Our landlord is replacing our windows. They've proposed moving from:

  • wooden frame
  • steel security bars
  • screwed into frame


  • metal frame
  • aluminium security bars
  • pop rivets

Assume we leave our windows open and a burglar attempts to break in (I appreciate that any bars are themselves a deterrent). Will a burglar have any easier time with the new windows than the old windows? Put another way, what attacks are pop-rivet aluminium security bars vulnerable to that screwed-in steel bars aren't?

  • 1
    amused that my first diy question is about windows security – Broddi Mar 22 '18 at 7:17
  • As a practical matter, no difference. If someone went to the window intent on cutting through the bars, they could do it faster. But seeing the window with bars, they aren't likely to use that as an entry point. – fixer1234 Mar 22 '18 at 7:24
  • @fixer1234 I have this (false?) impression that steel bars are really difficult to get through, while aluminium bars can be easily forced with a crowbar - not true? – Broddi Mar 22 '18 at 7:55
  • How easy it is depends on the type/style of bars and the leverage available. So some aluminum bars might be relatively easy. However, people looking to break in look for easy targets. Windows with any kind of bars will discourage people from trying to use that window unless they have specifically targeted your house and don't see a faster, easier access point. They would have to be seriously casing your house to get close enough and spend time determining what the bars are made of. – fixer1234 Mar 22 '18 at 8:08
  • 2
    BTW, security bars on windows can also interfere with you getting out in the event of an emergency, or fire or emergency crews from using those windows. So the security value cuts both ways. – fixer1234 Mar 22 '18 at 9:25

what attacks are aluminium security bars vulnerable to that steel bars aren't?

  • Aluminium is a lot softer than steel and is quicker to cut through using a hacksaw.

  • There are hardened grades of steel that considerably increase its resistance to cutting compared to "plain" steel.

  • The same diameter bar in aluminium is much less strong than steel and so more vulnerable to bending, stretching and shearing.

  • Aluminium is a fairly reactive metal but your security bars are probably not going to be attacked chemically by a would-be intruder.

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