Tip 3: Windows
Not surprisingly, most burglars who do not enter your home through a door do so through one of your windows. How do you protect something that's breakable by nature? Two ways: make the window or the opening impenetrable.
You can replace your windows with wired windows, Plexiglas or Lexan. While Lexan is considerably stronger than Plexiglas or wired windows, it still is only as strong as the window frame. Plexiglas also has a tendency to yellow over time. While these options are available, they are certainly not as good as window films or glass bricks.
Although not particularly attractive, window bars make the opening impenetrable. These bars can be made somewhat more visually appealing by turning them into grill work; however, at the end of the day, you still have the institutional, and jail-like feel of bars on your windows. If you do use bars, make sure that:
- A security head is used on the screws holding the bars in. This will prevent thieves from breaking your windows and unscrewing your bars.
- The screws that secure the bars to the window frames are long enough that they go into the studs below the frame. For this application, screws should be at least 3” in length.
- You don’t barricade yourself into your home so that in the case of a fire, you are unable to exit because of the bars. Get the type that can be opened with a key.
A simple trick
If you don’t want burglars to break in through your windows, don’t leave them open when you go out. Many burglaries occur because the homeowner forgets to close and lock their windows when they go out.
Check the mechanisms
Check the mechanisms on each and every window. Older style windows that use the butterfly lock are extremely easy to break into. These are the types of windows that have interior hinges that swing open from the side, the top, or the bottom. The thief simply uses a screwdriver and slides it in between the crack to push the lock sideways and out of the way. To avoid this type of burglary, simply install a metal cover plate over the outside part of the window where the burglar would put the screwdriver. This plate makes it extremely difficult to get at the lock and thus, protects you from window lock tampering.
Sliding glass windows
A burglar can often simply lift up on the bottom of the window or door and lift it off the track or over the locking mechanism. This is especially easy when the sliding window is too small for the frame. Over time, wear and tear on the bottom runners actually makes the window shorter.
To remedy this problem
Simply open the window all the way, and put a couple of screws into the top part of the frame so that they stick out about a ¼ of an inch. While a little bit of adjustment may be required, this method will certainly eliminate the ability of a thief to lift your windows out of their frames. Put a cut-off broom handle or stick on the inside track so that even if the thief can lift the window off its track, he cannot open it.
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