Windows are a very important feature in any home. They let fresh air and natural light in, as well as allowing you to see into the world outside, but they are also one of the more important (and often neglected) areas of home safety and security. Did you know that almost a quarter of burglars in the US enter the home through a window? In fact, windows are the second most exploited security weakness after an unlocked front door. This article takes a detailed look at the issue of window safety, not just in terms of home security, but also how you can ensure your windows are safe for your whole family.
Utilize window locks
One of the biggest reasons why windows provide such easy access for burglars is because people simply forget to lock them. We don’t naturally think of windows as entry points or may need to let some air into a room. Even when a window is locked, the standard catches and locks are often not up to the task of stopping a break in. These weak catches can be easily forced open with a little effort by a burglar with the right tools. If your window does have a lock, it’s good advice to keep it locked. However, another option is to consider a lockable window latch, such as LockLatch (or the more compact MiniLatch). These devices fix onto the window frame and an adjustable stainless steel arm connects to the window itself. The patented design means that it can be fitted onto any type of window from sliding aluminum to wood sash windows and allows you to lock the window in an open position providing both ventilation and a more secure home.
As we mentioned a little earlier, one of the biggest issues with window security is carelessness on the part of the homeowner. Garage windows are particularly prone to being left unlocked, as people are often more relaxed about security in the garage. It is also wise to keep the curtains drawn over garage windows to stop thieves looking in to spot tools and other valuables.
Bathroom windows are primarily left open for ventilation purposes. This is actually a very important function as a poorly ventilated bathroom is prone to developing mold colonies, which can have a serious impact on your health and wellbeing. If your bathroom is inadequately ventilated, then you should consider installing an extractor fan to help draw out stale, dirty air. Alternatively, fitting a MiniLatch onto your bathroom window allows you to keep it slightly open, while still keeping it securely locked. This means you get all of the ventilation you need, without any of the drawbacks.
Patio and or balcony windows
Balconies are another area of the home where security is often lax. Because balconies are found on higher floors we see them as inherently safer, but it is exactly this way of thinking that makes them a favourite entry point for cunning burglars. The second issue is the types of doors you will often find on balconies or patios. Sliding patio doors are notorious for having weak locks or being lifted from their tracks to allow access into the homes. Once again, a LockLatch provides a great way to ensure these types of doors are secure on their rails, and it installs in minutes on any style of door.
Use security bars and security gates
Security bars and security gates are another great way to add that extra layer of safety to your home. Since these are usually fitted to the wall or the window frame, they allow you to keep your window open while still being secure. The only real drawback of these solutions is their cost, which can run into hundreds of dollars, and the fact that they often detract from the aesthetic. However, if you don’t mind these two issues, burglar bars provide a fantastic security option.
While securing the window with a lock is important, these devices only secure the window frame. If a burglar can’t force a window open, and really wants to access your home, they may choose to break the glass. While this is less likely (burglars want easy targets with easy access) it is still a good idea to consider installing burglar proof glass. This is particularly relevant to windows that allow a burglar to reach a door handle or window lock. Here are a number of ways to reinforce glass panes, which we will look at below.
Protective filming is a special clear adhesive layer that is added to a glass pane. When a window is broken the film holds the pieces together so that they don’t fall out of the frame. Not only does this make it far harder for the window to be shattered in the first place, but it also makes it far more difficult for thieves to clear the glass and reach inside.
Window security screens usually take the form of a mesh, which is fitted to the interior window frame. Just like a few of the other products covered here, these screens are intended to provide a further layer of security if the window is broken. While screens may still be cut with a knife or scissors, they make it that little bit harder for thieves to gain access to your property.
Shatterproof glass features two or more layers of glass bonded together with a clear layer of polyvinyl or resin. This makes the glass highly resistant to breakage, and even if it is broken the glass will not fall out of the window frame as the reinforced layer lends structural integrity. Shatterproof glass can be quite expensive, so it may be advisable to only install these panes in key windows around the home.
Additional window security tips
You should consider window security in every room of the house that has a window, and that includes windows on the upper floors, even if they are hard to reach. Below we look at a few additional considerations you should take into account when it comes to securing your windows.
