enter image description here

I have this window at home. I feel unsafe as I do not know the latch mechanism. Can someone explain how to shut this window?

  • 1
    Note that there appears to be some misalignment between the sash lock and the catch. If the latch hook is not aligned properly with the catch it will be difficult to operate, if not impossible. Unscrew both pieces and operate the catch in your hand, to get a clear understanding of how the latch is supposed to operate. Sep 4, 2017 at 15:13
  • It's a glass window... why would you feel unsafe about it being unlocked? It'll always be a stone's throw away from being "unlocked", in a more permanent sense.
    – Alexander
    Sep 4, 2017 at 17:58
  • 1
    Basically, you align the two pieces of the lock and then flip the lever. When fully latched the lever should be all the way to one side, probably to the right. And it probably should not be in the position shown, except when you're actually flipping the lever from one side to the other. When the lever is all the way to the "latched" side then you can (if you have it, and the cylinder is not frozen) insert the key and turn the cylinder, making it impossible (or at least difficult) to flip the lever.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 4, 2017 at 21:11

2 Answers 2


That's a window sash lock. It's designed to prevent someone from defeating the lock from the outside, or prevent a small child from opening it from the inside and falling out. Operates as any normal window sash latch would, only you have the option to lock it with a key as well.

Personally, I consider it a death trap. If locked, there's a fire, and that's your only escape route, you've made a dangerous situation.

Offers piece of mind to some people though.

  • "If ... that's your only escape route" - which is why the key for the lock ought not to be too far away (but not accessible from outside). I've had a burglar defeated by a similar lock, so they do help. For fire protection I favour a fire alarm (with regularly checked batteries, or wired to the mains). Sep 4, 2017 at 15:27
  • 3
    People have a hard enough time finding the keys to their cars, let alone a window they rarely-to-never unlock, in a panic situation like a fire.
    – NPM
    Sep 4, 2017 at 16:44
  • 2
    Mains powered fire alarms have batteries to power them during a power outage. Sep 4, 2017 at 20:25
  • 3
    If there's a fire and you can't find the key then throw a chair through the window.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 4, 2017 at 21:13
  • 2
    Although local codes vary, the model found in NFPA 101(2015) Life Safety Code requires that any escape window to be credited as a means of egress in dwellings or hotels must be "operable from the inside without the use of tools, keys, or special effort." A key or a chair would be considered "tools".
    – Upnorth
    Sep 6, 2017 at 4:09
  1. Move the lever all the way to the left so that the lever is parallel to the glass. In this position the window can't be slid up/down.

  2. Insert the key and turn it 180 degrees. This prevents the lever moving past the keylock.

If you can't move the lever all the way to the left, it is because the key-lock was locked when the lever was in the wrong position, insert the key, turn it 180 degrees to unlock then repeat steps 1 and 2 above.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.