Topic: Home Security
by Keith Morris
Burglars have many ways they can break into your home. They often enter through doors, whether that be a front door, a back door, or a garage door. However, burglars also commonly break into people’s homes through windows, especially at the ground floor level because these are the easiest to access.
There are various window designs, and each one has its weaknesses that experienced burglars can exploit. There are several things you can do to burglar-proof your windows, no matter which type they are, including experimenting with a variety of reinforcement options such as bars, gates, and tempered glass.
How to Burglar Proof Casement Windows
Casement windows come in two main types. The first type is hinged from the top. These windows swing outwards when you open them. The second type is more common and hinges to the side, swinging inward.
For the first type of casement window, it may be possible for a burglar to break out the window in the crank area, reach in and crank open the window. If the window is even partially open, a burglar could remove or cut the screen and crank the window open wide enough to enter your home.
Although good quality casement windows are relatively secure when shut, the best thing to do to ensure security is to check all the hardware is stable. Lower quality casement windows on some cheaply built homes and apartments can deteriorate quickly and become far less secure.
The most crucial piece of hardware to check is your windows’ push bar. Make sure that your operator or push bar is not worn out or deteriorating. It should be strong enough to resist a burglar attempting to force entry without breaking the window or frame, even if it’s open a few inches. If your push bar is worn, it’s best to replace it to make your casement windows as sturdy as possible.
How to Burglar Proof Double Hung Windows
Double-hung windows are most often found on older properties, and they tend to be the least secure type of window when it comes to break-ins. These windows are most commonly secured with what is known as a crescent latch and usually have two panes of glass, one above the other.
The crescent latch keeps the window shut but is not particularly effective from a security standpoint. A burglar can quickly access your property through one of these mechanisms by simply inserting a flat tool, such as a knife, and prying it open.
Crescent latches can also be affected by hot weather, which causes the windows to swell and the latch to have problems closing properly. Some older double-hung windows also have the latches painted over numerous times, meaning that they are no longer able to secure the window effectively.
Luckily, there is a drilling and pinning method to make double-hung windows more secure without replacing them. To drill and pin, you need some pinning materials such as rods, bolts, or nails and a drill. If you use this method, you can effectively secure your ground floor windows and make it much harder for burglars to enter your home.
How to Burglar Proof Jalousie (Louvered) Windows
These windows are commonly found in the kitchens and bathrooms of older homes and contain several individual panes that open and close. They can be vulnerable when left open for ventilation purposes as burglars can easily break separate panes and then gain access to your property.
Even more concerning, some burglars can remove the panes without breaking them, causing almost no noise or disturbance. If you want to know how to burglar-proof your windows with a Louvered design, try gluing or securing the individual panes together so that they cannot be forced open or broken as easily. You could also consider putting up an additional storm window.
Using Different Methods to Burglar Proof Your Windows
Plastic glazing comes in polycarbonate and acrylic and boasts impressive strength against impacts.
If you want to know how to burglar-proof your windows using varying barrier methods, there are several options to consider. You can install grates or bars or make use of tempered, bullet-resistant, or laminated glass, as well as plastics such as polycarbonate or acrylic.
Glass and Plastic
If you want to secure your windows while still being able to use them for ventilation and natural light, there are several materials to consider. For example, a window film adds layers and helps make your windows more resistant to impacts. For a long-term solution, glass that is tempered, laminated or bullet-resistant may be the way to go. These reinforced glass types help protect from burglars trying to break your window panels to enter the home.
Also, consider using certain types of reinforced plastics to secure your windows. Plastic glazing comes in polycarbonate and acrylic and boasts impressive strength against impacts. If you choose polycarbonate, ensure that you check the fire code for your local area before proceeding, and with all these methods, hire a professional to perform a proper installation.
Bars and Grates
You can also install wire mesh, grates, or bars onto your windows for extra protection. Again, consult your local fire code to make sure doing so is not a violation. You should also look for burglar bars with a quick-release mechanism in case you need to open the window from inside during an emergency.
These layers of protection can be put on the inside or the outside of the home, depending on your personal preference. Some people like to put them on the outside to act as a deterrent for burglars, but many products recommend interior installation for the best results.
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Secure Your Home by Burglar Proofing Your Windows
There are several methods to help you burglar-proof your windows so you can sleep easier at night. The option you choose may come down to the type of windows in your home and your personal preference. Always be sure to consult a professional before you go ahead with any of these security mechanisms so you can ensure a proper installation, yielding the best results.
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