Are Your Windows Safe And Secure?

You may think of your windows primarily as a source of light and fresh air, but to a burglar, they're primarily an easy way to enter your home! If you want to minimize your risk of theft and ensure the safety of your family, then it's important to make sure your windows are secure. Here are a few tips to guide you in the right direction.

Add Lag Screws So You Can Lock Opened Windows In Place

One of the issues with opening double-hung windows is that when they are partially open, someone can easily reach in and push the window up, opening it further to gain entry. Luckily, there is a way to lock the window in the opened position and prevent someone from opening it further. All you need is a few lag screws (one per window) from your local hardware store.

Open the window the desired amount (just a few inches) and then drill the screw through both pieces of the sash. Tighten the lag screw with the key provided. Notice that when you push up on the lower window sash, it no longer opens any further. If you want to open it further, you'd have to loosen the screw, which you can only do with the key provided. 

Replace Your Window Locks With Keyed Versions

The latches that hold your windows closed may be easy for a burglar to "trip" if they happen to reach in through a partially opened window. You can find keyed versions of these latches that will only open if you insert and turn the key that comes with them. Usually, all you have to do to install them is unscrew the screws that hold the current latch into place, set the new latch on top of the window, and then screw it into place.

If you are replacing your windows, make sure you choose a version with lockable latches. These come standard on many, but not all, varieties of windows these days.

Install Chain Locks on Loose Casement Windows

When they are new, casement windows are incredibly secure. The sashes lock into the frame, making the latching device very tough for a burglar to pick. However, as casement windows age, these locking mechanisms can loosen. If your window wobbles in its frame at all when it is closed, then it is not as secure as it should be. A burglar could potentially rock it back and forth until it springs open.

The best solution in this case is generally to have new casement windows installed. However, if you cannot afford to replace your windows currently, then you can make do by adding a chain lock to the window. Attach one screw to the inside sash and a second one to the frame. Run a metal chain from screw to screw, leaving it long enough that you're able to open the window a few inches, but not so long that someone can open it wide enough to squeeze through it.

Choose Shatter-Resistant Glass

If the time has come to replace your windows, make sure you choose shatter-resistant glass. This type of glass will remain in place if it shatters -- much like the glass in windshields. This will help deter theft. Even if a would-be thief were to break the glass, they would not want to go through the window because they would get badly cut. 

Your windows are the weakest point of your home. If someone is going to break in, there is a good chance they will try to do it through the window. Fortunately, by following these security tips, you can minimize the chances of an incident. For more information, contact companies like Four Seasons Home Products.