What are these safety devices on my windows?
January 17, 2013 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Our Chicago bungalow has double-hung replacement windows on the first floor. On the top sash are little latches that seem to be designed to flip open as soon as the bottom sash is lifted, preventing the window from opening more than a few inches (either as an anti-burglary or a child-safety measure). The latches seem to be malfunctioning (they spring open when the bottom sash passes them, which doesn't prevent the window from opening but rather from closing) and I want to remove or replace them, but I can't figure out what they're called.

I also welcome any ideas for how to fix this problem. The previous owner apparently tried taping them down, but they cut through the tape. I don't even know how the mechanism works to spring them open, so I don't know where to start to fix the issue.
posted by payoto to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are there any manufacturer's marks on the windows so that you could call the company and ask? Sometimes they are in small white type in the corner of the glass.
posted by procrastination at 10:25 AM on January 17, 2013

Yes, they are anti-burglary devices. Not sure how to get rid of them.
posted by Doohickie at 10:27 AM on January 17, 2013

I have these exact same windows on my Chicago bungalow. When installed they told me they were for both burglar prevention and child safety. Several of mine have broken from aggressive window opening when people dont notice them. My guess is brute force with the right tool would pry them out.
posted by blackjack514 at 10:32 AM on January 17, 2013

"Vent stop/lock/latch" (vent as in "ventilation"). E.g. Yeah, knowing the window manufacturer will probably help in knowing the correct way to pry them out and/or replace them.
posted by misterbrandt at 10:32 AM on January 17, 2013

The only indication of branding is that the latches used to tilt the windows in say Boréal. Googling suggests that this isn't a brand of windows but the brand of vinyl extrusion.
posted by payoto at 10:44 AM on January 17, 2013

This video may help. Try searching "night latch" as well.
posted by dhartung at 10:48 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

It looks like they are frictioned/wedged into the mortise. you could probably pry off the top or bottom to see into the actually cavity, and maybe drill out one of the retention clips. Hopefully once you get one out, it will have some marking on it if you wanted to order replacements (or just measure the opening and order something that looks like it will fit)
posted by misterbrandt at 10:54 AM on January 17, 2013

We have something that looks very different but serves the same purpose on our windows, and our landlord just calls them "window locks." Maybe that'll put you in the right direction?
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:28 PM on January 17, 2013

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