What is Crimsafe?
Crimsafe is an Australian company that produces security screens made from woven stainless steel mesh. Crimsafe states that it makes its screens by screwing mesh into a door or window frame, which is clamped down using a screw-clamp. Crimsafe states that this method of manufacture helps to make its screens durable and strong. All Crimsafe products are custom-built, and there are several businesses that can supply and install them across Australia.
What are the benefits of security screens?
The main purpose of security screens is typically to help keep intruders from entering your home. However, security screens can have other possible benefits too. For example:
- They can act as a barrier against insects while allowing for ventilation and airflow throughout your home, like other flyscreens do. This could potentially help you cut down on air conditioning costs. Some brands, including Crimsafe, claim their security screens also provide additional benefits, such as heat, UV and cyclone protection.
- If you live in a bushfire-prone area, security screens may also offer some protection. For example, Crimsafe says its screens could possibly help prevent the spread of embers, as well as reducing the radiant heat of a fire.
Some insurers may also reduce the cost of your home and contents insurance premiums if you have certain safety and security measures in place. These may include features such as security screens, alarms, extra locks and lockable bolts on windows.
Check if a security screen meets Australian standards
Security screens can be a big investment in your home. So, when choosing a security screen, it’s important to check that it passes relevant Australian Standards relating to its manufacture, installation and performance.
The National Security Screen Association (NSSA) says security screens and grilles have to pass six key tests:
- The Knife Shear Test, which simulates a knife attack on your security screen
- The Impact Test, designed to simulate an intruder trying to kick their way through a security door or window
- The Jemmy Test, which simulates an intruder using a lever to get past the security door or window
- The Pull Test, which simulates an intruder trying to pull out a security screen
- The Probe Test, which simulates an intruder, having created a gap, trying to get their hand inside to unlock a door or a window
- The Shear Test, which simulates a cutting plier attack on a security screen.
According to the NSSA, products can’t be sold as security screens in Australia unless they meet all six of these tests, meaning all security screens sold by Crimsafe or any of its competitors should meet all of them.
What Crimsafe products are available?
- Hinged doors
- Sliding doors
- French doors
- Bi-fold doors
- Stacking doors.
For windows, Crimsafe’s security screens can be made for:
- Fixed windows
- Hinged windows
- Single, double and triple sliding windows
- Safe-S-Cape (keyless window exits).
How much does it cost to install Crimsafe?
The exact cost of installing Crimsafe products will vary. As a guide, Crimsafe installation specialist Davcon Security Screens estimates that Crimsafe windows may set you back upwards of $450, Crimsafe doors may cost from $1,000, and Crimsafe patio enclosures may come with a price tag upwards of $7,000 (but this will depend on your patio’s size and shape). Davcon says the price of installing Crimsafe may vary depending on:
- The dimensions of the door, window or outside area
- Whether you need new door tracks
- Whether a new frame is needed for old or rotting doors or windows
- Whether scaffolding is needed for high windows.
Naturally, many of the same considerations would apply to the cost of security screens from another brand. Costs may also vary depending on the supplier and installer you choose to use. This makes it a good idea to get a couple of quotes.
The installation costs for security screens of other brands will vary, but based on information on the Hipages website, Crimsafe’s security screens may be somewhat more expensive than those of its rivals. Hipages states that as a rough guide or starting point, you can expect to pay:
- $300 (plus GST) for a security window
- $445 for a security door
- $795 for a stainless steel security door
- $1,095 for a cast panel security door.
These prices include the cost of installation, Hipages says.
What are some other security screen options?
Crimsafe is just one of the many security screen firms in Australia that you may consider.
Before committing to a particular security screen company, it could be worth weighing up your options based on how its products compare in terms of protection as well as cost. Additionally, make sure its products comply with the Australian Standards relating to security screens.
Some other security screen manufacturers in Australia include:
Be sure to read up on each brand’s costs and features to ensure its security screens will meet your needs. You may also wish to consider obtaining quotes from multiple security screen brands or installers, to help you weigh up the costs based on your circumstances.
What are some alternative security screen options?
There are a range of security screen options that may work out cheaper than Crimsafe. For example, according to hipages, installing a security window can cost around $300 plus GST, and stainless steel security doors may be $795. However, keep in mind that these alternatives may not necessarily have the same features as Crimsafe. For example, they may be made using different grades of stainless steel mesh or they may not be able to withstand the same amount of force.
Before committing to a particular security screen company, it could therefore be worth weighing up your options based on how they compare in terms of protection as well as cost. Additionally, make sure it passes Australian Standards relating to security screens.
Some alternative security screen manufacturers in Australia include:
Be careful to read up on each product’s features to ensure it meets your needs.
What are the options to pay for or finance the purchase of Crimsafe?
How you choose to pay to have security screens installed will depend on several factors, such as how many doors or windows you are having them installed on, the total cost of the work and when you need to pay for it, your personal circumstances and what finance options you are willing to consider.
There are many ways to finance a home improvement project, including:
Savings: Drawing on a savings account means you do not have to take on debt to finance the job, which means you do not have to pay interest or fees on that debt. This means that if you can afford to do so, paying for the job out of your savings will generally save you money in the long run.
Redraw/offset account on your home loan: You may consider the option of making a redraw on your home loan or using funds saved in your offset account, assuming your home loan has one or both of these features. It is wise to consider the long-term impact this could have on your mortgage, as paying for a job this way may increase the total amount you have to repay over time when interest is factored in.
Personal loan: Depending on your personal circumstances and the cost of the job, you may be able to consider using a personal loan to fund the work. This could be a secured loan or an unsecured loan. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that interest rates are generally higher for personal loans than for home loans, and it’s a good idea to read the lender’s terms and conditions first. You can compare personal loans with Canstar.
Credit card: It may also be possible, depending on the cost and your ability to repay the debt quickly, to pay for the job on a credit card. There could be some fringe benefits for doing so, such as extra insurance cover in some cases (read the card’s Key Facts Sheet or the Product Disclosure Statement for the insurance cover to find out the conditions of the policy). Keep in mind that credit card interest rates are typically much higher than home or personal loans, and interest can quickly accumulate on large balances, so it is a good idea to weigh up your options and consider them carefully. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off the card’s balance in full each month, it may be worth reconsidering whether a credit card is the right option for you. You can compare credit cards with Canstar.
If you’re comparing home and contents insurance policies, the comparison table below displays some of the policies currently available on Canstar’s database for an Australian aged under 50, seeking cover in NSW or ACT for a cost to replace building and contents of below $550,000. Please note the table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by provider name (alphabetical) and features links direct to the providers’ websites. Use Canstar’s home insurance comparison selector to view a wider range of policies.
Main image source: ronstik (Shutterstock)
This article was originally written by Tamika Seeto.