A home invader's first point A home invader's first point of entry will always be your doors, but I bet you can guess their second favorite. That’s right: windows. Windows are a popular choice for burglars because they are more vulnerable than doors. People forgot to close or lock them and they can be easily broken and then crawled through. Here are some tips to burglar-proof your windows.
Remove The Opportunity
Burglars look for convenient opportunities. They want to minimize risk while maximizing their potential haul. The more inconvenient you can make your home, the less likely you are to become a victim. This sounds crazy, but one of the simplest things you can do is to make sure you close and lock all your windows. An open window is an invitation to a home invader, especially ground floor windows.
You can take this a step further by making sure you don’t accidentally provide the burglar tools. Make sure you keep anything that can be used to break windows (like bricks) or pry windows (like a screwdriver) away from your house. Don’t leave your ladder hanging around either.
Secure Windows With Window Locks
Pin locks are an easy way to secure a window, while also making it easy to open should you need to. A window pin lock is essentially a metal pin that slides between, and locks, your window frames. This makes it difficult to pry a window open.
Install Window Contact Alarms
Many home security systems will come with wireless window alarms. These use contact strips to detect when a window or door is opened or remains in the open position. If the alarm is active, then when the contract strip’s connection is broken, the siren will sound. An added benefit of these devices is that most systems will let you know if you have left a window or door open when you attempt to set your alarm for the night.
Get Window Coverings
Burglars don’t break into your home as a hobby, they do it because you have something of value that can be sold. You might want to show off your big TV to the neighbors, but you might also be advertising to a window shopping criminal. Make sure you keep valuable items away from the window and consider getting window coverings. These could be shutters, blinds, or curtains.
Window Security Decals
As we discussed, most home invasions are the result of opportunity. To make your home secure, you want to make your house as unattractive a target as possible. If you have a home security system, be sure to get window decals. These small stickers remind the burglar that there will likely be an alarm if they break the window, which increases the odds that they will be caught. That simple reminder might be enough to cause the home invader to look at another house.
Install Window Bars
Window bars or grates work on two levels. First, it makes it very difficult and time-consuming to enter through a window. Criminals know this, which also makes the act of installing a window bar a deterrent to even attempt a break-in.
While external bars can help to deter criminals, installing the bars on the inside of the house is a more popular option, as they are often better in allowing escape should there ever be a fire inside the home.
Regardless of the option, be sure to consult your local fire department and your HOA to ensure you are picking a legal and safe option for your home.
Review Your Landscaping
Installing motion-sensing flood lights can also help deter a would-be-criminal. Especially if you do this in dark areas of your yard, like along the side of the house. You can also make a window unattractive to crooks, but attractive to neighbors, by planting thorny plants. A rose bush will make your garden pretty, but the thorns will make a burglar question if it is really worth the effort.
Install Broken Glass Alarms
Another device that many home security systems offer is broken glass alarms. These devices “listen” for the frequency of glass breaking, specifically window glass. When it hears this frequency, it will trip the house alarm. The sound of an alarm going off is usually enough to stop an intruder.
Upgrade Your Windows
Double-hung windows, where there are two panels of glass stacked one above the other, are the most vulnerable. They are older, as are the latches used to secure them, and can often be easily pried open with a knife or screwdriver.
If you cannot change the window style, you could consider at least installing window locks and upgrading the glass to laminated glass. Laminated glass is made with a sheet of plastic between glass panes. When it is broken, instead of shattering, the glass adheres to the plastic sheet. This makes it difficult for a burglar to smash and reach in to steal something or to attempt to unlock a window or door.