Remember your office
With more Americans working from home than ever, the home office is now a crucial part of many homes. Since these rooms are often occupied throughout the day there is a real need for ventilation and fresh air, but this room will also house some of the most valuable items in the home in terms of technology as well as sensitive documents. Office windows should therefore be secured with either a lockable window latch or burglar bars to prevent access.
Don’t forget the basement
Basements are another area of the home where getting adequate ventilation can be a real challenge. That’s why many Americans will choose to leave their basement windows open to prevent the formation of molds and mildew. If your basement requires constant ventilation then you should consider installing a window screen or similar security feature that allows fresh air in, but keeps criminals out.
Keep valuable items away from windows and doors
Throughout this article we’ve emphasised the fact that many break-ins are crimes of opportunity. Burglars are looking for easy targets, and in most cases any type of deterrent or complexity will lead to them seeking out a softer target. That is unless, they really want to get in. Keeping valuable items out of sight and away from windows and doors is one of the easiest ways to remove the temptation from criminals and discourage them from targeting your home.
Window safety and security for children
Window safety and security isn’t just about keeping criminals out, but also about making sure your home is safe for you and your family. Windows pose a unique safety challenge for children and this section of the article looks at why this is, and what measures you can take to make your windows safer.
Keep clutter away from windows
Children of all ages are naturally curious, but when they start walking, this curiosity can have serious consequences. If your children are at this sensitive age, then it is a good idea to keep the areas around windows clear and remove anything the child can use to reach the window. This will greatly reduce the chances of your child climbing out of the window and possibly falling and injuring themselves.
Install child locks to windows
Sometimes the above mentioned tip isn’t possible and no matter what measures you take, your child will be able to reach the window. In these cases, it is a good idea to install child locks onto the windows to prevent children from opening them.
Keep chairs away from windows
Chairs are one of the easiest ways for children to reach windows. Not only do they provide a convenient platform to stand on, but they can often be easily moved even if they aren’t directly under the window. It is best to keep chairs as far away as possible to help prevent accidents.
Use a window latch to adjust the opening
Another great solution for children is to install a lockable window latch on any windows that may pose a safety hazard. MiniLatch from LockLatch is perfect for this, as it allows you to adjust the size of the window opening and lock it in place. This means you can still leave a window slightly ajar, while simultaneously making sure that your child can’t climb out.
Adjustable locks for windows and doors
In almost every section of this article we’ve spoken about adjustable window locks, and the reason for this is they directly solve many of the issues people across the United States face when it comes to window safety and security. So let’s dive a little deeper and find out more about these unique and highly effective devices.
LockLatch and MiniLatch come with a host of benefits, which make them the perfect solution for window safety and security. First and foremost is a lifetime guarantee, which just goes to show the confidence the inventors have in the quality and integrity of this product. Each LockLatch is made entirely from C-304 stainless steel, which lends the device unparalleled robustness and longevity. The unique design and easy installation process also means that these devices can be fitted to any type of window. Heavy wooden double sash windows? No problem. Sleek, modern aluminum windows? Just as easy. It is one of the few products on the market that is able to offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Let’s take a deeper look at some of these benefits.
Helps with ventilation
Because the LockLatch or MiniLatch allows you to naturally ventilate your home and this helps reduce the build-up of allergens and spores in your home. In small quantities these are usually harmless, but at higher concentrations they can cause severe allergic reactions or lead to the formation of mold colonies, respectively.
Keep your window open but secure
Opening multiple windows to allow currents of air to flow through your home is one of the most effective strategies for natural ventilation, and both LockLatch and MiniLatch allow you to do this without compromising on home security.
MiniLatch is particularly useful when it comes to child safety as the window opening can be set to about an inch and a half at its smallest setting. This means children won’t be able to fit through the space.
The final point we want to touch on is pet safety. Whether you are looking for a way to keep your pet indoors, or trying to find a secure way for them to come and go as they please there is a solution for you. MiniLatch is ideal for keeping small indoor cats from escaping out the window, while LockLatch and (the larger) PetLatch can be fitted to any door to let even large dogs in and out.
Get started on securing your windows with LockLatch today
LockLatch is the one window security solution that lets you start making your home safer today, regardless of the type of windows in your home. It’s the simplest and quickest way to start securing your windows. Try LockLatch today.