Burglar Proofing involves various ways and methods of enhancing the security of a home and protecting it against burglary. One such way is burglar-proofing doors and windows.
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There are various ways in which windows and doors can be made burglar proof which include;
- Install Window Locks: Most windows come with built-in locks, but these may not be sufficient to deter determined burglars. Consider adding additional window locks, such as window sash locks or key-operated locks, to reinforce the window’s security.
- Use Window Security Bars or Grilles: Security bars or grilles can be installed on the exterior or interior of windows. They are typically made of strong metal bars or grilles and are designed to prevent burglars from breaking the glass or gaining access to the window. It’s crucial to ensure these bars have a quick-release mechanism from the inside for emergency escape.
- Apply Window Security Film: Window security film is a transparent, adhesive film that is applied to the interior surface of the window glass. It holds the glass together even if it’s shattered, making it difficult for intruders to break through the window. Security film can also protect against flying debris during storms.
- Reinforce Window Glass: Consider using impact-resistant or reinforced glass for particularly vulnerable windows. Tempered or laminated glass is much harder to break than standard glass and provides an added layer of security.
- Install Window Alarms: Window alarms with magnetic contacts or vibration sensors can trigger an alert if the window is opened forcefully. These alarms are often integrated into home security systems and can sound an audible alarm or send a notification to your smartphone.
- Use Window Pin Locks: Pin locks are inexpensive and easy-to-install devices that prevent sliding windows from being lifted open. These locks can be effective in securing sliding windows, which are common targets for burglars.
- Maintain Visibility: Avoid obstructing windows with heavy landscaping or tall shrubs that provide hiding spots for potential intruders. Maintaining visibility from the street and neighboring properties can deter burglars who prefer to operate unnoticed.
- Consider Impact-Resistant Windows: Impact-resistant windows are designed to withstand strong impacts, such as those caused by hurricanes or attempted break-ins. While they are commonly used in hurricane-prone areas, they can also provide increased security.
- Add Window Reinforcement Bars: Window reinforcement bars or security bars can be installed on the interior of the window frame. These bars add an extra layer of protection, making it difficult for burglars to force the window open.
- Lock Garage and Basement Windows: Windows in the garage and basement are often overlooked, but they can be vulnerable entry points. Ensure these windows are equipped with locks and consider reinforcing them with additional security measures.
- Implement Smart Window Sensors: Smart home security systems often offer window sensors that can detect when a window is opened or broken. These sensors can send real-time alerts to your smartphone, allowing you to respond quickly to potential security threats.
- Window Break Sensors: These sensors are designed to detect the specific sound frequency of breaking glass. If a window is shattered, the sensor triggers an alarm, potentially scaring away intruders.
- Install Security Cameras: Placing security cameras near windows can provide additional surveillance and capture footage of any suspicious activity around the windows.
- Window Contacts: Magnetic window contacts are another type of sensor that can alert you when a window is opened, whether intentionally or accidentally. They are commonly used in conjunction with alarm systems.
Burglar-proofing doors is a critical step in enhancing home security. Here are some effective methods to burglar-proof doors;
Upgrade to Solid Core or Metal Doors: Standard hollow-core doors are more vulnerable to forced entry compared to solid core or metal doors. Solid core doors are made of a composite material that provides greater strength and resistance to break-ins. Metal doors, such as steel or aluminum, are even more robust and can withstand significant force.
Install High-Quality Deadbolt Locks: Deadbolt locks are an essential component of door security. Opt for Grade 1 or Grade 2 deadbolt locks, as they are more robust and durable than lower grades. The bolt of the deadbolt should extend at least one inch into the door frame (strike plate) when locked, providing better resistance to forced entry.
Reinforce the Door Frame: The door frame is often a weak point in door security, as it can easily splinter during a forced entry attempt. To strengthen the door frame, replace the standard short screws in the strike plate with longer screws (3 inches or more) that penetrate deep into the wall stud or doorjamb. This spreads the force of a kick or impact over a larger area, making it much more difficult to break through the frame.
Install a Door Viewer (Peephole): A door viewer, also known as a peephole, is a small optical device that allows you to see who is outside your door without opening it. It’s essential for verifying visitors before granting them access, especially when you’re unsure about their identity.
Add a Chain Lock or Security Latch: Chain locks or security latches provide a way to partially open the door for communication while keeping it securely locked. They are particularly useful for interacting with strangers or receiving deliveries.
Consider Smart Locks: Smart locks offer keyless entry options and can be remotely controlled via a smartphone app. Some models allow you to grant temporary access to others, monitor door usage, and receive notifications of door activity.
Protect Hinges: Ensure that the hinge pins on the door are not accessible from the outside. You can use setscrew hinge pins or hinge bolts to secure them. This prevents burglars from removing the door from its frame by dislodging the hinge pins.
Secure Sliding Doors: Sliding doors are a common target for burglars. To enhance security, use a strong dowel or metal bar in the track to prevent the door from being forced open. Additionally, consider installing a sliding door lock or placing a security bar in the closed position to reinforce security.
Install an Alarm System: Integrating your doors into a comprehensive home security system is a highly effective way to enhance security. Door/window sensors can trigger an alarm if someone attempts to open the door forcefully. These sensors can also be connected to a central monitoring service, which dispatches authorities in case of a break-in.
Keep Spare Keys Secure: Avoid hiding spare keys outside the property, as burglars are often familiar with common hiding spots. Instead, give spare keys to trusted neighbors or invest in a secure keyless entry system.
Outdoor Lighting: Adequate outdoor lighting, especially around the entry points, can deter burglars by reducing hiding spots and making their activities more visible. Consider installing motion-activated lights near doors and other vulnerable areas.
Use Security Bars or Brackets: Installing security bars or brackets on the door adds an extra layer of protection against forced entry. These can be installed on the interior or exterior of the door and are designed to prevent the door from being kicked or forced open.
Establish Good Habits: All burglar-proofing methods are only effective if you use them properly. Always remember to lock your doors when leaving the house or going to bed. Reinforcing doors is essential, but practicing good security habits is equally important
By implementing a combination of these burglar-proofing methods, you can significantly improve the security of your windows and doors and reduce the risk of unauthorized entry into your home. Remember to assess your specific security needs, address any vulnerabilities, and consider the layout and design of your property when choosing the most appropriate window security measures