How to Protect Your House from Theft Securing Windows

About the proper techniques to secure your windows protecting your house from theft and burglary.


Securing Windows

As most of us have discovered at one time or another when we've locked ourselves out, breaking in through a window is fairly easy. Therefore, windows warrant the same degree of protection as doors. Since noise is a primary enemy of any intruder, if he has to break the window to get in, he may not bother at all.

You can protect sliding windows much the same way you do sliding doors. However, for windows, something as simple as an antislide block or a slide bolt (available in any hardware store) may be sufficient. These lock the window in place from the inside and do not permit it to slide.

Casement windows (the kind that open with a crank) are the most secure, if the latch works properly. A burglar would generally have to smash the glass to get in through one of these.

Windows that usually offer the easiest access are double-hung windows, where at least one half slides up or down. The latches on these windows usually can be easily jimmied. To secure them, you can drill a hole from the top of the bottom window through the bottom of the top window and use a nail or screw to attach the two. If you use these windows for ventilation, all you need do is place a fixed nail or screw in the side tracks of the window frame so that the window can be raised or lowered only a specific distance--a distance not large enough to accommodate an intruder.

One type of window that is very easy to penetrate from the outside is the louvered window. Louvers can be slipped out of place one at a time, leaving an empty window frame for a burglar to crawl through. Unfortunately, there is no way to protect louvered windows against break-in. You either take your chances or replace the windows.

Do not forget to protect upstairs windows. They may be accessible by means that are not easily discernible to you but can be readily taken advantage of by a burglar. Trees, nearby buildings, and balconies from other floors all may serve as ladders for the intruder.

One of the most dangerous hazards involved in protecting windows is the current craze over wrought-iron bars. While they will undoubtedly prevent someone from entering your home, they can also be deadly if you need to escape through the window in case of fire. Wrought-iron bars that are hinged and can be opened from inside the house are available. They are more expensive, but if you must have bars on your windows, buy these.

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