There’s no arguing that windows are an essential element of every home. They filter in sunlight and provide great views of the outdoors. But windows also serve as an entry point into your home and must be secured in order to protect you and your family. Window security is critical, as it provides a first line of defense against home intruders.
Windows are left open or unlocked at a much higher rate than doors, making them an easy target for intruders. Without question, ground floor windows are the most accessible, but second and third floor windows are still easily reached by climbing on trees, fences or balconies. So how can you protect your home? Keep reading for suggestions and tips on the best ways to implement window security.
Home Window Security Options
With all the window security devices available, protecting your windows is relatively easy. You just need to determine which option works best for your home.
- Window locks come in many options and usually fall into one of three groups: flip locks, keyed locks and sash locks. Flip locks are simple to install and inexpensive, but can also be easier for a burglar to break through. Keyed locks are sturdier and more expensive, but homeowners must always keep the key nearby in case of an emergency. If you easily lose things, keyed locks are probably not best for your home.
- Window security films are a heavy plastic film used to prevent windows from shattering upon impact. Homeowners can choose between clear films and tinted films, which prevent outsiders from seeing items inside your home and can help with energy costs. Window security films also help protect windows from shattering during storms.
- Window security screens resemble insect screens, but are much stronger. Made of steel, security screens stand up well to knives and strong force. These screens are permanently mounted so they are required to be hinged on one side, with an interior latch, to allow for emergency exits.
- Window security bars and gates provide high-impact security. Window bars and gates are much harder to breakthrough than most options, but they are also visually unappealing and disrupt the views that windows provide. These are great options for basement-level windows.
Further Protection with Home Security Systems
- Attach the windows to a central home alarm system. If any windows are tampered with, you and the police will be immediately aware. If you don’t have a central home alarm system, put up an alarm decal on the window. This mechanism can easily trick burglars and often deters them.
- When possible, use a second line of defense on your windows. Wooden dowels and sticks are useful tools to block horizontal sliding windows and doors. These also work well for homeowners who must leave windows open for ventilation. Frame pins work best for vertical sliding windows.
- Never leave your window open more than six inches, while unattended. When a window is open, use a blocking device to ensure the window can’t be opened further. Make sure that an intruder can’t reach through the space and remove the blocking device or unlock the window.
- Remember that all window security measures that prevent intruders from coming in your home can also hinder home occupants from exiting during an emergency. Always have an emergency escape plan in place and ensure that your window security does not impede evacuation in case of emergency. All of the security options listed above have functionalities in place to allow for emergency exits.
When putting together home security systems or safety plans keep in mind that the best defense is education, planning and preparation!
Text and photo courtesy of ADT Security Services.
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