Nine window tips to help you live worry-free
There is nothing more valuable than maintaining peace of mind in your home. While we all love a home filled with natural light, window security is also an important consideration. Whether you live in a century-old home with double-hung windows or need to secure a modern sliding door, there are a handful of steps to ensure a safe space both night and day.
1. Check for Repairs
People often imagine a burglar breaking a window to get into a home, but the Department of Justice points out that most criminals prefer to avoid unnecessary noise. Previously broken, poorly installed, or unsecured windows are more likely to catch the eye of an intruder because they're easier to open naturally.
Always start your window security overhaul by checking that your windows are in good working order. Here are a few things to look out for:
Loose or broken locks
Rotting wooden frames, especially on older windows
Cracks in your glass
Sliding or casement windows off their tracks
Crumbling basement windows
The cost to repair your window can range anywhere from $160 to $550, depending on the extent of the damage.
2. Fortify With Additional Locks
The majority of windows come with some form of sash lock or folding latches. However, you can upgrade your home security by adding additional locks that can deter intruders without sacrificing an emergency exit.
Consider these lock options:
Window security pins: Ideal for older double-hung windows, this option adds protection from lifting the window beyond a few inches.
Keyed sash lock: Add a key to the inside of your windows by opting for a traditional sash lock with a bit more security.
Track locks: Quickly add compression locks to the track of sliding doors and windows.
Bar locks: Keep sliding windows closed with a lock bar that keeps the window from opening when in place.
Ventilation lock: These allow windows to open at night for airflow but prevent them from opening from the outside of your home.
3. Opt for Modern Window Bars
If you live on the ground floor or have direct street access through a fire escape, window bars provide ultimate security. Unlike the bars of the past, designers now craft a range of styles that enhance your windows and allow in natural light, all while protecting your home from intruders.
Be sure that your home meets all local fire codes for egress windows, especially if you only have a few windows in your space.
4. Switch to Casement Windows
Casement windows provide an instant layer of safety, particularly when secured with additional locks. Only the homeowner can turn the crank to open the window, keeping the opening sealed to anyone outside. Just be sure to keep the tracks in working order, as they can easily attract grit and dirt over time.
5. Increase Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting is key to keeping away unwanted visitors, especially if you are on vacation or out of the house for the night. Consider adding sensor lights to the more hidden areas around the back and sides of your home, including less obvious ground floor windows.
6. Keep Your Shrubs Low
Work to eliminate easy hiding spots for intruders, such as entry points shielded from the street, neighbors, or security cameras. Tall shrubs and areas shaded by large tree branches can increase the cover for anyone looking to spend time trying to open a window.
If you do have tall shrubs that block your windows, prune them regularly or find a local landscaper to perform periodic maintenance to keep your view clear.
7. Add Home Security Measures
Consider placing a smart home security camera facing more vulnerable windows either inside or outside your home. Window alarms provide another easy option, setting off alerts when a window has been opened, closed, or shifted on its track.
It's important to note that one of the most common security errors is a clear view of your alarm system from a window. Talk to a security system installer near you about installing them in a safer place that is, if possible, unseeable from the outside.
8. Remember Your Window Treatments
On a similar note, a clear view into open windows at night can encourage onlookers. Simply close blinds and curtains for the evening hours and especially when you're out of town.
9. Upgrade Your Glass
Speak with a window installer near you about security glass or adding a security film to your windows. Several varieties of fortified glass can make a window harder to break and keep it from shattering if it's impacted. Security film works similarly by holding the glass together, but it's much easier to take on the upgrade yourself.
Above all, the first step to secure windows is making sure each one is sturdy and in proper working order. These few changes can add enough of a barrier to an intruder's attempts and keep your home safe and off the radar of anyone on the lookout for an opening.