3 Things You Can Do To Your Windows To Increase Home Security Now!
Burglary and related property crimes cost Americans $15.8 billion in 2019. While this represents a modest reduction in crime over the previous year, it is still a staggering loss.
Windows have long been a key point of entry for burglars and other criminals. But at $400 to $1,000 apiece, windows are too pricey for most homeowners to replace them wholesale with newer, safer models. Fortunately, other options exist.
Here are the top three things you can do to your existing windows to increase home security right away.
Upgrade Your Locks
Most single- and double-hung windows come standard with latch-style locks. Located atop the window sash, these locks are appropriate for simple tasks like keeping windows closed against the weather. They do very little, however, to deter anyone from breaking into your home.
Not only are sash locks easy to break, but they are also easy for people passing through your home to unlatch. Thanks to their design, residents walking by a window have no reason to notice unlatched windows. This leaves homeowners very much at risk.
Happily, there are many more secure lock styles available. These include:
- Keyed locks
- Pin locks
- Hinged wedge locks
- Swivel action locks
Sliding window locks and security bars can also be appropriate for sliding glass doors or sliding windows. All of these options:
- Give you more control over your windows
- Prevent intruders from forcing your windows open
- Make it easier to see or notice if your window locks have been tampered with
Importantly, child locks are not an adequate safety measure. They are designed to keep children from falling out of windows but do very little to prevent criminals from breaking in. They can be used in conjunction with another lock style, but should not be relied on as a safety measure when used alone.
As a bonus, replacing locks is significantly cheaper than replacing entire windows. It also works particularly well for homes with custom or vintage windows that homeowners would rather not replace for aesthetic reasons.
Apply Privacy Window Film
Another top option for homeowners exploring how to increase home security is applying residential window tint to a home’s windows and glass doors.
Expansive windows let abundant natural light into your home, making it welcome and comfortable. Regrettably, they also invite would-be criminals to case your home. They make it easy for burglars to:
- Observe your schedule and movements within the house
- Identify large and expensive televisions, gaming systems, and other valuables
- Assess your home’s security and appeal as a target
Tinting your windows offers you protection from such prowling and increases your privacy. Even better, with tinted windows ensuring your privacy, you can afford to get rid of privacy hedges and fences, both of which are as likely to provide criminals with cover as to deter them.
Tinting your windows offers an array of other benefits, as well. It:
- Reduces home energy costs
- Lowers the risk of broken and blowing glass during a natural disaster
- Reduces the fading and sun bleaching of upholstery, hardwood, and other materials
- Eliminates glare, making it easier to enjoy your devices in every room of your home
- Increases home value
- May qualify you for energy-efficiency tax credits
Install Security Glass
Another great alternative for homeowners interested in how to increase security is to install safety or security glass. Safety and security glasses are specially glazed, tempered, or laminated to prevent shattering and breakage.
Functionally, both serve the same purpose. They make your windows harder to break, preventing criminals from forcing their way into your home. They also:
- Lower the risk of broken and blowing glass during a natural disaster
- Provide homeowners with peace of mind
- Reduce the fading and sun bleaching of upholstery, hardwood, and other materials
- May qualify homeowners for reduced home insurance costs
Many homeowners drawn to the idea of security glass initially balk at the scale of the project. Replacing all the glass in your home windows and doors with security glass can be an enormous and expensive undertaking.
Installing security window film is a much more affordable but equally effective alternative. Like tinted film, security film can be added to virtually any glass in your home.
Constructed from heavy-duty polyester and powerful adhesives, security film is thick and protective enough to meet intensive security standards around the world. At the same time, it is discrete.
Completely clear, it disappears on your window. It does not impede your view or the flow of natural light into your home. It has no impact on your home’s aesthetics but will make your home a safer, more comfortable place to live.
For all of those reasons, it may be the best way to increase home security quietly and affordably.
Tips for Best Results
First, whether installing new locks or applying protective window films, have your window upgrades completed by professionals. This ensures that everything is done correctly and to the highest standards. This will yield the best results.
Often, professional installation is also required to reap the available insurance and tax benefits of your upgrades.
Second, apply whatever upgrades you select to all the windows and glass-containing doors in your home. Homeowners too often assume that second-story or basement windows are secure simply because they are inconvenient to access. This is not the case.
Burglars can and do use any and all types of windows and door glass as an opportunity to break into homes. Make sure your home is fully protected.
If you elect to add window locks to your home, do not post photos of your keys online. Thanks to modern technology, criminals can use digital photos to create duplicate keys and simply let themselves in. Also, consider upgrading your door locks at the same time you upgrade your window locks, if appropriate.
Increase Home Security for Your Family Today
Every investment you make to increase home security for your family is money well spent. Learn more about choosing, installing, and upgrading windows to achieve the best fit for your home today.