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Sash Window Hardware

  • Improve your Homes Safety with Mighton's Angel Ventlock®

    Mike, our Chairman of Mighton Products, highlights the potential dangers to young children and toddlers of open windows, and how the Angel Ventlock® has been designed to offer a simple, effective and secure solution.

    There is no time in life when curiosity is more powerful than in early childhood. The world of a young child is full of new experiences; new people to meet, food to eat, games to play and places to explore. All of which can be hugely exciting for both toddlers and parents alike, although, for the parents, the thrill of watching their offspring discover the world around them, can often be offset by the constant challenge of ensuring that they do so in as safe an environment as possible.

    Young children will unwittingly be attracted to all sorts of hazards – that is just a fact of life. And while it’s second nature these days to invest in a wide range of products to help protect them from serious injury – such as car seats, stair gates and even covers for electrical sockets or adhesive foam padding for sharp corners – many parents are still unaware of the dangers presented by windows.

    Every year, for instance, approximately 4,000 children are injured due to open windows and tragically, 15-20 are killed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 80% of those injured are under the age of four, a statistic that highlights the fact that children are simply unaware of the potential dangers of windows, and that while you can take some preventative measures to protect them, there’s always a risk that they will hurt themselves unless they’re under constant supervision.

    There is, however, one way to ensure they remain safe and that’s to fit a window opening controlled device, such as the Angel Ventlock®; a low cost, yet incredibly effective solution that does not detract from the aesthetics or overall functionality of a window, but one that can either be easily integrated by a manufacturer, or retro-fitted in just a matter of minutes, to give homeowners, parents and guardians complete peace of mind that the young children in their care are properly safeguarded.

    The idea for the Angel Ventlock® came about following a customer query made at a Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) event in the states, where Mighton was exhibiting. The customer in question had been looking at a regular Mighton Ventlock® product, one that had been available for the last 30 years, and queried whether it met standards set out by US building codes. As a result of this enquiry, the team at Mighton ended up working on the ASTM Sub-Committee to develop new standards of safety, work that ultimately resulted in the introduction of ASTM F2090-2008 and 2010, a specification that established the installation, safety, performance and labelling requirements for devices intended to address the risk of injury and death associated with accidental falls from windows by children aged 6 and younger.

    This development, which was designed by Mighton 10 years ago, also led to the introduction of compliant window restrictors that are now sold to some of the largest window companies in the world.

    Engineered to meet both US safety standards and UK standard Building Regulations the Angel Ventlock® incorporates a patented design that is compatible with standards set out by the new building codes, as well as similar escape and rescue standards in the US. This unique design also means that children aged six and above should be able to operate the lock unaided in case of emergencies, such as a house fire. This feature has been tested by various focus groups and highlights the fact that the Angel Ventlock® might have been designed to be child proof, but it’s certainly not adult proof! Angel Ventlock® has been tested as a key component of windows that have passed PAS24:2016 and as such are included in the list of hardware on the Mighton Secured By Design License.

    Originally designed for traditional sash windows, with a either a face or side fix option that is fitted into the stiles of the top sash, as well as retro-fit versions, and even a Mini Angel for use on PVC, aluminium and fibreglass double and single hung sashes, “We have continued to develop the Angel Ventlock since it went on sale in 2009, and now offer solutions for both sliding and casement windows.“

    These days, modern windows are engineered to be increasingly stylish, energy efficient and even secure from break-ins. With an Angel Ventlock®, manufacturers and homeowners have the option to add to those features, with an easy to fit, highly effective and value adding product that at the very least will provide utmost peace of mind – and could even mean the difference between a happy childhood, or one that’s marred by a preventable tragedy.

  • Don't Spoil the Ship

    ….for a ha’porth of tar. This old adage about ruining a good product by being cheap with key components has never been more appropriate than with the new generation of timber windows, says Mighton’s Mike Derham.

    Anyone wandering around this year’s FIT Show could not help but notice the small, but significant presence of timber windows and in all frame styles, confirming their steady return to the home improvement sector.

    Under the unifying battle cry of ‘why install windows manufactured to look like wood, when you can have the real thing?’, the joinery industry believes that the self-inflicted demons that allowed the PVC-U replacement window sector to boom 40 years ago, are now firmly behind it, achieved through advances in timber preservation and joinery production technology.

     

    As well as quality, a number of other factors are in favour of a return of good quality, timber frames: time, in that many have simply forgotten the often appalling quality softwood frames that were once installed in new homes; and another is, ironically, that PVC-U and aluminium replacement windows and doors have now gone upmarket to meet the price points of timber, especially for those categorised as ‘Heritage’ styled frames. Thus, windows produced in all three framing materials may be presented to homeowners as options, with many who would choose timber if they could be assured of comparative performance.

