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Home Window Security: Plug The "Holes" In Your Defense

Stop intruders from breaking in by enhancing your home window security. Follow these instructions and learn to keep your family safe from the “riffraff”.

Home Window Security - Wooden burglar barsMy wife and I have attractive wooden bars like these on our cottage windows

Your windows are probably the MOST vulnerable point in your overall home security setup.

The first and (to me) most obvious way to "plug" this hole in your security is to install burglar bars or burglar guards on all your windows. These are a common sight in South Africa and certainly aren't considered unusual.

I do realise that some of you may be hesitant to install "those ugly bars" on your windows!

You may feel that your beautiful home could end up looking like a prison.

There are, however, some very attractive home window security options available that need not damage the look of your home at all. For instance, my wife and I have lovely wooden burglar bars on the windows of our small cottage.

"Wood? That's not going to keep a burglar out!"

Aha, but you see, these clever bars have a wooden outside shell with strong steel bars in the centre. You get the beautiful look of wood (they do look good!) with the safety of the metal underneath. Very clever.

Painted Burglar Bars

Home Window Security - Attractive white burglar barsLovely White Burglar Bars Are A Good Choice

The other option you could go for to "beautify" your home window security setup would be to choose bars that are painted to match your home's style.

Perhaps they could be white to match the colour of your home's walls. They could also match your curtains.

There really are many ways to have the bars "blend in" nicely while still protecting you and your family from criminals.

Home Window Security For Upstairs

If you live in a double storey home, you have to ensure that you don't fall prey to the mistake that I see too often.

Having NO burglar bars on the upper windows of your home.

Many people feel that it's unlikely that a burglar could get up there, so "What's the point?".

Bad idea.

I have read news reports of women who were home alone and left their second floor bedroom window open on a warm night "for a nice breeze"...

...only to wake up to a masked rapist standing over their bed with a large knife.

It's a big risk to take and an unnecessary one, in my opinion.

So, if you have upstairs windows, seriously consider putting bars on them too. The same goes for sliding doors on your balcony. Put in a security gate. That way, you can leave the sliding door open "for the breeze", and still sleep peacefully knowing that you're protected from harm.

Curtains: Open Or Closed At Night?

Another big mistake that many people unknowingly make is to leave their curtains or blinds open at night. It may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. Here's why:

When you turn the lights on in the evening and it's dark outside, the interior of your home is lit up like a Christmas tree for all to see.

Many criminals have confessed (after they were caught by police) that they used to watch their victims at night by standing outside their windows.

This "stalking and watching" phase sometimes goes on for weeks or even months until the criminal has built up the courage to break in and kill or rape the people inside the home.

Dennis Rader, the serial killer also known as "BTK" (Bind, Torture and Kill), told police after he was finally caught for the murder of 10 people, that he watched the Otero family in this way. He eventually murdered the father, mother, young son (9) and daughter (11) in their home one morning.


...CLOSE YOUR CURTAINS AT NIGHT! Don't encourage criminals to watch your every move by giving them a clear view into your private life.

Stronger Window Glass

I haven't personally experimented with the various polycarbonates or laminated glass windows that are available for home window security. I believe that if you're willing to pay for it (often 2 or 3 times the price of normal glass), you can have this very strong "glass" installed.

It's supposed to be able to withstand several full force blows from a sledgehammer before breaking!

If you are REALLY against putting metal burglar bars on all your windows, this MAY be an option for you. I don't really recommend it, as don't believe any laminated glass can ever be as strong and robust as steel bars can be. You may feel differently though.

Doors With Glass Panels

Many homes have gorgeous front doors with several glass panels built into the wood. I know these are quite popular. If your goal is to have good home security...

...STAY away from these kinds of doors!

It's incredibly easy for a criminal to simply break one of the small glass panels and then in to unlock your door from the inside.

This is made even easier if you are in the habit of leaving your front door key in the keyhole on the inside of the door once you've locked it. The bad guy just reaches in, grabs the key and unlocks the door for himself.

Leaving Valuables Near Open Windows

If you regularly leave your home's windows cracked slightly open on hot days (I know I do), be sure not to leave any valuable items within reach. It's very easy for a thief to reach inside and grab the iPad, wallet or handbag and be on his way.

Burglar guards won't stop them.

It may seem paranoid to even have to think about this, but I've discovered that it only takes a short while before these sorts of precautions become a habit. After that it's effortless to do them every day.

If it really is TOO MUCH hassle for you to bother...

...don't send me hate email when your new laptop or cell phone gets stolen off your bedside table through the open window! I'll delete your email! :-)

Small Bathroom Or Garage Windows

It does no good to pay attention to the home window security of some areas of your house and then forget about or ignore others. Some people miss the tiny bathroom window near the back of the house when it comes time to fit the rest of the windows with burglar guards.

Car garages also often have small windows that provide a convenient entry point for criminals and home invasion gangs.

Don't think that just because the window is too small for an adult male to fit through, that it's not a vulnerable point.

South African criminals have been known to bring young children along with them when they break into houses. They help the small child to climb through the unsecured window and then the child lets the rest of the gang in through the front door!

Very sneaky!

Your Home Window Security Is Your Responsibility

Decide now that you'll sort out your vulnerable windows before a criminal decides to take advantage of them! My concern is not just for the average burglar who may break in when you're not at home. That's what homeowner's insurance was invented for.

A far more worrying possibility is a home invasion team that could use that single, unsecured window that you didn't think about to gain entry into your home when you least expect it.

If you've read my Home Invasions page or even just your local newspaper, you'll know the frightening consequences of being attacked by home invaders. I don’t want that to happen to you! Make the right decisions when it comes to the security of yourself and your family.

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