One of the most important aspects of home safety is securing your widows. Security systems can be a big help in this area, but there's more to it than cameras and alarms. I've been working in security for over 23 years. So, I created this guide to go through simple and advanced ways to keep your home safe from window entries.
With the proper home security systems, you and your family can enjoy peace of mind. Let's look at some practical tips to secure your windows.
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1. Install Window Locks
Ensure that all windows are equipped with security features. Various modern-day gadgets, like sash locks, deadbolts, or key-operated devices, will work depending on your window type.
Check if you need to reinforce existing latches or consider adding additional locks for extra security. Also, close and lock all windows when leaving your house or going to sleep.
2. Use Security Film or Tinted Glass
Security film comes in varying thicknesses, with thicker films providing increased shatter resistance. Opt for multilayered security film for greater strength and protection against break-ins.
When choosing a tinted film, consider darker tints like charcoal or blackout films to maximize privacy from the outside. Tinted security films are available in various hues and opacities to suit your needs and preferences while enhancing security.
3. Try Window Alarms or Sensors
Home security systems can identify attempts to open or break windows and trigger alarms. ADT uses passive infrared sensors (IR) that reliably detect movement in the protected area. IR sensors are trusted for their fast, reliable responses, which makes them a viable option.
Similarly, Vivint provides motion sensors that sense body heat day or night. It runs on long-lasting batteries and has adjustable settings to prevent false alarms. The sensors can activate security cameras to start recording when spotting movement.
4. Reinforce Windows
Reinforcements like window burglar bars, grilles, or guards are visible deterrents and physical barriers. They discourage intruders by making break-ins a challenge. Ensure your chosen devices are sturdy, meet safety standards, and allow easy emergency exit.
For example, in California, window bars must have release mechanisms. It should be easy to operate without a key or tool so that you can quickly escape in case of a fire.
5. Upgrade Windows to Laminated or Tempered Glass
Upgrading to laminated or tempered glass windows can significantly improve home security against break-ins. Laminated glass has a strong interlayer bonding the glass sheets, making it difficult to break through.
Tempered glass is heat-treated to increase its strength, and when broken, it shatters into small granular pieces rather than sharp shards. Both of these options will slow or prevent an intruder.
6. Replace Wooden Frames
Replace wooden window frames with reinforced vinyl, fiberglass composite, or aluminum. These materials are more durable against forced entry. Install metal security film or unbreakable polymer panels over glass panes to prevent shattering and slow down intruders.
Secure the window hardware by replacing standard locks with high-security keyless deadbolts like Bilock that provide bump and pick resistance. You can also reinforce strike plates with long screws drilled into the structural framing.
7. Use Proper Lighting
Ensure that the exterior of your home is well-lit, especially during the night. Adequate lighting around entry points, pathways, and potential hiding spots can discourage burglars by reducing the cover of darkness.
Consider installing motion-activated lights or smart lighting from SimpliSafe. The spotlight switches on when someone is detected, revealing details like faces and license plates from 15 feet at 8x zoom—there’s no sneaking past unnoticed.
8. Catch Criminals With Cameras
According to ex-criminals, CCTV cameras are the best burglary deterrent, though specific window locations tend to be more vulnerable. Cove's cameras connect to the company hub and alarm panel, allowing access through their app.
Indoor and outdoor security cameras let intruders know you're watching and allow you to monitor your home remotely. Comparing wired vs. wireless security systems can help determine what works best to secure your home.
9. Conceal Your Items
Avoid displaying valuable items through windows. Jewelry or tech equipment like laptops or iPads can attract unwanted attention. Use curtains, blinds, or frosted glass to prevent outsiders from seeing in. Even strategically placed plants or room dividers can hide the items in your home.
Consider storing high-value items in less visible areas of the house to reduce the chance of them being spotted. Additionally, using decorative storage solutions like boxes or cabinets can keep valuable items out of sight while maintaining the aesthetic of your interior space.
10. Secure All Valuables
Secure items visible from the outside, like bicycles or tools, in your garage so intruders can see the extra layer of protection. You could use chains, cages, or cables that are difficult to cut through or break.
An additional layer of theft prevention is to properly identify valuables left outdoors with engraved owner IDs and cataloged serial numbers. Even if strengthened windows fail to stop a break-in, having proof of ownership on your items makes it easier for police to return items stolen from your home and later recover them.
Proactive Home Security Tips
- Homeowners should assess their residence before purchasing, ideally before moving in. But there are things you can do after moving into a new house. For example, have the locks re-keyed. Aim to check on your locks at least once a year.
- Conduct routine checks on locks, alarms, and physical barriers to ensure they are in good working condition. Consider doing an annual check when you replace your smoke detector batteries.
- Research advancements in security technology and consider updates based on emerging threats in your area. Assess changes in the neighborhood or surroundings that may impact your security needs.
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Elevating Home Safety: Knowledge and Action
Safeguarding your home requires knowing how to choose the best home security system and taking the right action to secure it. Stay informed about the latest security practices to make educated decisions that align with your home's needs.
Remember, it isn’t just about installing gadgets; it's about creating a strategy that includes regular updates and checks. Peace of mind is invaluable, and by focusing on strengthening your windows, you can achieve a safer home environment for you and your loved ones.
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