Working in security, I have seen that the most common break-in happens through a window. 23% of all break-ins in America are through windows, so why don’t we invest more in burglar-proofing our windows? This is a great question; if you are here, you’re looking for solutions.
Below I will cover some of the best and most practical ways to burglar-proof your windows.
Firstly I have tried to rate some of the burglar-proofing windows I’ll cover:
|Level of Protection||Pros/Cons|
|Secondary Window Locks||Medium to High||Children can easily unlock them, except for keyed locks.|
|Window Sensors/Alarms||Medium||Sometimes technical errors occur.|
|Tempered Glass Window||High||A very sturdy glass that is hard to break.|
|Laminated Glass / Window Film||Medium||Five times stronger than regular window glass.|
|Plexiglas or Polycarbonate Windows||High|| |
It becomes foggy.
|Window Bars or Grills||High||It takes ages to break through this security window.|
|Floodlights or Motion Light Sensors||Medium||Sometimes technical errors occur.|
|Security Cameras||Medium||Sometimes technical errors occur.|
|Thorny Shrubbery||Low – Medium||The Burglar can cut them off.|
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:
- Keyed Locks: These locks use a key to lock and unlock the window, providing additional security against intruders.
- Sash Locks: These locks are installed on the window frame and are used to lock the window. They can be used to secure both sliding and double-hung windows.
- Pin Locks: These locks use a pin inserted into the window frame to secure the window in place. They can be used on double-hung windows, and some can lock the window in multiple positions.
- Flush Bolts: These locks are installed on the window frame and are used to secure the window. They can be used on French windows, and some can lock the window in multiple positions.
- Sliding Locks: These locks are installed on the window frame and are used to secure the window. They can be used on sliding windows, and some can lock the window in multiple positions.
- Push-button Locks: These locks are installed on the window frame and are used to secure the window. They can be used on sliding windows, and some can lock the window in multiple positions.
- Cam Locks: These locks are installed on the window frame and are used to secure the window. They can be used on sliding windows, and some can lock the window in multiple positions.
2. Install Window Alarms / 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 is a possibility that when a burglar tries to enter your house, you might be too late to respond.
Window alarms work by sensing when a window is opened or tampered with and activating an alarm. There are several different types of window alarms, each with its method of sensing and activating the alarm:
- Magnetic Contact Alarms: These alarms use a magnetic sensor placed on the window frame and a corresponding sensor on the window itself. The two sensors are separated when the window is opened, triggering the alarm.
- Vibration Alarms: These alarms use a vibration sensor placed on the window. The vibration triggers the alarm when the window is tampered with or opened.
- Glass Break Alarms: These alarms use a microphone to listen to the sound of breaking glass. When the glass is broken, the alarm is activated.
- Wireless Window Alarms: These alarms use wireless technology to communicate with a central control panel or mobile device. When a window is opened or tampered with, the alarm sends a signal to the control panel or mobile device, activating the alarm.
- Smart window alarms: Some smart windows are connected to a home automation system and can be controlled and monitored remotely; they can also send notifications to a mobile device when the window is open or closed.
All these types of window alarms can be set to make a loud noise, and some can be connected to a monitoring system where they can alert the monitoring center or the police.
It’s important to note that window alarms should be tested regularly to ensure that they are working properly and to familiarize with the alarm sound. Additionally, it’s also recommended to keep the windows and frames clean and well-maintained to ensure the proper function of the alarm
3. Pin locks
They’re a good option for adding security to double-hung windows. You can install them quickly; installing only takes a few minutes.
The 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.
4. 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, this method might not be the best for you.
If you pick this option as a secondary lock, you need to use a key to open and close your window. It enhances the security of your windows, but it cannot be very pleasant 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 ensure that all your family members know where you keep the key. It is crucial in case there is an emergency or fire.
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.
6. 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 window’s upper sash. You can try swinging the wedge part away if you want to unlock the window.
7. 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 aesthetically pleasingly. 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.
8. Install Floodlights or Motion Light Sensors
Burglars work in the dark. Installing floodlights or motion 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 burglars are inside the premises.
When installing, it’s best to mount the light at least 10 feet up to prevent burglars from easily disabling your floodlights or motion lights.
9. 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 usually do the job perfectly. However, avoid using popular models because burglars may recognize them and realize you’re using a fake camera.
10. 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 into your window, the tempered glass will crumble rather than shatter into sharp pieces. This will create a loud sound when it breaks, which can alarm you when burglars enter your home.
11. Use Laminated Glass / Window Film
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 prevents 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.
12. 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, there won’t be a problem.
Furthermore, polycarbonate windows are more durable than Plexiglas and can discourage burglars. However, it can be pretty expensive.
Installing this kind of glass in your windows might be a bit difficult, but having it in all your windows is unnecessary. You can be more strategic in choosing which high-risk windows you install to save some costs.
13. 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, thorny plants are the most practical option.
14. Shutters and Blinds
Shutters and blinds can be used to protect windows from potential break-ins by adding an extra layer of security. Some of the benefits of using shutters and blinds include:
- Obscuring Visibility: Shutters and blinds can obscure visibility into a home, making it more difficult for a potential burglar to see valuable items or identify if anyone is home.
- Physical Barrier: Shutters and blinds can provide a physical barrier to breaking a window, making it more difficult for a burglar to gain entry.
- UV Protection: Many shutters and blinds can also provide UV protection, which can help keep the home cooler’s interior and protect furniture and flooring from fading.
- Noise Reduction: Shutters and blinds can also help to reduce noise from outside, which can be beneficial for privacy and security.
- Aesthetics: Shutters and blinds can enhance a home’s aesthetics and complement its architectural style.
Different types of shutters and blinds can be used to protect windows, including:
- Plantation Shutters: These are wooden shutters that can cover the entire window and be locked in place to provide an extra layer of security.
- Roll-up Shutters: These metal shutters roll up and down to cover the window. They can be used to provide added security and protection from the elements.
- Security Blinds: These are made of steel or aluminum and can be used to cover the window. They can also be locked in place to provide added security.
- Roller Blinds: These are made of a fabric that is rolled up and down to cover the window. They can also provide added security and protection from the elements.
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?
The better your security, the harder it is to break inside your house.
The FBI report indicates that 23% of burglars use windows to enter houses (Bride Side, 2018).
Always 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 they allow fresh air to come into your children’s room, and they will receive the sunlight they need. 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 die yearly from exposed windows.
To protect your precious child, you must 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 is it safe to have bulgar-proof windows?
Windows are the second 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, please find out how reassuring they are below.
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.
It can be the best solution to secure your windows from burglars if you can afford to purchase a Plexiglas or polycarbonate window. However, if you don’t have enough budget, you may try other methods.
The need for security in your window and the suitable methods depend on your requirements and budget.
(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
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