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Responsible homeowners have always tried to protect their homes and family as best as they could, using the methods that are available to them that are within their means and budget.
In recent times, we have seen many “smart” home security innovations arrive on the technology market.
Smart home security systems can solve some of our home security issues, but not all of them. Fancy gadgets, no matter how convenient or innovative, are no substitute for strong and durable materials.
Table of Contents (click to jump to a section)
- Burglar proofing your windows (overview)
- Installing window locks
- Installing window alarms / motion sensors
- Consider the vegetation around your windows (hedges, trees)
- Get to know Z-Wave technology
- Installing security glass
- Installing window bars / grills / bars
Let’s dive in!
Burglar Proofing Your Windows – Overview
This is especially true with windows, which are often one of our home’s weaker points, for a number of reasons.
To begin with, they’re all made of glass which offers little to no protection against brute force.
Second, they either have relatively weak and unsafe locks (compared to doors, which have more sturdy deadbolts on them or at least have that potential), or they don’t have locks at all.
And last, but not least, they’re often much less protected than say, your entrance door.
So, is there something you can do to protect your windows against burglars? Maybe improve their security, or make access to them more difficult?
Of course there is. And if you’re a responsible homeowner, you’ll want to take a look at a few options.
As homeowners, we can install strong exterior doors, buy the latest and greatest deadbolt locks for those doors, mount cameras, and a whole lot more.
These things, of course, do help, if you choose the right one, and the installation is done properly
However, all it really takes is one point of unguarded access and a burglar can gain entry.
Windows are usually the last thing people secure in their home, which is the reason why the number of home intrusions via unlocked or open windows is among the highest types of intrusions.
Maybe its because people put so much focus on their doors, that windows are slightly ignored.
This situation is easily remedied! You can have your windows be safe from burglars, just like you can with doors, and yes – it does help.
Below are our recommendations on how to better secure your windows from burglars.
Whether you follow one, or all of the advice below, chances are you’ll be ready on the off-chance that a burglar comes snooping around your property and attempts to use a window to get in.
Installing Window Locks
Door locks are often the first thing people install to strengthen the security of their home.
Fair enough, but we can’t forget that window locks are just as important as door locks, since they play the same important role in protecting one’s home.
According to experts, the best window lock is the one visible from outside.
The assumption here is that once intruders see this type of lock installed on their target window, they will most likely give up the idea of dealing with this security item and trying to break in that home, or even if they do give it a shot, they’ll have less chances to succeed.
One thing that is true about burglars is they have limited time to do their breaking and entering, so anything that they see as a complication will most likely deter them.
So, what kind of window locks should you pick? Well, to answer this, first you’ll need to see what your needs are.
Is it a window on the main floor? Is it a window you use often? Is it small, or large? Do your kids use it?
Your choice of window locks will be different depending on the answers to those questions.
However, whichever option you go for, make sure you get security locks for your windows.
Another option is to go with sliding locks, or even a deadbolt. A deadbolt lets you secure windows with a key from inside, which also adds a bit of security from kids.
Here are a variety of window locks you may wish to consider, available on Amazon.
The point here is, if you haven’t even considered using window locks, we suggest you think about this.
There are a variety of types of window locks, and you’ll want to distinguish window locks that are basically good enough to keep your children out of trouble, but maybe not the kind that will keep a burglar out.
These two goals, as you can imagine, are really two different which require some strategy on your part as to which type of lock would best suit whichever goal.
Perhaps there is a lock that you would feel confident could take care of everything, but you’ll need to read the finer details about each lock to see what they actually do according to the manufacturers claims.
Install Window Alarms
Another thing to do to burglar proof windows is to install window alarms.
Currently, there are few types of window alarms available on the market that we recommend.
The simplest type sounds an alarm if the window is open or broken, thus alerting everyone in the home for the possible danger, and at the same time scaring the burglar away.
The downside to this type of window is that when a burglar attempts to get into your home, the alarm will start ringing only after the window has been broken.
Depending on whether or not you’re at home at the moment, it might be too late.
Such simple alarms also seldom have notifications that alert local security companies and the law enforcement, so they aren’t the best choice.
Luckily, window alarms are getting “smarter” and will notify you immediately, so this is a plus.
Movement Detection / Motion Sensor
Another type of window alarm is that which detects movement in the specific area around the window.
This means that your window doesn’t need to be opened or broken for you to be informed that there’s someone moving in that area.
