Upvc Door Handle Advice
I’m sure that, like me, you remember the song Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child. Released in 2001, it became a huge hit in the charts. I heard it on the radio the other day, quickly recognisable from its opening lyrics, which went thus:
Kelly, can you handle this?
Michelle, can you handle this?
Beyoncé, can you handle this?
I don't think they can handle this
My boy Roc, can you handle this?
My girl Missy, can you handle this?
DC, can you handle this?
My ghettos, you can't handle this
Now, before hearing that song, I had no idea that Beyoncé and her bandmates were such huge fans of door furniture. But why else would they mention it so often? The only conclusion to draw is that they are secretly big fans of handles for UPVC doors. Now, I wouldn’t want to let the girls down, so for their benefit, I’ll be looking at that very subject today. And if you think that was my most clunking introduction to a topic to date, you’d be correct. Sorry about that.
So, for the benefit of Beyoncé, let’s get on to the subject at hand. UPVC doors come in a variety of styles, whether they act as your front door, back door, patio doors, etc, but the one thing that links them all is they all require a handle. Otherwise all you’ve got is a big slab of UPVC on a hinge. However, whilst I’ve dealt with locks on numerous occasions on this blog, I’ve never really looked at the issue of handles. So let’s have a quick look at them and get a ‘handle’ on the subject (I’m very sorry again).
What you’re looking for when it comes to a handle for your external UPVC door is one that conforms to TS007 2-star approval, along with holding Secured by Design accreditation, signifying police approval. The BSI Standard Kitemark should be present, although this by itself does not give the assurance that the TS007 does. Your handle may well have been installed with a new door, and if this is the case, look out for the PAS 24 standard – this Publicaly Available Specification is a standard that all doors should pass as a bare minimum. Although it doesn’t mean that the door can withstand any attack, it gives an assurance that it will at least stand up to a minimum level of attack.
Now you may be reading this and scratching your head. No, not about the Destiny’s Child stuff, we’ve moved on from that, but about why on earth you should spend extra money on a high security handle for your door. After all, there are much more exciting items to spend your money on at this time of year, and I’m not just talking about sprouts. Let me take a second to try and convince you of the merits of spending a little more and not just going for the cheapest, flimsiest device.
A decent handle can serve a dual purpose. As well as the obvious functionality, many come with a cylinder guard. This guard helps prevent lock snapping, whereby the cylinder is quickly snapped by burglars, allowing them access in mere seconds. I’ve talked a lot about this on the blog in the past, so won’t repeat all the details, but needless to say, whilst anti-snap locks are a necessity, a cylinder guard will also assist in the fight against the scourge of lock snapping.
As well as lock snapping, door handles can also be snapped to gain entry. The weaker models can easily be forced with the use of mole grips, a type of locking pliers which are used to snap off the handle, enabling the burglar to gain access. Better quality handles make use of chamfered edges which, for the technical amongst you, are a transitional edge between two right-angled faces, and these aid to prevent the threat of handle-snapping.
Lastly, it’s still a case of getting what you pay for. Pay a little more for a decent handle, and you’ll generally find it’s a thicker more robust handle, able to stand up to more use and better placed to withstand any attempt at a break in. The material will be of a greater quality too – the better handles for UPVC doors are constructed of solid metal, and therefore much more difficult to break.
A decent handle is a good investment but a handle on its own will not be enough to maintain security for your property. Always use alongside a properly accredited anti-snap cylinder lock to give you the best chance of deterring burglars, whilst taking other security precautions found elsewhere on this blog – the more pro-active you can be, the better.
A final word on the fitting of handles. You may want to save some money by fitting them yourself. However, this can often be a false economy. You want to know that the handle has been properly fitted, and have a fall back in case anything goes wrong with it. Lock and handle mechanisms can often be quite delicate, and I’ve lost count of the number of customers who have had to call me in after attempting their own work, finding themselves unable to even open or shut the door following some impromptu DIY. Getting a professional locksmith out in the first place before any damage occurs can end up saving you money overall.
I sort of lost track of the Destiny Child’s theme there, but hey ho, I’m sure we’ll survive. Because I don’t know about you but I'm a survivor, I'm not gonna give up, I'm not gonna stop, I'm gonna work harder… I know, it’s like Beyoncé is in the room.
For advice on anything lock-related, or to enquire about repairs or replacements, but perhaps not for a rendition of the Destiny’s Child back catalogue, call 01302 378067.