Home Security 101: Securing the Windows
Looking back through some of our older posts I realised that I had started the Home Security 101 series of posts but had never got further than discussing the front door. So today we are going to carry this series of posts on and continue with securing the windows.
Securing your windows is a simple and effective way of keeping the thieves out of your home. While most burglaries happen after the criminal gains access through a door, the windows are the next most common entry point. They are unlikely to smash a window to gain access due to attracting unwanted attention and being seen in the act but it does happen.
Effective home security is all about ‘layering’ the security – the more you have, the more put off a burglar will be from gaining access to your property. We are going to share some tips with you that are easy and a relatively cheap way of securing your windows. But why should you care about securing your windows?
- It stops your home from becoming an easy target for thieves. The more difficult it is for burglars to break into your home, the safer you and your family can be.
- It adds a layer of protection for families with children. It’s especially important to keep children in mind and their safety.
- More peace of mind. Overall, bolstering your window security can afford greater peace of mind while you’re away from home and even while you’re resting at night.
Related: Are You Really Safe in Your Own Home
If you have other window security tips that you would like to share with our readers, you can share with us in the comment and we will include your tips in the main article.
1. Keep Your Windows Locked
This shouldn’t need to be said but as a surprising 30% of criminals enter a property through an unlocked window or door, it should probably be mentioned.
While it may seem like common sense and something that would be done automatically, a large percentage of people fail to remember to lock their windows before heading outside. Another point to remember here also is that when you have locked the windows, don’t leave the keys within easy reach of any doors, letter boxes and windows.
If there are any sliding glass windows in the home, it’s necessary to install a rod on the track where the window slides to prevent them from being opened from the outside.
2. Security Bars and Grilles
This tip isn’t one that I personally choose to use as I just don’t like the look of them but if you live in an area with high rates of break-ins then you should certainly consider them. Metal window bars and grilles have been proved to be effective on securing your home exterior and interior windows from intruders.
An inexpensive option for you would be to buy DIY residential window security grids, bars or guards that you install yourself. If you don’t want to go for the plain metal or iron bars then you could opt for the decorative window bars that can be customized to suite your house décor.
It is important that you leave at least one window without security bars so that the window can be used in emergencies if needed.
3. Install Security Cameras
Security cameras are still one of the most effective ways to secure your home against intruders. You can check this post to see our pick of the top 5 home security cameras and this post for a much more in-depth look at security cameras such as what to look for when selecting a camera and the best places for those cameras.
Security cameras are so effective because it puts the fear into the criminal that they could be caught in the act and there wouldn’t be anything that they could say to fight their case as the camera doesn’t lie. While there are some good looking fake security cameras that you can buy, we don’t recommend them at all as experienced burglars know straight away whether they are real or fake.
4. Cover the Windows with Protective Film
Window security films actually have two advantages in terms of hardening your window glass. Firstly, they will stop your windows from shattering or smashing when a criminal tries to break in. Secondly, the clear and tinted films prevent people on the outside of the property from looking directly in while you will still be able to look out as normal.
A much more expensive but more secure option would be to replace your usual window glass with smash-proof or burglar-resistant glass. Burglars want an easy target so make your home as hard a target as possible.
5. Install Good Quality Locks
Solid, ,good quality locks are essential for home security. The standard window locks that are installed on most windows just aren’t solid enough to offer any security. The problem for most people is that there are so many window locks available that they just don’t know where to turn. Three of the most common window locks that you shoud look at buying are:
- Hinged Wedge Locks – If you want to prevent a double-hung window from being opened, use a hinged wedge lock. These can be adjusted so that you can open the window partially if you install it higher on the frame of the window.
- Pin Locks – These are recommended for installing on your ground floor windows. They can prevent intruders from lifting your windows.
- Keyed Locks – These are more solid and expensive than flip locks but you need to keep the key nearby in case of an emergency.
- Sash Locks – These fasten window sashes and prevent entry into a home through an unsecured window.
A good window security option is that you can install strong and visible window locks on your basement and first-floor windows, and add simple deadbolts or sash locks for extra security layer.
6. Install Floodlights
You don’t want to be giving a burglar any dark and shady areas to hide around the outside of your home while he attempts to break in. Anyone coming onto your property needs to be seen. For this reason we recommend that you install floodlights or window security lights.
You can install motion-sensed floodlights for your windows. These will alert you to the fact that someone is headed towards your house when the motion sensing lights are on, giving you time to respond.
7. Plant Thorny Bushes Outside Your Windows
Plants and thorny bushes such as roses and cacti would certainly hinder invaders. These make sure that your windows are inaccessible to intruders. Avoid planting anything too strong and tall near your windows so as not to give intruders anything they can climb to break in. Some plants you can use for deterring burglars are common holly, shrub roses, creeping juniper, and a number of others.
Here are a few products that you may wish to take a look at: