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How to choose the best security gate for your home and business

What are security gates? 

Security gates protect people in homes and businesses from forced entry by unauthorised and possibly dangerous intruders. They are fitted next to doors and windows to make them intruder-resistant and are manufactured from materials such as steel, aluminium and wrought iron. Ideally, security gates should be custom-made to tightly fit the opening, making it difficult for intruders to prise them out of their fixings to gain access to the premises.

Tips for choosing security gates

There are many lookalike security gate options on the market, but not all of them are equal when it comes to performance. For the sake of your personal safety, it is important to know exactly what you are purchasing and how well your security gates will perform in keeping you safe at home or work. Then you can make the right choice of the best security gate for your needs.

Here are important points to consider in making your choice.

1. What is the level of crime you’re trying to guard against?

If you are in a low crime area such as a secure estate, then possibly all you require is a visual deterrent to opportunistic intruders. In areas where the risk of a break-in is higher, you need to consider security gates with built-in strength, a full frame that is securely anchored into the substrate around the door or window and with reliable locks. This type of gate is custom manufactured and installed by reputable companies such as Trellidor.

Choose your security gate

2. Which security gate design to choose?

There are many different security gate designs available. The most popular is still the trellis-patterned sliding gate as it is a cost-effective solution for doors and windows.  If you opt for a really good quality product, the gates will last many years. For those that prefer a less cluttered outlook there are lifestyle compatible designs such as Trellidor Clear Guard security screens, Trellidor Rollerstyle shutters and Trellidor Security Shutter aluminium louvres.

3. Look for high strength under attack

Some security gates will resist an attack by a burglar far longer than others, giving you more time to call for help or to escape. The difference is in the gate’s internal construction. Many security gate designs look similar and it is hard to know what to look for. A good idea is to visit each manufacturer’s showroom to test their products and ask questions about how the gate is constructed.  Trellidor offers a range of security gate strengths and prices, from dependably strong right up to one of the strongest security gate designs in the world, fitted in several London Underground train stations.

4. Ask for proof that security gates are strong enough to buy time

There is no dedicated security barrier testing body in South Africa with standardised test criteria to measure security products against so that you can compare them. Some companies state that they are ‘SAIA approved’ but this South African Insurance Association testing body ceased to exist in 2007 and its original tests are very out of date. 

Trellidor went the international route, using a globally respected certification body called BRE Global Loss Prevention Certification Board. We’ve had our top-of-the-range sliding security gates tested for strength under attack and certified by this organisation. Our newest model has been certified as the strongest sliding security gate in the world and these certificates are available to view on our website.  

5. DIY or Custom-made?

There is a place for off-the-shelf security gates, particularly if price is the critical factor in making your choice. Be aware, however, that cheap DIY products can’t provide the same level of protection as pricier but professionally manufactured, fitted and guaranteed security gates do. Custom-made gates are manufactured to fit each individual aperture, are stronger and perform better.

6. Don’t ‘buy down’ in the search for short term financial savings

When it comes to personal safety, the costs of cheap security could end up being far greater in the long run. Only thieves see the value in buying cheap security gates. ‘Bargain’ security gates often corrode quickly or snap under a concerted attack, so buy the best you can afford.

7. Buy security gates with good locks

Many break-ins occur through the lock area of the security gate, so purchase one with the toughest lock available to secure the best protection. Genuine Trellidor security gates have patented locks that provide maximum security using a single key point mechanism with several internal locking points for added strength.

8. Internal or external installation?

Get your security gates fitted inside your home or office rather than on the outside if possible. This makes it harder for intruders to break in, as they must break through the door or window, risking early detection due to the noise they make, before finding themselves blocked by your security gates.

9. Security gates for doors

All your exit doors should be protected by good quality, lockable security gates. This includes front doors, back doors and doors from the garage into the house. Fully framed security gate designs offer the best protection as they are generally stronger under attack than semi-framed models. The locking mechanism should lock in more than one place inside the lock stile. Trellidor Retractable security gates all lock in several place, using one key and keyhole for ease of use.

10. Security gates for windows

All windows should be protected by security gates, even tiny ones or those that seem impossibly high up. It is amazing how innovative criminals can be when they are determined to gain entry to your home. Sliding security gates are an excellent choice for windows because they open for window cleaning and as an emergency escape exit in the case of fire.

11. Security gates for safe zones in homes and offices

If your home or office is invaded despite your security measures, you need a safe haven to lock yourself into and call for help.  The door or passageway to the safe area should be protected by a strong security gate to prevent the intruders from getting to you. It is also advisable to install security gates on at least one window in this area, providing an escape route if necessary.  

12. Security gates for special needs  

Security gates should be designed to allow everyone to leave the building with ease in an emergency. Trellidor has solutions for special needs, such as recessed tracks and tracks that lift out of the way to prevent a tripping hazard.  Trellidor security gate locks can be positioned according to the customer’s requirements, for example, low enough for wheelchair users to reach. 

13. Check warranties or guarantees

Guarantees that over-promise and under-deliver are common in the security barrier industry.  The red tape involved in getting a supplier to honour their seemingly generous guarantee can be mind-boggling, so read the fine print and ensure you know what’s involved in a claim.  Make sure you understand what the company is promising and how they will follow through if you need to take them up on their promises.

14. Before spending money on security gates, check with a professional 

An expert security consultant will help you plan your home and business security, making sure you have a solution to protect every door and window in your home. Trellidor franchises all offer a free home and business security assessment and will provide quotes on a range of security gate designs.

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