Home security is a top priority for homeowners everywhere, and one vulnerable point that often goes overlooked is the humble window. Home windows, while essential for natural light and ventilation, can also be an inviting entry point for intruders if not correctly secured. Statistics show that 23% of burglars enter a property through first-floor windows. This comprehensive guide will introduce some key strategies and products you can use to secure the security of your home's windows.
Note： To enhance the overall security of your home, learn about the top 21 effective methods to deter burglars.
Why Windows Are a Weak Link in Home Security?
Windows is generally weak in home security because of its easy accessibility. They are designed to provide natural light and ventilation, but many have glass panes that can be shattered or easily broken, allowing burglars to reach inside and unlock the window or access the home. Moreover, windows enable outsiders to see into a home and potentially reveal valuable belongings, making your home a tempting target.
And most homes have more than just one window. For example, ground-floor, basement, and windows near trees or bushes can provide burglars with hidden entry points that are less visible to neighbors or passersby.
How to Secure Windows from Break-Ins: Top 12 Effective Ways
There are several ways to help you secure your windows from burglars. We’ve picked out the 12 most effective ones for your reference.
1. Access Your Window Security Needs
It would help if you started by accessing your specific window security needs. Examine each window in your home and look for any visible signs of wear, damage, or weaknesses in the frames, glass, and locks. Cracks, broken glass, or gaps in the window frame should be noticed, too. Prioritize windows more vulnerable to potential break-ins, hidden from view, on the ground floor, or easily accessible from a nearby tree or structure.
2. Install Window Locks and Latches
Window locks and latches are devices designed to secure windows and prevent unauthorized access or entry. They come in various types and designs and can act as a physical barrier that makes it more difficult for intruders to open the window. You must ensure that all windows have sturdy locks in good working condition. You can also consider upgrading to key-operated or smart locks for added security.
You can buy window security locks from Lowe's, Walmart, etc. Three popular lock types include flip, keyed, and sash locks. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Flip locks are easy to install and inexpensive but easier to be kicked in.
- Keyed locks are more solid and expensive, but you need to keep the key nearby in an emergency.
- Sash locks fasten window sashes and prevent entry into a home through an unsecured window. Sash locks may be used on double-hung, single, or casement windows.
3. Reinforce Window Glass
Burglars can easily break or force open glass windows to gain entry to a home. You can reinforce window glass using several gadgets. For example, security laminates are a good choice. Security laminates are designed to hold shattered glass together in the event of an impact, such as attempted forced entry, accidents, or natural disasters. This gadget prevents the glass from shattering into dangerous shards, reducing the risk of injuries and improving safety. Even if the glass is struck or hit, it remains intact to delay unauthorized access or deter intruders.
4. Position Security Cameras
Installing security cameras can be an effective way to enhance all vulnerable points in your home. Advanced camera models allow you to see the live view around your windows from anywhere via smartphone apps. Placing security cameras behind glass windows may result in blurry images or inefficient motion detection. So, it would be better to put cameras outside your window or front porch to monitor those "window shoppers."
The fear of being caught in the act is typically enough to make the window intruders think twice before breaking into your home through windows.
5. Set Up Window Alarms
Window alarms are security devices designed to alert homeowners or occupants when a window is opened or tampered with. They can be part of a broader home security system or a standalone device commonly used to detect unauthorized entry or intrusion through windows. Window alarms are typically small, battery-powered, and easy to install. Homeowners usually place them on the windows and window frames.
6. Install Motion Sensors
You can also use motion sensors to enhance your window security. Some sensors, such as contact sensors and glass break detectors, are specially designed for home windows. Install motion sensors near windows or in areas where intruders are likely to pass if they attempt to enter through a window. It would be best if the sensor detects motion within the proximity of windows and alerts you to potential threats.
Remember to adjust the sensor's coverage area to ensure it covers the windows but only extends beyond areas that might trigger false alarms, such as hallways or open living spaces.
7. Add Window Bars and Grilles
Metal window bars and grilles have been proven effective in securing your home exterior and interior windows from intruders. If you want an inexpensive way to make your house windows more secure, buy DIY residential window security grids, bars, or guards.
And if you don't want those metal or iron bars to ruin your perfect window beauty, you can opt for beautiful decorative window bars that can be customized to suit your house décor. For emergencies, you should not install anti-burglar window bars for every window. At least keep one window without bars for emergency use.
8. Use Window Security Film
Window security films have two advantages in hardening your window glass: They protect your windows from being shattered or squashed quickly by intruders. The window security films turn your casement, single/double hung, or any windows into the break-in resistant type. Transparent and tinted films prevent burglars from looking into your house directly, making your home an unwelcome target.
If you want a much more cost-saving window cover to secure your windows, you can install window security roller shutters to stop prying eyes. You can also install window security laminates with screws to breakproof your windows.
9. Place Window Security Screens
Window security screens are similar to insect screens but much more robust. They are usually made of steel. Window security screens stand up well against knives and potent force, so intruders cannot punch the windows to break into your house.
10. Upgrade Window Screws
Standard screws with window hardware may not be as secure or durable as upgraded screws. Burglars can sometimes quickly force entry by removing or loosening these screws. Upgrading to longer, thicker, or more robust screws can make it harder for intruders to enter through your windows.
