Ultimate Guide to Window Security in Your Home
This part of the ultimate guide to home security we look at your window security. Access to your home can be through your doors or windows. Sometimes windows are one of the weakest entry points in the home. We look at ways you can improve your window security and ensure you and your family stay safe.
Everyone wants to make their home as secure as possible, and it’s easy to splash out on the best security for the front door, back door and security cameras etc. However you may be ignoring one main security breach…your windows. There are several things you can do to secure your windows, as well as measures you can take with your windows to keep your family safe.
Firstly we will go through what you can do to keep thieves from gaining access through your windows;
First Things First, Keep Them Locked!
Most burglars are opportunistic and an open window is an open invitation to anyone walking past. You can have all the fancy gadgets, the most expensive glass and the securest frames, but if the window is left open or unlocked….it’s all useless.
Sometimes the simple methods are the best, investing in a good window lock will help to protect your home. You can install deadbolts and sash jammers, but you best option is to go for a bulky lock that can be seen from the outside, as a burglar may see this and decide to move on. A popular choice for this is a window pin lock; it is relatively simple and not that expensive. If you have modern uPVC windows then it’s more than likely they came with a pretty good lock, plus the stronger and sturdier your window frames look, the less likely a burglar is going to attempt to gain entry through them.
There are a few ways to reinforce your windows using secure material. One option is tempered glass; this is more durable than traditional glass and more difficult to break. It’s also the most inexpensive options when it comes to reinforcing your windows. Another option is Laminated Glass; this is also called safety glass. Usually laminated glass has a layer of vinyl between the two panes of normal glass. For a burglar to break through this, they are going to have to strike it repeatedly in the same spot. This is not only hard work, but will cause a lot of noise, acting as a deterrent for a burglar. If your neighbor hears one loud noise they will stop what they are doing to see if they hear it again, once they hear it multiple times, they are more likely to act. If you really want to go to the extreme then you can look at getting bullet resistant glass or wire mesh glass, these are not the normal go to materials for a family home and although they may cost more, they may not have any more benefit to a family than the other options.
Security Window Film
This is a great alternative if you don’t have or don’t want tempered and laminated glass. Security window films are made from polyester, or PET that are applied to glass meant to hold together the glass if it shatters. This is a great option if you want to upgrade your windows but don’t want to replace the glass, the film can be applied after installation and is thus classed as a retrofit product.
Window Security Bars
Bars on your windows may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but they will provide a very effective security measure for your home. Firstly they will put a burglar off by just being there, and even if someone does want to smash your window, they won’t be able to squeeze through the bars. It’s not the most popular option, but there are companies that will specialise in making window bars that fit the look of your home and are not too intrusive. It also means you don’t have to remember to lock your windows every time you leave the house; the protection is always there. However some safety experts warn against putting these in, as it means the windows are not secondary exit point during an emergency such as a fire.
There are a few window alarms available including wired and wireless. Wireless are the most popular as not many people like the mess of wires and cords, however you have to keep your eye on the battery life. If the batteries run out of a wireless window alarm then it’s useless. On the other hand, the benefit of having a wireless system is that even if you have a power cut, then your windows are still alarmed. Most window alarms/sensors are made of magnets and reed switches and they can be surface mounted or recessed. It deters burglars by setting off a loud noise when the circuit is broken. A burglar will break the circuit when they push the window open, pulling the magnet away from the switch. The loud noise should scare any burglars away.
Plant Something Thorny
Yes that’s right; one more natural burglar deterrent is to plant some thorny bushes under your window (if you can). This can physically stop a burglar from reaching your windows and act as a deterrent, as it’s likely no one going to willingly drag themselves through painful thorns. You mustn’t plant anything with a strong trunk close to your windows as this provides an easy climbing frame to your upper windows.
Have Some DIY Security
As simple as it sounds placing something near your window that will fall over or make a noise when touched or pushed over, such as a lamp or vase can be a great, inexpensive method of additional security. This will not only alert you, but potentially scare away the burglar that is trying to gain access to your home through a window.
Usually, before attempting to break in to your home, a burglar wants to know that it’s worth the effort. What will they do? Look in the window. If you have tinted or reflective windows, it makes it harder for the burglar to canvass the inside of your house to see if there is anything worth stealing. He also would not be able to confirm for definite if your home or not. All this would hopefully deter them from breaking in. Of course a cheaper option is to keep your blinds or curtains closed while you are out. This will also stop burglars from being able to see any valuables you have inside.
Install bright flood lights
Burglars love the dark, so installing bright flood lights that illuminate your windows is a great way to deter them. You can buy motion sensor floodlights that will flick on when anyone comes near you home. This is not only helpful to yourself if you are arriving at home after dark, but it’s will also alert you from the inside if someone is approaching.
Window Safety for Your Family and Pets
As important as it is to secure your windows against burglars, it’s equally as important to make them safe for your family.
- Windows are a secondary escape route in case of a fire. So you need to make sure they are easily openable from the inside, it would be good to practice opening them from the inside with your children, so they know how to get out.
- In this vein it’s also worth checking no windows are nailed or painted shut, when you move into a new property as you need to be able to escape quickly in the event of a fire.
- If you have young children then you know already that they enjoy climbing on everything; try to move any furniture or anything that can be climbed on away from windows as this will reduce the risk of the children reaching the windows and accidents occurring.
- Keeping the windows locked is a very important part of window safety, keeping them locked not only keeps burglars out, but can stop your child falling out if they reach them.
If you own pets, especially indoor cats then it’s important to secure your windows, you can do this by keeping them locked and closed. However if you want to be able to open the window to keep cool then you can install a pet screen, which acts as a barrier between your pet and the outside world, while allowing you to enjoy the fresh air.
Window Locks and Security
We hope that by reading this guide, you now have some ideas on how to increase the security of your property via your windows, as we can almost guarantee there will be information included in this blog that you wouldn’t have even considered! Along with window security, there are many aspects of your home security that you should consider and monitor. For more tips on a range of security topics, click here.
If you need additional locks or security fitted to your windows and home, do not hesitate in calling an accredited, expert locksmith.
How could you fix a window locking mechanism?
If your window has a locking system built into the window, this is called a multipoint locking system and can be found on both uPVC and wooden windows. A feature of this system is within the frame there will be brass rollers that move up and down dependent on the handle position locking and unlocking the window. If you have an issue with operating this type of system the best course of action is to call in a professional Locksmith who will be able to fix it and advice you what is wrong, what will need to be replaced and how to reduce the risk of it breaking again.