The Ultimate Guide to Waterfront Living
  The Ultimate Guide to Home Security
Find out how to improve window security and prevent burglars from gaining access through a homes glass.



Windows may also be used as a point of entry by a burglar especially if they are not adequately secured. If possible, windows should be alarmed in addition to being locked. In some cases, like glass next to an access door or basement windows without alarms, the glass should have impact resistant film installed. Windows should be equipped with a solid locking device. Any lock used on windows should operate from the inside of the home so the window can still be used for an emergency exit.

Older homes may need additional window security. For example, double-hung sash windows can be secured with a pin-lock. A hole can be drilled completely through the inside sash so that a removable metal pin can be inserted, which protrudes into the outside sash, thus securing both in place.

Consider whether you want to install "stops" on windows to prevent them from being opened more than a pre-selected width, typically six inches. Six inches is adequate for ventilation but will not permit an intruder to use the window for access. This is easily accomplished by screwing a block of wood into the track at the desired height. With stops in place, even if a thief defeats your lock, he will not be able to open the sash more than the limited width without breaking the glass. Many newer windows have a pop out lock which accomplishes the same security effect while still allowing the window to open fully when desired. Obviously, permanent stops would limit the ability for you to use windows as an emergency exit.

Window with safety film. Photos courtesy Safe Homes International

Glass Security Film Laminates
When a burglar breaks a window, he can easily gain access to your home within seconds. Many companies now offer an affordable security film which can be applied to any existing window. The film helps deter thieves by withstanding blows that would shatter untreated glass. Police have credited security window film with deterring thefts in homes as well as department stores, computer outlets, clothing chains and numerous other retail and commercial locations. This type of glass protection is what makes the product so desirable to homeowners. In addition to the benefits listed above security film prevents damage from dangerous glass shards caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and wind storms. Security films help hold shattered glass together, reducing the threat of serious injuries caused by deadly flying shards.

Security Window Bars and Screens
Security bars are not recommended for most residential applications. They must be equipped with a device to enable them to be opened in the event of an emergency. Bars without such a device would cause a fire safety hazard and bars with a quick release devise do not usually add much security protection. Security cages could be utilized over some air conditioners which could otherwise be pushed in to create an entry hole.

Sky Lights
Robbers will use any means possible to gain entrance to a home. If they can find access to the roof via a tree, shed or other adjacent structure or get a ladder left in an unlocked shed they will. They can take advantage of upper floor windows or even skylights. The best protection would be to lock, alarm and apply break proof security film to all home windows. Even if this seems unnecessary itís better to be safe than sorry.

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