Window Security Checklist
Keeping your windows safe and secure is essential for your homes security. Whether you go on holiday or are just out for the day, making sure your windows are locked up correctly can deter burglars away. Keep reading to find out the best ways to keep your windows security top notch.
Window security is critical to your home security, especially when it’s thought that 1 in 5 burglars enter a home via a window. Everything from the windows themselves to the window locks can affect your window security, so we have created this checklist so you can evaluate your window security and make sure it’s up to scratch!
Were Your Windows Installed by Licensed Installers
How your windows were installed is the baseline for your window security. You want to make sure that your windows are installed properly and that your installers are FENSA registered. The Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme, or FENSA, are building regulations for double glazing companies that ensure that they meet minimum standards of quality.
You want to make sure that your windows come with a FENSA certificate as this is a security that your windows were installed properly and the fitment of them ensures the security features are working properly.
1. What are your Windows Made of?
What your windows are made of will affect your window security and how you should go about taking extra security precautions.
Wooden windows can be sturdy they can cause a security risk as they are subject to rot and warping which can affect how effectively the window’s security elements remain secure. If you have wooden windows, you’ll need to ensure that you keep an eye out for any changes and if you start to see rot or warping you get it seen to by a window installer.
Thin and light, aluminium windows are one of the most resistant to burglary because it’s incredibly strong and resilient. Ensuring you pick the right lock, and one that complements the style of your aluminium windows is the best way you can start with your window security.
The most popular window type, it’s durability and affordability make it a customer favourite but it’s the longevity that makes a uPVC window a secure choice. Issues such as rot won’t crop up, and its solid build mean that the windows are more resistant to being prised open by a burglar. Similar to aluminium windows, pairing a uPVC window with a sturdy lock is a good way to ensure window security.
2. The Glazing is Intact
The glazing in your window should be intact, unbroken, and secured. Broken glass offers potential burglars the opportunity to gain access into your home and can make you a more attractive target, similarly any glass panes should be secured in place to ensure that no opportunities are offered it those who might have ill intentions.
Window Glass Security
- Glass should be intact and free from cracks or broken panels.
- Glass should be secured in place; it shouldn’t move or be unstable.
3. Secure your Window Depending on the Style
Ground floor windows are the most vulnerable as they are often easier for a burglar to force entry into rather than windows on the second or third story. However, what you may not be aware of is that the different window styles and how they operate pose different security risks and will need to be secured in different ways.
Sliding Sash Windows
Often found in older homes, sliding sash windows are windows which have two panes of glass, one on top of the other where you can slide the bottom one up or the top one down depending how you want the window to open. The window panes are then secured with a latch in the middle.
These types of windows can be vulnerable as the latch isn’t designed for security but rather just to keep the window closed and can easily be forced open.
Install Pin Locks to Secure Sliding Sash Windows
To secure double hung windows ensure that you have pin locks installed in the window sashes. When pin locks are installed, they restrict the window from being moved vertically and leave it more secured.
Traditional Casement Windows
There are 2 types of traditional casement windows, ones that are hinged at the side and swing outward and those that are hinged the top that swing upwards and outwards. Both can be forced open if their locking mechanisms are damaged or weakened.
Ensure your Casement Window is Well Maintained
Casement windows are most secured when in complete working order, this means properly positioned, easy to use and easy to lock and unlock. If your casement window has fallen out of alignment or is difficult to use you may have to call out your local Locksmith to adjust and resolve the issue.
4. Window Locks
Whilst obvious the right window locks can help to ensure that your window stay secured. There are a few different window locks that you can have on a range of different windows and each comes with different benefits and drawbacks.
This type of lock requires a key to lock or unlock he window and can help to ensure that your window is more resistant to being forced opened. If you have sliding sash windows you may want to consider this type of lock.
Commonly found on sliding sash windows, these locks are particularly durable as they are meant to hold the window in place rather than secure it. If you just have window latches it might be worth upgrading your window locks to something more substantial or pairing it will another lock.
Sliding Window Locks
These locks are placed into the track of the window where it restricts the window from opening and are secured by either a thumbscrew or lever. If you have sliding windows you might want to check if you have these types of lock instead of a latch as by restricting the movement of the window, the lock offers further security. Some models can even lock again with keys.
Commonly seen on awning or casement windows, these latches hold the window in place by the folding and unfolding of a handle. When in the closed position you need to simple pull the handle up to unfold it and open the window. If you have this type of lock, you might want to consider installing one that has a locking part that is enabled with a key as it is not designed for security but rather just to hold the window in place.
Locking pins are situated at the bottom of a window, where it functions like a normal door bolt. One part of the lock (which has the sliding bolt) is attached to the moving window, which when closed lines up with an allotted space within the fixed frame (the keep) to restrict the window from moving. These locks offer great security to your windows as they make it more difficult for the window to be forced open from the outside.
5. Consider Extra Window Security
One of the best ways to increase your window security if you feel it might be lacking is to consider some other security measures that can help!
Install Security Window Film
Window film is a great way to help protect your windows from damage. Whilst a burglar breaking window glass to gain access isn’t as common, it’s not unheard of, so window film has been developed to help secure windows against this type of attack. Once applied the film will ensure that if the window is smashed all of the pieces remain together hence restricting the access a burglar thinks they will get when they smash your window.
It unfortunately isn’t strong enough to keep your window from being smashed but helps to keep it together and more secure.
Security cameras, whether indoor or outdoor, can be a great addition to your window security. When placed properly around your property they can help to minimise the risk of someone trying to force your window open and can make your home less of an attractive target.
When someone says window bars, usually the first image to mind isn’t pretty. But to help with your window security it might be worth considering window bars as a better way to defend your home. Gone are the days when window bars are unsightly, most window bars now come in a range of different decorative (but secure!) designs, that not only help to secure your windows but also can make an attractive addition.
Thorny plants below a window are a great and natural way to help secure your window! Acting as a great deterrent for potential intruders, they also help to help your home looking landscaped and natural. You can read more about our security plant suggestions here!
Consider installing outdoor motion lighting to help reduce the dark spots around your property where a potential intruder could be laying in wait. Burglars like to go undetected, so by reducing their hiding spots you make your home and your windows less of an attractive target! Consider installing motion lighting around your home to illuminate any potential treats, but don’t worry about animals setting it off as you can often tailor the sensitivity of the lighting to ignore them.
What are the Signs that your Window Need to be Replaced?
You need to keep an eye on the conditions of your window to ensure that it remains in good working order. Sometimes a window can be beyond repair and for the security of your home you might need to have it replaced!
Issues with your window security can reflect upon the overall security of your home and increase your chances of potentially becoming a target. The following are window replacement signs you’ll need to consider when checking if your window security:
- Cracks in the frame
- Mould around the window
- Air whistling
- Water leaks
- Difficulty in opening and closing your window
- Loss of noise reduction
- The age of your windows