7 tips to boost window security
A contractor installs a tempered glass window at Angie's List member Ian S.'s Lakewodd, Calif., home.
If you think your windows are secure, you might want to think again.
According to the latest FBI statistics on burglary, a home is burglarized every 14.6 seconds, and 23 percent of burglars gain entry through a first-floor window. So if you want to beef up your security, you've got to think like a burglar.
Here are tips to improve your window security.
1. Inspect your windows, inside and out
Do a quick inspection of your windows. Make sure there are no cracks and that the locks are in good working order. Outside, check the surroundings. Burglars love trees and shrubs because the foliage provides them with cover, so keep everything trimmed below window height.
Don't entice the burglar. Close curtains or blinds, especially at night or when you aren't at home to keep out prying eyes.
2. Window locks
Burglars like to get in and out quickly. Make sure time is on your side, not theirs. There are several ways to slow down their progress. Make sure you have locks on your windows and they are in good working order. You can buy add-on locks from your local hardware store if your present locks aren't working properly.
3. Pin it
If you live in an older house with wood-framed double-hung windows, install security pins (available at your hardware store) on the window frame for added protection. Putting the pins in the upper sash allows you to open the window about six inches to let in fresh air, but keeps the burglar out.
4. Security bars
Install bars or grills on your windows, especially in the basement. Make sure they are securely attached. Note of caution: If you are adding security bars or pins, make sure you can easily release them in case you need to make a quick escape due to a fire or other emergency.
5. Protective covering
Security film acts as deterrents to a burglar. If the thief does break the window, the security film holds the shattered glass in place and stops shards from flying all over the place.
6. Upgrade windows
If your windows are old, consider replacing them. Choose tempered or security glass which is harder to break. Besides being more energy efficient, they have newer locks. Over time, locks wear out on old windows, so the newer the better.
7. Hire a security specialist
One of the best things you can do is hire a home security specialist. They'll be able to assess your home from top to bottom and advise you on how to best protect your home, windows and all.