Home insurance statistics show that more than half of all burglars gain entry through unprotected windows, so it really makes sense to increase the security around these vulnerable areas of your home. There are a number of different types of window security, and the kind you opt for will depend on the level of protection you want.
This is the first line of defence against burglary. Cheap window latches are no deterrent for an experienced burglar and can be jemmied in a matter of seconds.
Every window should be fitted with a quality barrel lock and key. Never leave the keys in the locks, however, as they are an invitation for a burglar to break the window to reach them. Also, make sure the locks you install have interchangeable keys, so you’ll never find yourself with a window you can’t open.
Of course, windows can be easily broken, so if you want a higher level of security, you should look at one of the following measures.
Security films come in a range of thicknesses and can be retrofitted to windows as an added security measure. The purpose they serve is primarily to prevent injury from flying glass when a window is broken (they hold the glass in place after it has been shattered).
However, they can also serve as a deterrent to a burglar who breaks the window and finds that it hasn’t disintegrated, requiring further effort to gain entry. At the very least, such window films would serve to delay a forced entry, giving occupants time to raise the alarm.
Security screens such as Crimsafe are now made to such a high standard that a burglar would have to go to extraordinary lengths and make a lot of noise to force their way through them. They are more expensive than normal flyscreens, but worth the money, particularly if you live in a warmer climate where leaving doors and windows open overnight is essential.
These represent another layer of window security and are more expensive than some other options. They do, however, provide an excellent deterrent to burglars and also serve other functions, such as improving your home’s energy-efficiency and adding character and style to its overall appearance.
Some would consider bars and grilles to be an extreme form of protection for a family home, but if you live in a high crime area or have a vulnerable part of your house that you want to protect, then they may be the answer.
Modern styling means they don’t have to be ugly and can complement your home’s exterior if tastefully done. Their main drawback is that they represent a safety risk. Unless they have an easy-release latch on the inside, they could trap occupants in the event of a fire.
Arming your windows with sensors linked to alarms is relatively cheap to do thanks to the evolution of portable wireless alarms. These can be easily placed near windows, powered by batteries and triggered by a magnetic switch or vibration sensor.
No form of window security is burglar proof, but if you were to opt for several different kinds, you could be fairly confident of having done your best to protect your windows. At the very least, adding such security measures can help to reduce your house insurance premiums, which would help to offset the initial cost of installing them.