It is important to not overlook home window security, consider how strong and entry-proof the windows around your house actually are. Many people may think that if the window is double glazed, then it will be strong enough to withstand forced entry from a burglar. This isn’t always the case.
If you have a UPVC window, a sash window or a wooden window frame, then it is worth considering what security measures you have in place to avoid forced entry through this potentially vulnerable point on a house. Although it is nearly impossible to stop someone smashing a glass window with a hammer or a brick, there are methods that can be implemented to slow an intruder down and burglar proof windows as much as possible with the ultimate goal of denying them entry into the property.
Main types of window security solutions include ‘target hardening‘ methods, where the strength of the window glass and frame are increased to reduced the likelihood of a forced entry. Methods such as using laminated glass that is difficult to smash are a popular choice, many companies recommend using at least 6.4mm as a glass thickness standard. There are also options such as window film, which is not as effective as manufactured laminate glass, but is a cost-effective way of slowing a burglar down when trying to gain entry.
It is always worth investing in additional window locks for when the window is closed to prepare against forced entry. Products such as sash jammers or pivot bolts will strengthen the locking system and attach to the existing frame.
Other methods include fitting hardware such as window ventilation latches that allow air to be vented, while lowering the risk of someone sneaking in through the open window. These aren’t a fail-safe method and a potential burglar might still be able to slide their hand in and un-latch the window.
With the growth of technology in home security systems and the smart home, items such as window alarms which active the house alarm or an app if the window is opened or smashed are now available. It’s always worth considering placing a CCTV security camera aimed at vulnerable windows combined with an effective security light as a deterrent.
Although laminated glass is an effective method to slow a burglar down, it isn’t completely impenetrable and is significantly costly. Another effective method would be to install an external steel window grill across vulnerable entry points, they can act as a barrier to stop anyone passing through. It is important to consider if fitting window grills, if the window will be needed as an exit route in an emergency such as a fire. Another option with window grills is to install internal window grills, which look much more sightly and can be opened and closed with a key. Again, consider emergency exit routes.
If you are thinking about fitting new windows, then make sure that the items being fitted are accredited by PAS 24:2016. This is an enhanced performance requirement for doors and windows in the UK that has been approved by the Police and regulatory bodies.