Making your windows secure is an important, yet often overlooked, aspect of home security. After all, you don’t want any intruders entering your home through your windows. Installing secure windows will not only help prevent break-ins and burglaries, they can help you control the window opening to create a safe environment to prevent accidental falls.
These are the most important steps you can take to make your window more secure:
Secure window locks
Window locks are first and most important consideration in securing your windows. Burglars are very reluctant to break the glass because of the noise and the resulting shards of broken glass. They’d much prefer to force the window open, which is where your locks come in.
Your windows may already have locks, but you should consider additional aftermarket locks to enhance your window security. There are many different types of aftermarket locks available, designed to suit different types of window:
- Pin locks: Recommended for ground floor windows as they prevent intruders from lifting your windows up.
- Keyed locks: Require a key to open and close them. Make sure you keep your key in a safe place and that it’s close at hand in the event of an emergency.
- Hinged wedge locks: Good for double-hung windows which can open from the top and bottom. Hinged wedge locks allow the windows to be partially opened without allowing entry.
Strong window glass
When you’ve got your window locks sorted, the next step is to consider your window glass. You want to make sure determined intruders cannot smash the glass, especially if the window is on the ground floor.
There are several options to make your windows stronger:
- Plexiglass: Plexiglass is impact resistant and ten times stronger than standard annealed glass. Plexiglass is made of acrylic and will put off all but the most determined of burglars. You shouldn’t need to use plexiglass for all your windows, but you might consider it for your most vulnerable locations.
- Tempered glass: Tempered glass is four times stronger than standard glass. Tempered glass is subject to repeated heating and cooling to build its strength. Windows made from tempered glass are known as safety windows.
- Reinforced window glass: Another option is to reinforce your existing window glass. There are several simple and effective ways to do this, including covering your windows with protective film and using window security screens.
Opening restrictors limit how much your window can open. They work either by connecting the sash and the frame with a cable, or by fitting key-lockable restrictors that allow windows to open more than a few centimetres for ventilation.
As well as improving security, they offer safety from accidental falls from windows. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 4,000 children are injured falling from windows every year. So, if you have young children, you’ll want to use window restrictors.
It’s important to keep your home well-ventilated, especially during the hot months of summer. Leaving your window open an inch or two will let in the cool breeze but may also provide just enough room for a burglar to prise open the window. A safer option would be to install a trickle vent, which allows air to pass enter your home via tiny gaps in your window frame.