windows

Burglar Proofing Windows (9 Tips from the Experts)

Working in the security business I have seen that the most common form of break-in happens through a window. In fact, 23% of all break-ins in America are through windows so why don’t we invest more into burglar-proofing our windows? This is a great question and if your here your looking for solutions.

Below we will cover some of the best and most practical ways to burglar-proof your windows.

 1. Use of Secondary Window Locks

Burglars can easily pick the lock of your windows and break into your house. Investing in a secondary lock can prevent this from happening.

You might need to choose the secondary lock for your window depending on what type of window you have.

I will be showing you a list of the different kinds of window locks below:

 Pin locks

They’re a good option for adding security to double-hung windows. You can install them quickly, and it only takes a few minutes for installation.

The quick first step is to drill a hole into both sashes and insert the pin. This is to prevent the window from sliding.

Pin locks are also great for use on windows on the ground. They can keep intruders from breaking into your home by preventing the windows from rising.

Remember to measure the thickness of the sashes and double-check the pin length before purchasing.

Windows keyed locks

Investing in keyed locks is an excellent option to secure your window. However, there is a possibility that you might lose the keys to your windows. If you don’t want situations like this, then this method might not be the best for you.

You will need to use a key to open and close your window if you pick this option as a secondary lock. It enhances the security of your windows, but it can be a bit irritating if you lose your key.  The steps to install keyed locks are pretty straightforward, and you don’t need to make any permanent adjustments; you can instantly attach it without drilling a hole.

You should also make sure that all your family members know where you keep the key. It is crucial in case there is an emergency or fire. 

Dowell

It is the most budget-friendly and straightforward method to secure your sliding window.

Dowels consist of metal, plastic, or wood. You can buy them at a very low price, and you can also easily adjust their length.


Hinged wedge locks

Installing a hinged wedge lock is also a good option. A hinged wedge lock prevents the lower sash of your window from being lifted.

You will need to install the lock on the upper sash of the window. If you want to unlock the window, you can try swinging the wedge part away.

2. Install Window Sensors

Window sensors will detect when someone opens your window. It will make a sound to notify you when this occurs.

However, the alarm will not sound until someone breaks the window, making it its disadvantage. There will be a possibility that when a burglar tries to enter your house, you might be too late to respond.


3. Improve your Windows with Window Bars or Grills

Installing window security bars and grilles is one of the most effective ways to protect your windows from intruders. However, some homeowners find window bars unsightly and ugly. Nevertheless, a skilled and creative contractor could build a grill that will complement your house in an aesthetically pleasing way. this option is a bit more expensive.

Putting bars on the outside, where they are more visible, can deter burglars and discourage them from attempting to break in.

Remember that if you install a security bar, you will not be able to use your windows in an emergency. So ensure alternate escape routes.

4. Install Floodlights or Motion Light Sensors

Burglars work in the dark. Installing floodlights or motions lights can deter them from breaking into your house.

Some motion lights have a security camera. This way, you can monitor activities outside your house. In addition, the sensor could send notifications to your mobile phone when there are burglars inside the premises.

When it comes to installation, it’s best to mount the light at least 10 feet up to prevent burglars from easily disabling your floodlights or motion lights.

5. Use Real or Dummy Security Cameras

Thieves dislike working under surveillance.

Wide or ultra-wide-angle cameras with night vision are effective threats because most thieves will recognize them from a distance and understand that they should not approach your home.

If your only goal is deterrence, you can buy cheap dummy security cameras that will usually do the job perfectly. However, avoid using popular models because burglars may recognize it and realize you’re using a fake camera.

6. Install Tempered Glass Windows

This type of glass is four times stronger than standard glass, which can be challenging to break.

This type of glass is known as safety glass for windows. When a burglar breaks in your window, the tempered glass will crumble rather than shatter into sharp pieces. This way, it will create a loud sound when it breaks, which can alarm you when burglars are breaking into your home.

7. Use Laminated Glass

Another type of safety glass that you can use to secure your windows is laminated glass. It has layers of glass and vinyl that hold the glass together and prevent it from shattering. (1)

Laminated glass provides some protection against “smash and grab” criminals. Criminals will choose to move on to a less complicated target because they cannot simply hammer their way through the glass.

However, a burglar will still be able to break the laminated glass if given enough time.

8. Use Plexiglas or Polycarbonate Windows

Plexiglas is ten times stronger than regular glass and is impact resistant. However, investing in it might cost a lot. But if you have extra cash, then there won’t be a problem.

Furthermore, polycarbonate windows are more durable than Plexiglas, and they can discourage burglars. However, it can be pretty expensive.

Installing this kind of glass in your windows might be a bit difficult, but it is unnecessary to have it in all your windows. You can be more strategic in choosing which high-risk windows you installed to save some costs.

9. Grow Thorny Shrubbery

Planting thorny bushes under your windows will make life more difficult for intruders.

Burglars will stumble when they step into your planted thorny shrubberies. It would be best if you placed your plants strategically to improve your house’s security.

It’s not the best way to secure your windows, but if you want some greenery around your house, and thorny plants are the most practical option.


FAQ

Why should you burglar-proof your windows?

Suppose you have frail security in your windows. There might be a chance that burglars can break into your house. You may create a more substantial barrier between intruders and your family, starting with your windows.

The harder burglars find it to break into your windows and the harder they can enter your house, the safer you and your family will be.

How to stop burglars from quickly getting in?

Practically, the better your security, the harder it is to break inside your house. 

FBI report indicates that 23% of burglars choose windows to enter houses (Bride Side, 2018). 

Always remember to lock your windows and doors before you leave or go to bed. Installing grills to your windows, especially with ones on the ground floor can also increase your security. This way, burglars will have a hard time breaking into your windows.

How to protect your children from exposed windows?

Windows are essential because it allows fresh air to come into your children’s room, and they will receive the sunlight they needed. However, it exposed them not just from criminals who might use it as an entrance but also from falling. According to statistics, twelve kids ages ten (10) and below died per year due to exposed windows.

To protect your precious child, you have to install a window guard to ensure support if they climb over the window. That will give you enough time to fetch them before anything happens. (2)

Another way to do it is to install window locks that limit the window’s opening to a space that will not fit your child’s body.

How safe is having bulgar-proof windows?

Windows are the second most favorite spots where burglars break in. Securing your windows is one way to keep safe inside your premises. As we recommend on the list of methods to burglar-proof your windows, find out how reassuring they are below.

Level of ProtectionPros/Cons
Secondary Window LocksMedium to HighChildren can easily unlock them, except for keyed locks.
Window SensorsMediumSometimes technical errors occur.
Tempered Glass WindowHighA very sturdy glass that is hard to break.
Laminated GlassMedium5 times stronger than regular window glass.
Plexiglas or Polycarbonate WindowsHigh 
It becomes foggy.
Window Bars or GrillsHighIt takes ages to break through with this security window.
Floodlights or Motion Light SensorsMediumSometimes technical errors occur.
Security CamerasMediumSometimes technical errors occur.
Thorny ShrubberyLow – MediumThe Burglar can cut them off.

Conclusion

The safety of every individual inside your home is our greatest need. Giving more attention to your windows and keeping it safe from burglars is one way to do it. 

If you can afford to purchase a Plexiglas or polycarbonate window, it can be the best solution to highly secure your windows from burglars. However, if you don’t have enough budget, you may try to use the other methods.

The need for security in your window and the suitable methods to use are still dependent on your requirements and budget.






References
(1) laminated glass – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/laminated-glass
(2) protect your children – https://www.epa.gov/children/what-you-can-do-protect-children-environmental-risks