What to look for when choosing a Security Door

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Hinged and Sliding Security Doors are growing more popular in today’s new and renovated homes. Many homes incorporate one or more sliding doors or hinged doors as part of the access entry, entertainment areas, back yards and patios. Here’s a quick guide to help you identify a suitable security door for your place.

1. Make sure that the security door conforms to the relevant Australian Standard

The term “security door” is a generic term that is often used to market doors that provide little protection. Therefore it is important that any security door you purchase conforms to Australian Standard AS5039-2008 (Security screen doors and security window grilles).

2. Warranty

It is important to check the terms and conditions of any applicable warranty on the security door you purchase and generally speaking the longer the warranty offered the better. Some suppliers offer the ability to extend the warranty on your security door.

3. Materials

Frame – Security door frames are commonly made from steel or aluminium. Both materials are suitable options when constructed and installed to Australian standards. Key points to look for in the frame are the depths of the receiver channel (in general, the deeper the better) and the fixing system, e.g. glue, welded, screw or pressure based, that is used to secure the mesh to the frame.

Mesh – Stainless steel mesh is often the best option as it offers good protection while not compromising your view with bars or grilles. Looking through stainless steel mesh is similar to looking through a regular fly screen. Be sure to check the thickness and grade of the stainless steel mesh.

Locks –  Look for security doors that have at least a three point locking system as these may stop the top or bottom of the security door from being prised back and may distribute any impact on the door.

Hinge – At a minimum look for a door with at least 3 hinges that incorporates non removable fixed hinge pins.

4. Aesthetics and usability

The appearance and usability of the security door is a large factor in the purchasing decision. You should consider the colour, mesh type and overall design so that the door matches the exterior of your house and adds value. Security door manufacturers offer custom built doors which is a great way to ensure pleasing aesthetics as well as a perfect fit.

5. Quality Installation

As the security and function afforded by a security door is affected by how it is installed, it should be professionally installed by a reputable installer. The installation quality will also impact the overall aesthetics of the security door.

Benefits of Security Doors

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Security doors have a large number of benefits including some that are commonly overlooked.

1. Increased home and personal security

Security doors can be a low cost measure to increase home and personal security. They have both a functional and deterrent value. Many security doors are next to impossible to penetrate and often act as a deterrent for would-be burglars and home invaders. Having to break through a security door to gain access to your house draws attention, attention that most burglars don’t want. Security doors also give the homeowner increased peace of mind, knowing that they are safe in their own home.

2. Energy efficiency and occupant comfort

Hot summer nights can be uncomfortable and stifling. Having security doors fitted to the external entry points of your home lets the cool breeze in and promotes cross ventilation while remaining secure. This allows your house to cool without the need to run air conditioning units leading to a better night’s sleep and reduced energy bills.

3. Durable and long lasting

Many security doors are made from materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions, are corrosion resistant, durable and have a long life, making for a cost effective investment. There’s also few moving parts and little that can go wrong, unlike other door systems which can require servicing and painting.

4. Visually appealing and value adding

Security doors come in a range of colours, finishes and designs with a style to suit any home exterior and customer taste. Depending on the brand and supplier, there are a number of standard colours as well as the option to finish your door in a custom paint colour of your choosing. A number of manufacturers offer sleek modern designs that not only perform well but also look great and value to your home.

Invisi-Gard Security Doors

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Invisi-Gard is a brand of high quality stainless steel security window and door screens owned by ALSPEC, an Australian owned company started in 1974 with over 400 staff and manufactured by Monaro Windows, here in Canberra.

The Invisi-Gard ranges of Hinged and Sliding Security Doors offer excellent security without compromising the vision through the door. Here are the key features of the Invisi-Gard security range:

1. Patented EGP Retention System
2. 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel
3. 3 point locking system
4. 3 point hinges
5. 15 year warranty
6. Exceeds Australian standards
7. Choice of style and colour
8. Clean finish
9. Custom built

Comparison - Invisi-Gard Vs Others

Feature Invisi-Gard Others
Mesh 0.8mm Marine Grade 316 High Tensile Stainless Steel 0.9mm Structural Grade 304 Stainless Steel
Mesh fixing system Invisi-Gard Pressure Retention and Isolation System Various
Locks 3-point locking 3-point locking
Hinges 3-point hinging 3-point hinging
Warranty 15 years 10 years
Australian Standard Tested to Australian Standards Tested to Australian Standards
Colours and Style Range of colours to match existing doors and windows Range of standard colours, other colours available on request
Custom build Custom built, made to measure Tailored design, made to measure
Frame Aluminium Aluminium

As you can see in the table, there’s quite a few similarities between the two products – both are tested to Australian standards, have aluminium frames, use stainless steel mesh, have plenty of colours to choose from, use 3-point hinging and locking and allow for custom built sizes. The key differences are outlined as follows:

1. Mesh
Some manufacturers use 0.9mm 304 Grade stainless steel which they claim is stronger than 316 Marine Grade stainless steel due to composition and increased thickness. Invisi-Gard, which uses 0.8mm 316 Marine Grade stainless steel, claims that its product gains strength from its high tensile nature and that thicker wires that are soft or of low tensile strength are easier to cut.

While there are claims made by each company about the strength of their products, in the wash up most products pass important Australian Standards tests being the Dynamic Impact Test: AS5039-2008 and the Knife Shear Test: AS5039-2008. In relation to corrosion, most products achieved positive results in the Salt Spray Test: AS2331.3.1.

2. Mesh fixing system
There are different methods used to secure the mesh in different doors including wedging systems and screw clamps amongst others. Invisi-Gard uses the Pressure Retention and Isolation System which locks the mesh, into a receiver channel on the frame that keeps the stainless steel mesh separate from the aluminium frame, by using a PVC wedge without the need for screws. Other manufacturers claim that their fixing system can be stronger than those that use a pressure based system, while Invisi-Gard claims that its system is effective and that the isolation of metal types and the fact that it doesn’t use screws reduces the potential for corrosion.

Most companies imply that their system is a strong, maybe better, way to secure the mesh to the frame. At the end of the day most products pass the Dynamic Impact Test: AS5039-2008 which tests whether the mesh comes out of the frame when subjected to repeated impact.

3. Warranty
Other manufacturers offer a 10 year warranty (subject to T&Cs) with the option to extend to 15 years on Ultimate products and to 12 years on Regular products. Invisi-Gard offers a 15 year warranty (subject to T&Cs) as standard.

The longer warranty of 15 years on Invisi-Gard is a drawcard but that said, 10 years is also a substantial warranty.

The Verdict
A key feature we have not discussed yet is cost.
So taking into account the aesthetics, build quality and performance of the door, we recommend the Invisi-Gard product range to our customers. Once our customers see the product in our showrooms, (even after kicking the Invisi-Gard) the price makes this decision an easy one.

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