What Security Features Should You Look for in Windows?

What Security Features Should You Look for in Windows?

When most homeowners think about ways to beef up their security around their homes, they typically think of extra locks on the doors, alarm systems, and monitoring systems. However, there's one area that tends to be overlooked but is just as important: window security! There are 2.5 million break ins reported in the U.S. every year, and windows that aren't secured make your home an easier target. Window security not only protects you, your family, and your home from break-ins, but secure windows can also help protect you from the elements, too.

If you're wondering what you need to do to boost your window security, keep reading. Below, we'll go over what you should look for in your home window security features.

What Window Security Features Should I Look For?

The first thing you should do is inspect all of your home's current windows. Make sure there's no broken glass, damaged window frames, or missing or broken window security locks. If you find that any of your windows aren't in top-notch condition, you should invest in new windows. Installing new windows that are more secure is a great way to protect yourself and to give you peace of mind. The following features are things that you should look for in window security:

1. Window Security Glass

The glass that your windows are made of makes a huge difference in security. Shatterproof and reinforced glass help to prevent break-ins and reinforce your windows from extreme elements like hail. The best kinds of security glass are:

  • Tempered glass - Tempered glass is about five times stronger than regular glass and is created by heating glass extremely high and then rapidly cooling it. When it breaks, it doesn't shatter, but cracks into small oval pieces that aren't sharp.
  • Laminate glass - Laminate glass is made from two panes of glass fused together with durable plastic. It's impact-resistant, which can be helpful in areas with hurricanes, earthquakes, and other extreme weather events. It's also great at blocking out sounds.
  • Bulletproof glass -"Bulletproof glass is the strongest of the reinforced glass options with it being both bulletproof and impact-resistant. However, when it does break, it shatters, making it more dangerous if you have kids and pets in your home.

Another type of window security glass is plexiglass. It's not considered reinforced glass, but it's just as strong. It has the same thickness of a standard window, but it's about 10 times as strong. When it breaks, it cracks and doesn't shatter. You can also tint plexiglass for added privacy.

2. Window Security Locks

Most forced entries occur when windows are left open or unlocked. Make sure that your windows have a window security lock installed along the window rail — "horizontal piece of the window sash along the window frame — and always lock your windows. There are a few different types of locks for windows:

  • Latch - A standard lock that's usually installed on the window rail of single- and double-hung windows. It connects the two sashes of the window together to prevent the sash that opens from moving.
  • Folding lock - Folding locks are used in casement window frames. When it's turned down, the window sash is locked, and when it's turned up, it's released.
  • Window pin lock - These are similar to chain locks on doors. One piece is attached to the sash and the other is attached to the frame. The parts are connected by a chain or cable.
  • Window wedge - Window wedges are put in the window frame to prevent the window from opening all the way, and the width can be adjusted.
  • Keyed locks - Keyed locks require a key to unlock them and are usually used on single- and double-hung windows and sliding windows.
  • Sliding window locks - Similar to window wedges, these locks are pins that can be moved along the track of the window to adjust how wide the window can be opened. Then, they are screwed into the window track.

3. Window Bars

Window bars, grates, or mesh are other options that you can install on the exterior of your home to prevent the glass from breaking. Make sure you check with your local code compliance office before installing any exterior barriers.

4. A Security System

Most security systems come with window sensors that will trigger the alarm if the window is broken or opened when the alarm is on and activated.

Window security is one of the best ways to protect your home and your family. If you need to replace your windows or are interested in making your windows more secure, contact our local experts at Expo Home Improvement today!