One of the essentials of life is a feeling of safety. When it comes to owning a home, it’s important to keep your house secure in every way. Most of us remember to lock our doors, but don’t ignore your windows when it comes to keeping your home safe.
Develop Safe Habits
Make a habit of locking all your windows. Unprotected windows on top floors are an easy entry point for a burglar with a ladder. Be aware of bushes around your house too. Plant thorny bushes under windows and keep shrubbery trim to give thieves fewer places to hide while trying to break in.
Upgrade your Glass
Make your windows stronger with reinforced glass. There’s an option for every budget:
- Security Film. Protective films applied to your windows makes the glass less likely to shatter. Tinted or reflective options have the added benefit of making it difficult for would-be robbers to see in.
- Tempered Glass. Installing tempered glass is another way to strengthen your windows. Tempered glass is stronger than traditional glass and more durable.
- Safety Glass. Also known as shatterproof or laminated glass, safety glass is reinforced with a layer of vinyl between two panes of regular glass. It will still break but it requires more effort to do so.
- Polycarbonate is 100 times stronger than traditional glass and the price reflects it. However, if you can afford polycarbonate, it is also 250 times more shatterproof than safety glass.
- Wire Mesh. Wire mesh glass, or bullet-resistant glass, provides maximum level security. This might be more than you need though. Another option might be steel security screens. Difficult to cut or smash through, steel mesh screens provide an extra layer of resistance.
Install Bars and Grilles
If you like leaving your windows open but worry about the safety of that, consider window bars. Decorative and custom options are available. For fire safety purposes, leave an emergency evacuation window free of bars.
Connect every window to your home’s security system. If you don’t have a home security system, try peel-and-stick sensor-alarms. Technology also offers smarter smart-alarms that send real-time video evidence to your cellphone.
Re-Lock your Windows
Invest in new locks for your windows. Additional locks increase the difficulty of breaking-in. Options include:
- Locking Pin. Similar to driving a screw through the window track, the pin prevents the window being lifted out.
- Ventilating Lock. This option uses an easy to manipulate pin to restrict how far the window opens.
- Flip Lock. Inexpensive and easy to DIY, flip locks are also easier to kick in.
- Lock and Key. Like having a deadbolt on your window. It’s a solid option but keep the key nearby in case of emergencies.
- Keyed Turnbuckle. This also requires a key but has additional features. It’s like “baby-proofing” your window locks.
- Keyed Track Stops. Attached anywhere in the track, this keyed option allows the window to be locked but still open a certain amount. An excellent compromise if you want both security and fresh air.
For large sliding windows, like patio doors, you might also consider a hinged wedge, foot-activated patio deadbolt or a piece of rebar laid in the track. We would all like to live in a safer world. The reality is, it’s up to us to do our part to make it safer.