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Adding Window Security to Your Home

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Several months ago, we created a post sharing 6 Ways to Improve Your Door Security.  We shared some important measures for evaluating and addressing door security. In that post, we focused mainly on addressing door hardware and security issues relevant to every home. After all, door placement and accessibility remains largely the same from house to house. Of course, door security only makes up a small part of an overall home security plan. In this post, we share some of our best tips to improve window security. Unlike doors, window placement and accessibility varies from one house to the next. Therefore, we have a wide range of security tips to consider.

We’ll begin by focusing on ideas for making breaking in through windows unappealing to burglars. Our 5 Ways to Keep Your Home from Becoming a Target for Burglars addresses the dangers of making your home look like an easy break-in opportunity. Addressing this topic from a perspective of window security goes a long way towards preventing this danger. From there, we’ll discuss security equipment that you can install to help monitor your windows. We have helped many customers address this issue, and we will share some of the ways we have done so. Finally, we’ll discuss additional hardware you can add to make your windows more difficult to break in through. Adding this protection as a last line of defense can help frustrate aspiring thieves. Now, let’s look at making your windows a less appealing break-in target from the get-go.

An outdoor wall light on a home.

Installing outdoor lighting, such as this Warburton LED model, can make it more difficult for criminals to scope out your home without being seen.

Make Windows a Less Appealing Option for Entry

A big part of securing your windows involves making them a less likely break-in target. With a more or less unlimited number of homes to scope out, burglars choose the ones that look the most inviting. In this section, we will focus on making your windows less attractive to thieves “window shopping” for their next opportunity. We’ll begin with a look at security equipment that can help with this issue. Burglars that see security measures protecting your windows may find themselves looking elsewhere to commit their crimes. Additionally, we’ll look at landscaping tips that you can take to accomplish this goal as well.

Security Equipment to Help with Window Security

What type of security equipment can aid with making thieves unlikely to break in through a window? In short, equipment that makes burglars feel watched. Installing lighting that keeps your entire yard visible at night can create that feeling. Whether you use motion-detection lighting or permanently light up your yard, we recommend making it difficult to sneak through your yard at night undetected. We also recommend installing a home surveillance system. Cameras make solving any crime — or attempted crime — a much more likely proposition. Perhaps more importantly, they make an attempted crime less likely to begin with. Burglars scoping our your windows and seeing cameras nearby will be more likely to move on and choose a new target.

Window Security-Related Landscaping Tips

Another way to make thieves feel like they’ll be watched if they commit a crime? Use smart landscape and yard design to eliminate potential “hiding spaces” within your yard. Our Yard and Driveway Security Tips touches upon this concept. Of course, increasing yard and driveway security also increases overall home security. After all, if you can lower the chance someone will enter your yard in the first place, you’ve also reduced the odds of a burglar attempting to climb through a window into your home. Let’s look at a couple ways you can help achieve this goal.

For starters, maintain the area around your home in a way that creates as much visibility as possible. Keep plants and shrubs trimmed well below the height of your windows. If you do have gardens around your windows, plant thorn-bearing plants to make sneaking around in them a less attractive option. Additionally, make sure any fencing you install doesn’t create a safe haven for criminals. Using chain-link fencing instead of tall wooden fences can keep anyone snooping through the yard visible to neighbors and passersby alike. Breaking in through windows often takes some time and effort. Ensuring that burglars will not stay hidden for long can make them feel like they won’t have enough time to do so. Now, let’s look at some window-specific alarm system equipment that you can install to create a notification if a burglar attempts to break in through a window.

An Interlogix glass break detector

Glass break detectors, such as this one by Interlogix, can detect the presence of burglars before they can enter your home.

Use Security Contacts to Your Advantage

For our home burglar alarm customers, we have a few options available for protecting your windows. Many customers use motion detectors to secure different areas of their homes. This can provide an efficient way of monitoring large spaces within any house. However, motion detectors will only catch burglars who have successfully broken in. Hearing the siren scream after gaining entry, they are still likely to grab what they can on the way out and do some damage. Worse still, burglars will often attempt to find people in the home to turn the alarm off. This can add a great amount of danger to an already frightening scenario. When thinking about window protection, many homeowners prefer solutions that alert them to an intruder before a break-in. In this section, we look at some ways to accomplish this goal. Let’s look at both traditional and advanced methods for alarming your windows.

Traditional Window Sensors and Glass Break Detectors

Many customers install sensors on either all of their first-story windows, or on select windows that they worry the most about. For example, children’s bedrooms and windows facing the back of the house make great targets for window sensors. Adding this equipment can help you in a couple ways. Obviously, window sensors can create an alarm response if someone tries to break in through a window. Additionally, window sensors can alert you to windows left open when you arm your system in the first place. If you do attempt to arm your security system with a window open, the system will “protest” and tell you which window you’ve forgotten to close. This can ensure that you secure your windows every time you leave the house.

Perhaps you have more casement windows that double-hung windows. In this case, we recommend installing glass break detectors to protect these areas. Glass break detectors detect the sound and impact of breaking glass. This makes them a great option for alarming sliders and picture windows that burglars would need to break to enter. We install these types of burglary protection in many of the homes that we secure. Now, let’s look at a lesser-known way to add window security to your home alarm system.

A detailed diagram of a security window screen

This diagram of a Tashman alarm screen details how their product can create an alarm response from a burglar attempting to cut or remove a security screen from a window.

Security Window Screens

A lot of our customers have never heard of security window screens. Despite this fact, window screens can provide a great first defense against intruders. In order to break in through a window, burglars must first remove or cut through any screen blocking their way. Monitored window screens, such as the one pictured, will create an alarm response as soon as this happens. Whether a burglars carefully remove the screen or cut through it, their actions create an alarm response. Hearing the siren at this very early point in their burglary attempt can unnerve thieves. Obviously, time is of the essence when security is concerned. Window screens can create the quickest possible alarm response to a burglar’s attempts to break in through a window. At this point, we’ve looked at some burglar-alarm specific equipment to improve window security. Now, let’s look at some additional hardware options to meet this goal.

Install Additional Hardware to Increase Window Security

Even if you do not have a security system, you can still install devices to increase your window security. Unlike their security system counterparts, these devices will not notify you to a potential intruder in your absence. However, they can make it more difficult for someone to break in through your windows in the first place. You can find many of these products in your local home or hardware store.

For example, installing a window security screen can make it very difficult to break your windows. Window stops can hold windows down if someone attempts to force them open externally. Window pins secure the two sashes of a double-hung window together. This can also make it very difficult to open a window from the outside. Utilizing these extra security measures could frustrate burglars by creating a layer of security that they did not anticipate. The extra layers of window security could mean the difference between a devastating break-in and an abandoned burglary attempt.

Putting it All Together for Greater Window Security in Your Home

We hope that this post has given you some ideas for adding security to your own windows. Perhaps you’ve put some of these measures into place but realize you need to do a bit more to monitor your windows. Or maybe you’re creating a complete home security plan from scratch, and want to get it right from the beginning. Either way, we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have. We offer free site surveys for both new and old customers alike. While on site, we can address any concerns you may have. Additionally, we can make our own suggestions as well. Together, we can create a plan to keep your windows — as well as your doors and any other areas of your home — as secure as possible.