    Quality is the key to the continued resurgence of timber frames as replacements: but installers buying frames in to offer to their increasingly well-educated and infirmed homeowner customers, should consider not just the manufacturer’s information about the frames, but to also look closely at the quality of the hardware.

    It is our experience from supplying the quality joinery industry with high quality fixings and hardware for 30 years, that despite the passion that often goes into the manufacture of traditional box sash frames, that some producers can be extraordinarily stingy when it comes to the key operating components of their product. The frames may last for years, but because they skimped on the hardware, failures – and consequent call-backs – occur.

    My worry is that with this renaissance of timber frames in the home improvement sector, the pressures of competition will lead producers to cut corners with the hardware, something that will be a huge mistake for products that are making such an impressive come back. Homeowners considering timber windows against alternatives in PVC-U and aluminium, will be doing so because they believe that they are buying and paying for the very best. Their decision will be based on the aesthetics of the timber but also in the overall product, which includes the visible fittings. It will also be based very much on the way the window operates, and whilst cheap hardware may stand the test when installed new in a showroom, any diminishment of performance will be become quickly noticeable when installed, by people that have paid for and expect the very best.

    A surprising number of manufacturers undermine their products – and potentially your reputation - by shortening the viable service life of their products with the installation of cheap hardware. This goes against every instinct that I have as a former manufacturer of timber box sash windows and surely, it makes no sense at all. Installers may make the assumption that as they are selling windows from an otherwise reputable manufacturer, then high quality hardware will, surely, be a given. Sadly that is not the case and the purpose of this editorial is to urge installers to be clear on the quality of the hardware installed. For it is your reputation that is at stake here and you that will pay for the call-backs when the hardware fails.

    Close attention to these details will save you a great deal of money; and ensure your reputation remains intact.

     

  • MORE YOUNG LIVES COULD BE SAVED IF US EXAMPLE WAS FOLLOWED, SAYS MIGHTON BOSS

    Mike Derham, Chairman of Angel Ventlock window restrictor manufacturer Mighton Products, has made a further call for the UK to follow the United States in intensifying legislation and educational efforts to prevent young children falling from windows.

    Mike highlighted National Window Safety Week, an initiative of the National Safety Council, which has linked with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to raise awareness about the dangers of children falling from windows in a campaign that took place during the first week of April. This is to further reduce the estimated 3,300 children ages five and younger, who are treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Sadly an average of eight deaths are also recorded annually. By comparison more than 4,000 such accidents a year happen in the UK.

    “In the United States there is far greater awareness of the dangers posed to young children of falling from windows than here in the UK,” said Mike. “Legislation is tougher but this is supplemented by public awareness initiatives including the National Safety Council, which even has a Window Safety Task Force that provides important information on how effective window safety practices and hardware can help significantly reduce the amount of window-fall related injuries.” Roto Frank of America, the US distributor of Mighton’s award winning window restrictor, has a representative on the Window Safety Task Force.

    “Despite the work of the Child Accident Prevention Trust and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) legislation in the UK is comparatively poor, with the result that injuries and deaths to children caused by falling from windows are significantly higher pro rata then in the US.

    “Legislation in the US imposes the ASTM [American Society for Testing and Materials] standard which helps prevent falls, educates parents and carers about window safety and defines standards for safety devices, especially those that prevent falls without interfering with emergency egress. ASTM standards are often used in the UK for other products so this is something that could so easily be remedied and without significant cost implications to anyone,” added Mike.

    For further information on the Angel Ventlock and relevant legislation in the UK call us on 01223 497097. Let us know your thoughts on twitter - https://twitter.com/mightonproducts/status/984808074379751424

  • YOU DON'T DEMAND A REPUTATION... YOU EARN IT.

    You don't demand a reputation... you earn it.

    With many homeowners looking at alternatives to plastic windows the opportunities for selling high quality timber box sash vertical sliding frames have never been better. But, says Mighton’s Mike Derham, the hardware choice is critical on such windows.

    According to the key 2017 Palmer Report* on the fortunes of the window, door and conservatory markets in the UK, in 2016 550,000 timber windows were installed in housing, out of a total market of 6.82 million. Of the total market, 7% were vertical sliders, of which an estimated 23% were manufactured in timber.

    A small, but Hanging Baskets In A Countryside Townactually very worthwhile market as prices and generally margins at the premium end are high with homeowners more intent than average homeowners to preserve the authenticity of their property.

    Of course many installers will be supplying this generally recession-proof sector and will understand the need for superb quality at every level: great customer care and installation service and of course, at the core of it all will be the products that they took a great deal of time selecting your company to supply and install. Your reputation rests heavily upon these being not just perfect when they are installed, but to remain so for many years to come.

