When it comes down to it, there are only two ways for a burglar to enter your home — through a door or through a window. Most homeowners and renters invest in quality locks and sophisticated alarm systems, but many don't give window security the attention it deserves.
It takes only one vulnerable entrance to compromise your entire home. Don't undermine your investment in that heavy duty, triple-locked door by leaving your windows accessible to intruders. Here are a few important steps you can take to keep them secure.
As obvious as it may sound, an actually impenetrable window also needs to appear impenetrable. It's good if the bad guys try and fail to gain entry to your home, but it's even better if you deter them to the extent that they don't bother to try at all. Do everything in your power to show burglars just how seriously you take your security.
If a window is on the same level as a door, treat it like a door. Alarm stickers, safety glass tape, and similar visual deterrents can all dissuade would-be intruders from breaking in. You can also install a window gate — I like the New York Protection Gate, a swing-door mechanism approved by the FDNY for use in residential properties.
While many burglars are deterred by well-locked windows, some will resort to simply breaking the glass itself. To prepare yourself for this possibility, consider installing panes made of sturdier material in all of your window frames — especially those that are situated in vulnerable locations. Tempered glass, laminate glass, and plexiglas can all make breaking into your home much more trouble than it's worth.
If you want an even more impenetrable window, you can also install bars or grilles on the outside. While some might find these security measures aesthetically unappealing, they’re definitely worth considering for residents of densely populated areas — especially city dwellers whose windows lead to a fire escape.
Whether it's a high-tech setup or a more cost-effective approach, good surveillance is a key aspect of home protection. For truly comprehensive coverage, make sure your system includes a window-specific unit. There are many window alarm systems out there, so when choosing yours, pay attention to whether the system only detects when a window "opens," or if it has sensors that pick up other disturbances, as well.
The most important step you can take to make your windows safer is simple: close and lock them when you leave your home. As obvious as this may seem, around 30% of burglaries occur through an open or unlocked window or door. A visibly open window is all the motivation that malintents need to pay your home a visit. Now is the time to build the habit: whenever you leave the house, make sure your windows are securely fastened.