Catches are those items that allow openable items, such as window sashes, to be fastened in the shut position, usually without a keyed lock.

Be careful not to confuse catches, latches and locks when communicating your needs.

Factory-fitted catches are the best choice because only products that work well with the window design will be offered to you. Assess the security risk of windows that have catches to determine if they should be lockable. It is cheaper to fit the right choice of catch from the outset, rather than replace ordinary catches with lockable catches later.

Some catches provide "double tongues" allowing the window to be held in the slightly open position thereby providing ventilation. Please note the double tongue option should not be used as a security device. It is not recommended to leave the windows on the double tongue whilst the premises are unattended.

Catches are available in a wide variety of materials, including engineering plastics and metals, and may be colour matched to your joinery. Secure attachment to the joinery is essential and can be achieved using properly sized fastenings. Accurate positioning of the catches at the specified frame points is important for optimum performance of the sash as determined in the window-testing laboratory.

Often catches are required in positions that are difficult to access, eg just out of comfortable reach or, high up in the ceiling area. If this is the case, ask for remote control mechanisms that make them easy to use. Options are available whereby one lever operates all the catches on a sash or door.

Catches have to be durable and it is desirable that they withstand attack from burglars. Style and good looks are important, with a wide choice of styles and finishes available in the best quality products. Unfortunately, some inferior products also look great but perform miserably in service. You can know which are the good quality products by choosing those that carry the WANZ Compliance label.

A product carrying the WANZ compliance label means that it has been tested to strict criteria that include:

  • Long life cycle testing simulating real life use
  • Durability of the parts
  • Resistance to physical attack
  • Resistance to "picking" of the lock (if lockable)
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Wear resistance of the surface finish
  • Specifications
    Industry is currently developing new standards for catches. We will post the specification reference when that work is complete.