This works by utilizing a motion sensor. It’s usually placed on the outside of your home, right around the window. If it detects motion, one of a few things could happen.
First, you could have the motion sensor connected to an outdoor light. If someone tries to sneak in when it’s dark, they’ll have a bright light shining at them.
Not only will they be scared and start running, but you (or your neighbours) can clearly see what’s happening thanks to the light.
Another option is to have the motion sensor connected to a smart home automation system.
This will send a notification to your phone if motion is detected.
To add to this, you could even have security cameras that rotate, so you can point them towards the specific window if this kind of thing happens.
If you have it connected to your phone, this means you will know what’s happening even if you aren’t at home.
This won’t only give you peace of mind wherever you are, but will also let you quickly alert the local authorities in case something happens.
Next, we will take a look at the concept of vegetation as a security measure…
Consider the vegetation around your windows
Do you know what encourages thieves to try to break into your home? Uninterrupted, concealed access to your windows when they need it.
You may have bushes and flowers all around the garden, but while they do look nice, they also offer quite a lot of room for a thief to hide in the darkness.
If they’re far away from your doors and windows, it’s not that much of a problem.
However, if you have large, thick plants or bushes right below your windows, that could be problematic.
You’re giving a thief easy access to your windows, and that’s something they’ll take advantage of.
Get To Know Z-Wave
Probably the best window sensors nowadays are Z-wave sensors which allow remotely monitoring of your both door and window area from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Z-wave is a low-energy way of communicating, and is what many smart home automation devices are based on.
If you have any home automation systems in place, chances are they rely on Z-wave to communicate.
So, how does Z-wave help with your windows’ security?
Well, that motion sensor we spoke about above requires Z-wave or a similar communication protocol in order to tell you that someone is outside.
However, there are other uses aside from that. Z-wave can help you set up your entire home when it comes to security.
You can add cameras, you can add multiple motion sensors and lights, and you can have everything automated as you need it.
Adding lights on the outside, for example, lets you connect them to motion sensors on your path or driveway.
If a burglar tries to sneak in during the night, your lights will shine before they ever get to the windows.
Next, we will talk about security glass – laminated and other types…
Installing Security Glass
Another reasonable way to burglar-proof your windows is by choosing tougher glass.
Logically, if you have strong window glass, burglars will find it next to impossible to break. There are two ways to go about this, and both are very popular in certain applications.
First, you could go with toughened or tempered glass. This kind of glass has been thermally treated, and is much more durable than the regular glass. It’s also heavy and pretty thick.
However, if a thief does decide to break it, it will act just as regular glass. It will break into pieces, and it will leave the thief plenty of room to get inside your home.
That’s why a much better option is to go with laminated glass. Laminated glass comes with two layers of glass, and an interconnecting PVB layer sandwiched between them. How is it better than regular glass?
Read our article, “The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Laminated Glass Windows“
Well, when you first try to break it, it may break just as easily as regular glass. However, that PVB layer won’t allow a hole to be created, and instead it holds all pieces of glass on the window itself.
This is also why the key application for laminated glass are windshields for vehicles.
Installing Window Grills /Bars
Your last resort may even be installing window bars, depending on where you live and which windows you feel it most important to protect.
These grills can and do work, and they’ll prevent a burglar from ever getting through even if you don’t have a window.
However, they should absolutely be your last resort, if you’re living in a residential area, because they aren’t exactly the most pleasant thing to look at.
Why is this? Well, because big thick bars may be great for keeping out a burglar, but also make your guests feel unwelcome. Depending on the bars, they can give out a prison-like feeling, which is something nobody wants to feel when at home, either looking in or looking out.
There is the option to get more of a thin mesh that provides a different look, and this is something we might recommend to those who agree that bars might be too much on a house.
Then again, if you run a business, by all means, we’re just here to offer suggestions, not tell people what to do.
Here are some window bars that are considered bestsellers.
Wrapping things up
As we mentioned, your windows should be just as secure as your doors.
This is something many people tend to neglect, but it’s actually a critical home security measure, one you can’t just skip because you don’t feel like doing.
And as you can see, there are plenty of ways to burglar-proof your windows. Some are cheaper, some are more expensive. Some will require all new windows, others can be fitted to your existing ones.
Whichever ones you decide to go for, by all means add some kind of security to your home – it goes a long way.