Skip to main content

Advice when buying new windows

Installing new secure residential windows or replacing the windows in your home is a big decision. The cost, u-values, material, performance standard and security, can be a minefield! One thing you can be assured of, if you choose a window from a company that is a member of the official police security initiative Secured by Design (SBD), you are buying security and peace of mind.

When buying your new windows, always ask for SBD accredited products because you can have confidence that they will give you a greater level of security because they have achieved Police Preferred Specification.

They will even assist in reducing the carbon footprint related to crime within the environment, as each year it is conservatively estimated that the carbon cost of crime in England and Wales is an annual minimum of 6000000 tonnes of CO2. Reducing crime therefore has a positive effect not only on the individual households but also for our communities as a whole.

Remember, look out for the coveted SBD police logo on security products because only SBD member companies can use it.

There is a wealth of crime prevention information on this website, which also contains a list of all products that have been accredited to Police Preferred Specification.

There are SBD member companies throughout the UK whose windows meet our stringent security and performance requirements. Check out our SBD Members page to see if your supplier is one of our members before purchasing your windows.

Why choose SBD?

Knowing that a product is fit for purpose is critical and SBD can help with this.  SBD operates an accreditation scheme on behalf of the UK Police Service for products or services that have met recognised security standards. The SBD focus is on the critical factors that combine to deliver a product’s performance - design, use, quality control and the ability to deter or prevent crime – and these products or services are known as being of a ‘Police Preferred Specification’.

Police Preferred Specification ensures that products have been independently tested to a relevant security standard and fully certified by an independent third-party, United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) certification body, or tested and certified by an approved body such as Sold Secure or Thatcham. 

In addition, Police Preferred Specification requires regular re-testing and annual inspection of the manufacturing facility to ensure quality and performance are maintained (by a UKAS body). This provides assurance that products have been produced under a controlled manufacturing environment in accordance with the specifier’s aims and minimises misrepresentation of the products by unscrupulous manufacturers/suppliers. 

Better quality means these products last longer too, making them more cost effective and leading to greater sustainability in crime prevention.

Much research has been undertaken to look at the effectiveness of doors and windows which have achieved SBD’s Police Preferred Specification.  A study of 1520 properties on two Nottingham City Homes estates that had SBD windows installed found that, compared to pre-installation, burglary was reduced by 42% compared to a city wide reduction of 21%. 

There was a 58% reduction in burglary two years after the windows were installed, despite a slight rise in burglaries to properties on the same estates where the windows had not been installed. The proportion of burglaries with windows as a means of entry was halved from 30% to 15%, and a higher proportion of attempted burglaries where no entry was gained were reported in properties fitted with windows and doors compared to non-SBD properties.

If you are replacing a broken or defective lock, or looking to improve the security of existing windows, a Locksmith registered with the Master Locksmiths Association can specify the best & most secure lock to use for your type of window.  

Always be vigilant - report sightings of suspicious activity in your neighbourhood to the police.

Use the 101 number for passing information, or 999 in an emergency when a crime is taking place.