fly screens are not security screens, despite the name. They are designed to keep out insects! Diamond grille screens fall somewhere in between. They are perfect for second-storey windows as they can prevent toddlers from falling out or stop a very elaborate burglar from making their way in. Diamond grilles are typically not designed to be intruder proof as they are not tested to the official security standards. They are mainly a deterrent.

How do I know which type of security screen is best for me?

The best way is simply to call up your manufacturer and to see the different types. There are many different options, and you need to choose what features to prioritise. The majority of security screens will also be floating ember safe and bushfire tested. If you are in a cyclone-prone area, of course, you will need to buy a specific cyclone security screen to account for this.

How do I find a good manufacturer/installer of security screens in Perth?

There are some key questions you want to ask the manufacturer/installer of your security screen doors. You need to ask:

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. Are your installers police licensed?
  3. Do your security screens meet all the relevant tests and standards?
  4. Do you have customer testimonials at hand?

By asking these four questions up front, you can eliminate a lot of the waffle. You can determine if the company is legitimate due to its time in business and positive testimonials and whether the doors are sound due to the passing of official standards and the police-licensed install.

Perth Homeguard meets all of the above criteria – and more! We have been in business for 30 years with a fantastic track record. Our approved security screen doors have all been tested to the relevant standards, and our police licensed installers are professional and experienced. And we go above and beyond the basic service: you’ll benefit from factory-direct prices and a 10-year warranty.

Call us now for a fast, free quote and a tailored security experience – (08) 9209 8100.