For example, you can choose screws that are long enough(at least 2.5 to 3 inches) to penetrate deep into the window frame and provide a secure anchor. You also need to pay attention to the material. Opt for screws made of corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel or brass because these materials are durable and won't rust over time.
11. Improve Exterior Lighting
Burglars prefer dark environments since they would not be detected easily under darkness. Therefore, installing bright floodlights or security lights over your windows is necessary. Bright floodlight is a sign that the house is occupied. A well-lighted window helps to stop break-ins. It's also an effective way to ensure your home's front and back door security.
You can install motion-activated floodlights for your windows to get the signal that someone is approaching your house windows when the motion-sensing lights are on. So you can respond at once before a house window break-in happens.
12. Integrate Smart Window Technology
Smart window technology, or dynamic or switchable glass, refers to windows that can change their properties, such as transparency, tint, or opacity, in response to external stimuli or user commands. When these windows turn opaque, they prevent people from seeing in from the outside, making them great for enhancing privacy in homes, offices, and commercial spaces.
The ability to control window transparency can create an impression of occupancy even when the home is unoccupied. For example, homeowners can program smart windows to adjust automatically during certain hours, making it appear as if someone is home. This functionality can serve as a deterrent to burglars looking for vacant properties.
Window Security Bars: A Visible Deterrent to Burglars
The presence of security bars acts as a visible deterrent to potential intruders. Burglars are less likely to target a window with security bars because they know it will be challenging to breach.
How do Window Security Bars Work?
Window security bars work by physically blocking or restricting access to a window and making it difficult for intruders to enter through it. These bars are typically installed on the interior or exterior of the window frame and are designed to withstand significant force and deter unauthorized entry. When installed, window security bars create a physical barrier that covers the window opening. This barrier comprises horizontal and vertical bars or grids, forming a strong and durable structure.
How to Choose the Best Window Security Bars
When choosing window security bars, you must consider various factors to ensure they meet your window security needs and preferences. Some key factors include:
- Material: Window security bars are typically made of steel or aluminum for enhanced security levels. Steel bars are more robust and durable, making them suitable for high-security applications. Aluminum bars are lighter and may be a good choice for windows where aesthetics are a concern.
- Design and Aesthetics: You also need to consider the appearance of the security bars and how they will blend with your home's architectural style. Some security bars have decorative elements that can enhance the overall design of your home.
- Ventilation: For your family's health, look for window bars that permit airflow and ventilation while maintaining security. You can choose bars with open or slotted designs for this purpose.
- Visibility and light: Installing security bars may affect the visibility of your windows from both the inside and outside. Check out those models that maintain visibility and allow natural light to enter your home.
Security Tips for Different Window Types
If you've pinpointed specific windows as particularly vulnerable, relying solely on sturdy locks doesn't provide adequate protection. So, we will introduce some security tips for different window types.
Placing a rod or wooden dowel in the track of a sliding window is a simple but effective DIY security measure that prevents this window from being quickly forced open from the outside.
You can start by measuring the width of the window track or groove where the sliding portion of the window moves. If the wooden dowel is longer than the measured width of the track, use a saw to trim it to the appropriate length so that it fits snugly inside the track. Then, open the sliding window partially or fully to insert the cut dowel or rod into the track at the bottom or along the side where the window opens. Push it as far as it will go, ensuring a secure fit.
Casement windows rank among the most secure window types you can have. A sturdy, well-maintained casement might not even require a lock. If the window is large enough for an adult to pass through (or opens wider than 6-1/2 inches), you can think about removing the operator crank and keeping it safely out of reach from the window.
If you are still worried about its security, you can install a chain lock to limit the range the window will open. Then, for maximum protection, fasten it to the sash and frame with the most extended screws.
Double-hung are characterized by two vertically sliding sashes (panels) within a single frame. These sashes can move independently of each other and allow for various ventilation options and easy cleaning. To secure double-hung windows, you can use a hinged wedge lock. As a lock designed for double-hung windows, this lock allows you to open either of the two parts but prevents the sash from lifting far enough to allow an intruder to enter. These locks are also easy to remove. You can swing it away if you want to open the window higher.
What can I put on my windows to prevent burglars?
You can use many gadgets to prevent burglars, for example, window locks, window security bars, grilles, films, motion sensors, or even security cameras. You can combine these strategies to create a strong barrier for your window security.
Do burglars break in through windows?
Yes, burglars often target windows as a point of entry during break-ins. Statistics show that 23% of burglars enter a home through a first-floor window.
How do window security bars work?
Window security bars, also known as window grilles or window guards, work as physical barriers to prevent unauthorized access through windows. They consist of sturdy metal bars or grids that are securely installed on the interior or exterior of a window frame. When properly installed, window security bars create a formidable deterrent to prevent intruders from entering your home.
As a possible entry point for burglars, home windows are always a weak link in home security. Securing window security requires some time and effort. By installing security gadgets, you can elevate the security level of your home windows. Security bars are among these gadgets and can act as a solid physical barrier against potential intrusions.
Do you have your unique window security tips? What do you think about these windows security tips in this article? Let us know your opinions in the comment section, and share this article if you find it useful.