There are certain fears that nearly everyone has. Most people fear pain or loss or being alone. What else does everyone fear? Robbery.
A home invasion can feel like one of the most violating experiences a person can suffer. Your home is an extension of you and holds nearly everything that has meaning to you. It’s only natural that people fear burglary.
The good news is that you can prevent these incidents. With proper security and preparation, you can reduce the likelihood of your home being robbed. But what areas are most at risk? How can you secure them without spending a fortune?
If you find yourself wondering about how to secure windows from burglars, we can help. With this guide, we will provide you with a starting point and the relief of knowing your home is safe.
Do I Need a Home Security System?
The days of leaving your doors unlocked and trust in the common good are long gone. The FBI crime statistics report showed that in 2018, there were 7,196,045 cases of property crime.
There is no harm in investing in a good home security system. Most of them nowadays involves a motion sensor, security cameras, doorbell cameras, alarms, and/or bright motion-sensing lights. Dogs are also a good deterrent. All of these things or any combination of them can deter burglars, but they can only go so far.
There’s one key factor in these solutions, though: they usually focus on doors.
Doors should be protected, that much is true. Arming a security system with alarms and cameras is a great way of protecting the entrances of your home. Installing quality security locks on your doors would not be remiss either.
However, there is one key factor in these assessments, too: doors are not necessarily the most common entry point for a robbery. You can set up alarm systems for other areas of the home, but you are still better off taking extra security measures in addition to cameras or alarms.
How Do Most Burglars Break into a Home?
Burglaries are not always planned. Some can be desperate random attempts at finding money or drugs. Indeed, a study by researchers at UNC Charlotte found that only about 12% of home invasions were pre-meditated. A little over 40% were spontaneous, and the remaining varied. Either way, you and your home are the ones that suffer in the end.
Here are a few tips. When you’re looking for spots in your home most vulnerable to burglars, start with entry points. Anywhere that gives burglars entry into your house with minimal damage or effort will be a primary target.
This can be anything from your front door (or any other doors), your garage, or a skylight if you have one. The first line of defense is always going to be a lock, but locks can be picked or cut with the right tools. Amping up your home security means adding extra layers of defense.
The most common target of burglars, though, is windows. The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at UNC found nearly 40% of forced entries occur through a window. Burglars enter through windows by either breaking or forcing them open.
When making your home burglar-proof, focus on window security. Unfortunately, most of the materials in homes are easily shattered. Larger windows, in particular, are perfect for a robber to break in through. Feeling safer in your home should start with making sure your window security is the best it can be.
How to Prevent Break-Ins Through Windows
You can’t predict when a break-in could happen. All you can do is stock up your home’s defenses and make it impossible for a burglar to ever enter.
There are a lot of different methods that you can use. We’ve already mentioned security cameras, motion sensors, and alarms. Some of these smart home security systems also have an automation feature that will call authorities when they are triggered. The more “obvious” types of systems can prevent or minimize the risk of robberies, and with some policies, it can lower your insurance premiums.
You also can get alarms installed on or near the windows that signal you when the window has been opened. An alarm doesn’t necessarily entail setting off a loud, obnoxious sound. Some sensors simply give a chime to alert the rest of the home that the window has been opened.
This window security system is much more covert and could be preferable if massive alarms are not your style. Even a smart burglar can miss a low chime that could mean the difference between calling the cops or losing it all.
Can You Secure Your Home without an Alarm?
The short answer: yes. There are many methods of securing your windows from burglars without installing an alarm.
The easiest and cheapest way is upgrading your locks. You can hire a locksmith when choosing the best locks for your doors or windows. A locksmith can advise on the types of locks will suit different materials and buildings. Most windows include a latch. However, you might want reinforcement by installing an actual locking mechanism.
The best type of locks for your windows or doors are those that need a key. Some locks are part of the doorknob. Others are separate locks that sit above the handle and more. You can also go old school and get chain locks for a little something more. However, you shouldn’t rely on them entirely since they can break easily.
Shatter-proof glass and window bars are other ways you can add another layer of defense. Later, you will see that there are different types of bars you can add. Some use a lock and key, others do not.
Window bars don’t have to detract from your curb appeal, either. They can be functional and still look nice with the rest of your home. You can also DIY install the bars as long as you have the right tools and measurements. These bars can be a huge step up from just a simple window lock.
Feeling safe and secure in your own homes does not have to mean alarms. There are plenty of options available for securing windows, doors, your garage, or anywhere else that feels vulnerable.
How to Protect Your Windows from Burglars
So now for the ultimate question: how exactly can you burglar-proof your windows? Fortunately, you have a lot of options from which to choose, many of which can fit nearly anyone’s budget. Either way, though, wouldn’t you consider window security a worthwhile investment?
Here are a few different options for taking a step towards better window security.
1. Understanding Types of Window Security Locks
This is one of the basics of home window security, but you may not know there are many different types of window locks. Each one has a slightly different locking mechanism, and some are more secure than others. A few of the different types of window locks include:
- Latch locks
- Keyed locks
- Pin locks
- Sash locks
- Hinged wedge locks
Latch locks are the most common type of lock you can find on a window. Their name comes from how they work. You flip a latch or switch, usually located on the top or bottom edge of the window frame, and it slides a small wedge into a slot in the wall or the other half of the window to secure it in place.
These locks are common on a lot of older windows and require a second locking device for extra security. They don’t provide much window security compared to other locks and likely wouldn’t stand up in the face of a determined would-be burglar.