    The customers of such products choose them because they believe that they are buying and paying for the very best, in the overall product of course but also very much in the visible fittings, but also in the way the window operates, when new and over time. Any diminishment of performance will be very noticeable by people that have paid for and expect the very best.

    But a surprising number of manufacturers undermine their products – and potentially their reputations - by shortening the viable service life of their products with the installation of cheap hardware. This goes against every instinct that I have and surely, makes no sense at all. And installers may also make the assumption that as they are selling such windows from an otherwise reputable manufacturer, then high quality hardware will, surely, be a given. Sadly that is not the case and the purpose of this editorial is to urge Tarnished Pulleyretailer installers to be clear on the quality of the hardware installed. For it is your reputation that is at stake here and you that will pay for the callbacks for failures.

    One may understand the use of cheap hardware when the window itself is unlikely to last more than a few years. But for high quality joinery I am surprised at how often I come across manufacturers who, despite the care and skill with which they produce what inevitably are expensive window frames, still insist upon fitting cheap hardware that will corrode within weeks of installation and fail within a few months.

    The irony of this is that timber window specialists inevitably (and usually appropriately) see themselves as craftsmen, as opposed to just ‘fabricators’, producing high quality, hand finished windows that are produced with skill, care and pride and sold – and purchased – as such.

    Why do quality conscious joinery companies do this?

    When inevitably I challenge those in charge of procurement for these producers about their decision to ‘go cheap’ their response remains consistently the same: ‘we need to cut costs’. But when one considers a frame that may sell for more than £1000, such financial savings amount to perhaps £10 for the whole window when buying cheap hardware, with limited guarantees and performance expectations. Is this worth staking a company’s reputation on, when a whole house installation might save a few hundred against an installation costing £20,000 or more? In the age of instant news the old adage of a bad reputation being gained overnight has never been truer.

    Cheap products should be avoided at every opportunity in order to maintain the quality of operation and aesthetics for the lifetime of the window. Poor quality products can lose their finish visibly in just a few weeks and can fail in is as little as a few months. Seldom do they come with safeguarding treatments such as PVD for example, or are they covered by worthwhile guarantees.

    Closer attention to these details will save you a great deal of money; and ensure your reputation remains intact.

    *The Window, Door and Conservatory Markets in Housing in Great Britain 2017 Sept. 2017. www.palmermarketresearch.co.uk

  • OLD WOODEN WINDOWS MAKES IT BETTER WITH MIGHTON

    When Original Wooden Windows Ltd set out to make its frame production quicker and more efficient with new machinery, Director Gus Brazier said the name of Mighton Products needed no introduction. Even though the hardware specialist launched its machinery range less than a year ago, the Slough-based joinery firm knew Mighton from 12 years of using its sash weights and other ironmongery.

    Mighton did not expect OWW to make the choice on reputation alone, but was able to give Gus and the team hands-on experience of its Scribe-It™ end-scribing machine without leaving the factory, thanks to the Mighton Mobile Demonstration Vehicle.

    “The rep gave us a full demo of the end-scribing machine so we were able to see for ourselves exactly what it can do,” he said.

    “Installation was simple and didn’t cause any interruptions. Just from using the machine in the first couple of weeks the benefits have been clear to see. It has not only sped up production significantly but also gives exactly the same profile with every cut.”

    Scribe-It™ increases throughput by scribing the ends of timber profiles quickly, efficiently and consistently. It can complete a full cutting cycle in just 15 seconds and is compatible with any profile up to 45mm wide and 35mm deep. Using two cutters, Scribe-It™ allows for the shaping of the bead to be carried out in two halves, therefore safeguarding against issues such as the beads splitting or spelching at the ends.

    Chairman Mike Derham said OWW’s experience was the ideal example of the difference one machine could make:

    He explains: “The end scribing is only one small part of OWW‘s overall manufacturing process but when you have a bottleneck in a factory, it can have a knock-on effect on every other part.

    “Now, with the the right machinery in place, the whole factory can operate more smoothly and of course more efficiently and cost-effectively.”

    He adds: “We are always pleased to be able to support craftmen such as Original Wooden Windows, a family owned and run business which has been trading for over 40 years. All of their experienced staff specialise in the bespoke design and manufacture of timber windows and doors, with every item designed and produced to match exacting customer requirements. They also pride themselves on working sucessfully with heritage and conservation authorities.”

    To learn more about the range of Mighton Products machinery, and the flexible finance options available, or to order a new catalogue visit www.mightonproducts.com or call 01223 497097.

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