Windows and doors are the first entry points that a potential burglar will look to when attempting a break-in. For your own peace of mind, it’s critical that you have confidence in the security of your windows.
Thankfully, improving your windows’ security doesn’t need to cause you a headache. Depending on your budget and requirements, there could be a number of different burglar-proofing options available to you. We explore the main points to consider and the best improvements to make in this handy blog post.
Modern locking mechanisms
How old are your windows? Generally speaking, the older your windows, the less effective their locking mechanisms will be at keeping burglars out. Newer windows feature more elaborate locking mechanisms and high-performance handles that are designed. These features are designed to be easy for you to you use inside and all but impossible to force from the outside.
Older locks, by comparison, are more likely to feature simplistic mechanisms or, worse, they may not be attached as securely to the frame of your windows. If you notice wobbly locks, it’s time to take steps to tighten them or update your frames.
Another option is to look into replacement locks. If this is the route you choose, you need to make sure that the new locks are appropriate for the type of window (a casement window needs different security measures than a sliding sash window) and that they are installed correctly. A new lock installed poorly could be worse than an old lock.
Glass thickness and glazing
The more glass you have in your window frames, the harder it is to break. That’s a useful rule of thumb even if the existence of technology like tempered glass does blur the lines here and there. For standard home windows, if you have more panes of glass in the frame and that glass is thicker, it will be harder for someone to break in.
Glass security is as much a deterrent as a physical defence. If a burglar recognises that it will take a lot of time, energy and noise to break through your window then they’re less likely to try it in the first place.
Does this mean that triple glazing is the best option for secure windows? If you’re particularly security conscious then it’s certainly worth considering, but double glazing is still highly effective. It is the more cost-efficient option and the difference between double and triple glazing is too small to be noticed by most people.
The bottom line is that whatever modern window style you choose, upgrading from single glazing should be a priority.
The strength of the window frames themselves is a security feature that not everyone considers. Wooden frames may look nice but if they’re old or haven’t been cared for, they could be weak enough to afford an intruder an easy way in. Modern uPVC frames are much more secure than wood. Made from multiple interlinked sections, they are hard to break down and will not deteriorate over time.
The arrangement of glass in a window is another structural security factor. The larger the surface area of a glass pane, the easier it is to break. Most window types can be made with different panel arrangements. Explore our casement and flush sash pages to see some examples of different ways in which multiple panels can be incorporated into your window structure.
Window alarms and other extra features
If you’re not ready to upgrade your windows quite yet, there are some lower cost security improvements that you could make in the meantime.
Window alarms are a low-cost addition to your apertures that serve as a great deterrent. Working in a similar way to car alarms or general home alarms, when triggered they make a lot of noise, alerting you or your neighbours.
It’s possible to install safety glass in your windows to add an extra layer of protection. However, modern double and triple glazing is secure enough that we wouldn’t recommend safety glass except in the most extreme circumstances.
Plants and bushes around ground floor windows
Planting spiky plants and large bushes around windows is a great security addition if you have space for them. This strategy might not seem like an obvious choice immediately, but consider how much more difficult it is to climb over a shrub than to walk straight up to an unobstructed window.
You don’t have to cut off your view from the house, either. As long as the plants, shrubs or bushes, make it harder to reach the window it’s perfectly fine to buy plants that do not come above the height of the window sill.
The final window security factor is possibly the most important: you! The first and most important security change to make is to your own habits. A brand new, triple glazed sitting room window offers no protection if you leave it open when you pop to the shops. Even leaving downstairs windows gaping while you’re in a bedroom upstairs could be a recipe for disaster if valuable items are within arm’s reach of the opening.
For maximum window security you need to get into the habit of locking up your windows (not just closing them) when you leave the house or when you’re out of earshot. Keeping valuables out of sight is also a good habit, either by closing curtains or by storing them strategically. The fewer items on show to tempt a burglar, the better for you.
Changing your habits is free and can start making a difference right away. For other changes, take a look at our windows range or get in touch to find out more.