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Published: May 29, 2024 6 min read

Windows, especially first-floor windows, are one of the most vulnerable points of entry for intruders. For this reason, taking proactive measures to secure your windows can significantly enhance the overall security of your home.

Read on to learn more about how to secure your windows, including the specific window security equipment that is available. For comprehensive coverage for your home, check out our list of the best home security systems.

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Window Security Equipment

Window security can be direct or indirect. The former refers to equipment — like bars, locks and screens — that must be installed on the window frame and glass to augment their properties. The latter includes equipment that is installed around a window to improve the general security of those areas and deter intruders, like motion lights and security cameras.

Window Locks and Latches

Upgrading your window locks and latches is a simple yet effective way to improve security. Traditional latches can be easily pried open, so consider installing keyed locks, sash locks or pin locks. These provide an additional layer of security by making it more challenging for intruders to force the window open.

Window Bars and Grills

Window bars and grills are physical barriers that deter burglars by making it difficult to access the window. They come in various styles and materials, such as steel or iron, and can be customized to match the aesthetic of your home. While they can provide robust security, it's important that they have an easy release mechanism from the inside for emergency exits.

Window Security Films

Window security films are adhesive layers that can be applied to your window’s glass. These films strengthen the glass, making it more resistant to shattering upon impact. Security films can also offer additional benefits like UV protection and improved privacy, making them a versatile choice for window security.

Window Security Screens

Window security screens are designed to withstand impact and resist cutting or tampering. Made from high-tensile materials like stainless steel mesh, these screens allow for ventilation and visibility while improving the security of your windows as a whole. They are particularly useful for ground-floor windows and can also help keep out insects and debris.

Motion Sensor Lights

As their name implies, motion sensor lights activate when motion is detected, illuminating the area around your windows. Placing these lights strategically around your home windows makes it difficult for intruders to approach them unnoticed.

Security Cameras

Cameras serve as both a deterrent and a means to monitor and record any suspicious activity. Installing security cameras near your windows can significantly enhance your home’s security — just make sure there’s sufficient lighting for them to record properly at night.

If possible, opt for cameras with night vision and motion detection capabilities for the best results. Modern security systems often allow remote access, enabling you to monitor your property from anywhere.

Window Alarms and Sensors

Window alarms are devices that trigger a loud noise when the window is tampered with. They can be magnetic contact alarms, which activate when the contact between the window and the frame is broken, or glass break sensors that detect the sound of breaking glass. These alarms might scare off intruders while alerting you, your neighbors and even the police.

Smart Window Technology

Smart window technology integrates with home automation systems, allowing you to monitor and control your windows remotely. Smart locks, sensors and alarms can be managed via smartphone apps, providing real-time alerts and the ability to take immediate action if a security breach occurs.

Security Tips for Different Window Types

Different window types require tailored security measures. Here are some tips for securing various kinds of windows:

  • Sliding Windows: Install a security bar or rod in the track to prevent the window from being forced open. Consider adding keyed locks or pin locks for added security.
  • Casement Windows: Ensure that the crank mechanism is sturdy and add additional locks to the frame. Casement windows can also benefit from window films and security screens.
  • Double-Hung Windows: Use sash locks or pin locks to secure both sashes. Security films can also help reinforce the glass.
  • Awning and Hopper Windows: These windows can be secured with strong locks and security screens. Position them high enough to make unauthorized entry difficult.
  • Bay and Bow Windows: Install sturdy locks on each individual window and consider using window security films or bars for added protection.

Other Ways to Secure Your Windows

In addition to installing security equipment, there are other strategies you can employ to enhance window security:

  • Landscaping: Keep bushes and trees trimmed away from windows to eliminate potential hiding spots for intruders. Use thorny plants near ground-level windows to deter access.
  • Window Positioning: When designing or renovating your home, consider the placement of windows to minimize security risks. Avoid placing windows near doors or in secluded areas that are not easily visible.
  • Neighborhood Watch: Participate in or organize a neighborhood watch program. Neighbors looking out for each other can significantly improve overall community security.
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How to Secure Your Windows FAQs

What is the best form of window security?

The best form of window security is a layered approach that combines several methods for comprehensive protection. This includes high-quality locks, physical barriers like bars and grills, security films and cameras and good lighting, preferably motion activated.

Can I install window security equipment myself?

Many window security products, such as locks, alarms and films, can be installed by homeowners with basic DIY skills. However, more complex installations, like security cameras or smart window systems, may require professional assistance to ensure optimal performance.

How often should I check my window security equipment?

Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring your window security equipment functions properly. Check locks, alarms and other devices at least once a month. Test alarms and sensors to ensure they are responsive, and inspect physical barriers for signs of wear or damage.

Should you put window bars on the inside or outside of the window?

Installing bars outside of your window can serve as a visual deterrent to potential intruders. However, exterior bars are exposed to the elements, requiring more maintenance. Interior bars are protected from bad weather and are less visible from the outside, which can be more aesthetically pleasing, but may not deter burglars from approaching your home in the first place.

How do you fix glass windows that don’t lock?

If your glass windows don't lock, check if the existing lock is damaged or misaligned. Sometimes, dirt and debris can interfere with the locking mechanism. After cleaning the lock area and applying a lubricant, ensure the window is properly aligned within its frame, as misalignment can prevent the lock from engaging correctly. If the lock is broken or outdated, consider replacing it with a new, more secure lock. Measure the old lock to find a suitable replacement. You can also install additional locks such as sash locks, pin locks or key-operated locks for added security.