Like we mentioned before, keyed locks are some of the better and cheaper locks out there. Since they require a key, it makes it a little harder for someone to break into your home.
Depending on the lock, it can be picked if someone tries hard enough. If you decide on a keyed lock mechanism for your window, keep the key on you at all times or keep it somewhere safe inside.
It also couldn’t hurt to keep the lock itself inside as well; it will make it that much harder for a potential robber to make their way inside.
These are one of the preferred locks for ground floor windows. A pin lock blocks someone from pushing your window open from the outside.
However, like latch locks, they are not the most secure barriers in terms of locks. With enough force, it could eventually be opened. If you opt for pin locks, you may want multiple locks installed on either side for better security.
Sash locks are mainly used on double-hung windows. If both sections of your window can open independently of each other, or at the same time, then it’s likely you have a double-hung window.
It’s also likely that it has a sash lock already installed. They just hold the window in place. With these, you will want some extra security locks.
Hinged Wedge Locks
These are also pretty common on double-hung windows. However, these are good for keeping windows from opening fully. If you only have sash locks, a hinged wedge won’t necessarily lock your window entirely, but it will make it very difficult for someone to open it fully. If they don’t have enough space to get in, then you have already taken steps to improve your home window security.
Locks are the most common and essential form of home security for windows, and when used smartly, they can be very effective. But it isn’t the only thing you can use.
2. Installing Window Security Bars
When it comes to burglar-proofing windows, this is an old school but highly effective. Security bars make it nearly impossible for someone to squeeze through, even teenagers, who account for an estimated 30% of robberies. If a person somehow broke through your locks or shattered your glass, it’s unlikely they would be able to fit between the bars.
Installing metal window security bars can also be a DIY project, but there are companies that you can hire to do the installation for you.
It’s important to remember that you and your family want to be able to get through the bars should you need to escape the house somehow. In keeping your home secure from unwanted intruders, you also don’t want to become trapped yourselves. Many security locks on bars are quick release from the inside or use a key, so be sure you have that ready at any time.
You may hesitate in opting for security bars because you think they might look unattractive. You needn’t worry about that, though. You can find some smart-looking bars that suit your home’s exterior. There are a lot of decorative bar styles for security windows. You can paint them as well, so they fit the color scheme of your home. You don’t have to sacrifice the aesthetic to have security bars for windows – you can have both!
3. Replacing Existing Glass
Changing out or reinforcing glass in your windows can enhance home security. In older houses, windows are likely just glass. Nowadays, you can find shatterproof glass, tempered glass, polycarbonate, and more. This simple step alone offers some of the best window security.
For window glass, here are a few tips you can try to make burglar-proof windows with a simple replacement.
While this isn’t shatterproof window glass, it is much harder to break. When it does break, it crumbles rather than shatters, and it can make quite a racket.
This type of material goes through the heating and cooling process repeatedly to reinforce the glass. It comes out stronger and more durable, and also less dangerous if it does happen to shatter.
These types of security windows are made of two sheets of ordinary glass sealed together with a layer of some other material in between for added reinforcement. The middle layer is usually some kind of plastic, like PVB (polyvinyl butyral).
Even if a burglar manages to crack it, the window is unlikely to shatter. Instead, the pieces adhere to the middle layer. If a hole is formed in the glass, the edges will be incredibly jagged and difficult to maneuver through.
These safety windows are more durable and difficult to displace than any type of window glass They can still break, but since they are not made of glass, it’s a lot harder to do so.
Polycarbonate and plexiglass are both a bit more expensive than some of the other options, but they do a lot to deter robbers. Don’t worry about appearance, either, because they still look just like glass.
Shatter Proof Glass
If you want to go all out, look into shatterproof windows for home security. These break-proof windows are also called burglar-resistant and with good reason. Since the window glass will not shatter, it’s yet another roadblock for an intruder. Once they realize that they can’t shatter the window glass, they may just give up on your house entirely.
4. Implementing Security Screens/Film
These coverings are an easy, DIY fix for those looking for safety on a budget. Security screens are similar to insect screens, but they are made of metals such as steel and difficult to break. A burglar would have a very hard time trying to cut or punch their way through a window security screen.
Similarly, a film is an easy-to-apply layer that can go over existing windows to make them shatter-proof.
5. Setting Up Flood Lights
Drawing attention to a burglar is a simple way to deter them. A simple way to improve your anti-theft window is to add floodlights, particularly the motion-sensing kind. If someone comes to your window in the dead of night, the lights will call attention to them. Even if you aren’t home, the robbers will likely be under the impression that someone is home or someone can see them and they will flee. The floodlights also can light up the robber, and you can use captured footage of them as evidence.
However, there are some arguments against floodlights, including that they call attention to home as potentially having more valuable items and help burglars see what they’re doing. This is why a combination of anti-burglar measures is necessary.
6. Using the Power of Nature
Plant some thorny bushes or plants under your window. A lot of beautiful plants, like rose bushes, have dangerous thorns that can inflict a lot of pain. If you have a green thumb and you’re looking to make your home safer, consider buying some thorny plants to protect your ground floor windows.
Secure Your Home
If not a door or garage, you can safely bet that a robber will target your windows. Hopefully, you’ll never have to know what it’s like, but rather than waiting, prepare for it now.
Whether you install extra window locks, reinforce your glass, install lights, or one of the other suggestions we listed above, there are a lot of steps you can take to make it difficult for burglars to get in. Secure your home today and get some peace of mind.