You are probably aware that the primary entry points of a burglar into a home are either there doors or windows. Assuming that you have invested in solid doors, door frames and door locks, your home´s windows are the weak link and most overlooked risk of forced entry. They can be broken, pried apart or literally removed from their support tracks.
Listed below are some tips to help burglar-proof your home´s windows.
1. Reinforced Glass – The basic idea here is to strengthen your windows to make it more difficult for a burglar to break them. One option, and least expensive is to use tempered glass, which is more durable and stronger than traditional window pane glass. A more expensive option is to use laminated (safety) glass which consists of a layer of transparent vinyl between two sheets of regular window glass. Laminate glass requires multiple blows in the same spot to break, resulting in more noise and effort for a potential burglar. Other, more expensive options include wire mesh or shatter-resistant glass.
2. Plexiglas and Polycarbonate Windows – Plexiglas (Acrylic) plastic windows are an economical alternative to traditional window glass and are roughly ten times stronger. Polycarbonate windows are more expensive than Plexiglas, but ten times stronger and 250 times stronger than window glass. Either solution makes a burglar entry much more difficult.
3. Window Types and Securing
Casement windows are the most secure style since they are hinged on one side and open outward like a door using a crank gear system located from the inside. Often the crank has provision for a key lock. As long as the windows are closed and locked they are very difficult to open from the outside. (In case of a fire emergency the crank key should be readily accessible and the same for all the windows.)
Vertical sliding windows, single or double hung are most popular in homes and consist of a cam style lock that holds the top and bottom sash (the frame where the glass is mounted) together so that neither one can move. The cam lock is the primary weakness of this type of window since it can be opened with a knife from the outside when slipped between the two sashes. To improve the security, a window pin type lock can be added to the top sash or an extendable small metal horizontal tab that restricts the movement of the bottom sash. With the metal tab positioned in, the bottom sash freely moves, when positioned out, the bottom sash will not move and the window is closed.
Other window openings if not need for ventilation or exit, should be sealed and nailed shut. For windows with air conditioners, the unit should be bolted to the wall studs and the upper window sash should be pinned with a lock or blocked to prevent movement.
4. Window Bars – Iron bars on the outside of your windows will make your home very burglar resistant. It is expensive, but a permanent addition to the house. While a burglar may break the window glass, the iron bars physically prevent entry. Burglars will generally look for an easier target and not bother. There a variety of decorative designs available depending upon the style of the house.
5. Window Sensors – Depending upon your home security system, you will likely have Window Sensors to indicate when a window contact is open or closed. Also there are window glass break sensors to indicate when a window has been broken. Finally there are infrared motion detectors with optional video to signal an alert, sounding the alarm and automatically notifying the central monitoring center and authorities.
|Window Sensors||Glass Break Detector||Infrared Motion Detector|
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