Windows are the second most vulnerable spot in your home. Approximately 34% of burglars enter the home through the front door, but 23% enter through a first floor window. Although second floor windows are not as vulnerable, it’s still important to protect every area of your home from possible breach.
Because safe windows are vital to a safe home, here are some suggestions on how to make them as secure as possible.
Types of Safety Glass
One of the best ways to secure your home is by choosing the best glass for your window encasements. Let’s take a look at the safest glasses for residential use.
Also known as toughened glass, tempered glass is the same type of glass used in car side and rear windows, coffee pots, and oven windows. Now only is it heat resistant, tempered glass is also four to five times stronger than regular glass. That’s because of how tempered glass is made.
To make tempered glass, regular glass is baked in an oven until almost melted. Then, the glass is taken out of the oven and immediately chilled. This process toughens the glass.
Tempered glass is more durable than regular glass. Although it is more expensive than regular glass, it’s the least expensive type of reinforced glass.
When broken, tempered glass shatters into tiny pebbles.
Also known as safety glass, laminated glass is composed of vinyl and regular glass. One layer of plastic is sandwiched between two (or more) sheets of regular glass.
When broken, laminated glass stays bonded. It breaks into a spider web pattern. In fact, laminated glass requires multiple blows before it can be breached. Most car windshields are made from this type of glass. If you’ve ever had a car with a cracked windshield, you know how sturdy this type of glass can be.
Wire Mesh Glass
Unlike the previous two, this type of reinforced glass has an added deterrent — you can see the wires within the glass. That said, it’s actually one of the weakest glasses you can get for safety purposes. It breaks more easily than the previous two, but the wire embedded within the glass makes it tough to penetrate through.
To break into, a burglar will need to take the additional step of cutting the wire once they break the glass. Since burglars want to get inside quickly (within 60 seconds in most cases), a burglar will likely a move to an easier target when they encounter wire mesh glass.
Polycarbonate windows are another viable safety window option. This type of plastic is 250 times more impact-resistant than laminated glass. It’s often used in safety goggles or other types of eye protection because of its impact-resistance.
Window Locks and Alarms
A great way to prevent break-ins is with barred windows. In times past, window bars had a reputation of resembling prison bars. These days, there are many beautiful iron bars that elevate function into an art form.
If you choose to use window bars, avoid using it on bedroom windows. In the event of an emergency where a quick exist is necessary, having to unlock window bars can waste precious time when every second counts.
Install a window lock to prevent burglars from simply raising or sliding the window open. The more visible the lock, the better, because burglars look for easy targets. There are two types of window locks:
A Vinyl Window Lock that fits inside the track of the window and prevents the window from sliding up the track.
A Window Pin Lock that embeds inside the window frame and keeps it locked into place.
Installing window alarms are a great way to deter burglars, or even notify you if a young child has opened a second story window. A window sensor detects whenever a window is opened or broken.
Other Ways to Safety Proof Windows
Install Flood Lights
Position flood lights around the most vulnerable windows. Criminals hate light, and will not risk getting caught in the open.
Install Motion Detectors
In the areas where you may not want a constant flood light, such as a bedroom window, install motion detectors that will automatically go on when someone passes by. A motion detector light will shock burglars by the element of surprise.
Plant Thorny Bushes
One of the best ways to safety proof your windows is with nature’s own — plant thorny shrubs or bushes under vulnerable windows. Burglars won’t want to tangle with thorns.
Give yourself extra peace of mind by installing surveillance cameras around your home, and focusing on windows or doors. If you connect your camera to your online control panel, you’ll be able to check the perimeter from the comfort of your smartphone.