More than a third of burglars will enter your property through a window. Vulnerability depends on three main factors:

  • The accessibility of the window
  • The visibility of the window to neighbours or passers-by
  • The quality of the fabrication, strength and installation of the window

You can reduce their attraction as an entry point for burglars by taking some simple steps.

The accessibility of the window

Remember a thief can generally get through any gap that is slightly larger than a human head – so don’t be complacent about security because of the window size. Windows on the ground floor are more vulnerable than those on the upper floor levels. However upper windows that can easily be reached with a climbing aid, via down-pipes or from an adjoining roof are equally attractive to the burglar. Some of these windows can be protected with decorative metal grilles, but this shouldn’t form an obstruction in the event of an emergency evacuation. Ideally they should be retractable or removable as required. Window accessibility and security can also be improved by fitting additional locks, limiters or stronger glazing. 

The visibility of the window to neighbours and passers-by

Windows at the rear and side of premises are more susceptible to criminal attack than those which are clearly visible to others. Make full use of external lighting to illuminate the external approaches to these windows during darkness. Visible obstruction can also be caused by overgrown trees or hedging. Overgrown branches or hedging that restrict the line of sight by casual observers should be pruned.

The quality of the fabrication, strength and installation of the window

Not all windows are the same. Good design features, quality fabrication and installation can provide a level of security far beyond the capabilities of the average burglar. 

There are many different windows on the market today and all will have some security features. The quality of the products, however, can vary considerably. The best ones can include multi-point locking, reinforced frames, external security beading and laminated glazing. What you are buying in security terms should be windows of sufficient strength and quality to stop or deter the common methods used by burglars to break and enter through them. The extra time and investment you make in purchasing quality windows will pay real dividends when it comes to securing your home or business.

External beading versus internal beading

Many modern double glazed windows are fitted with external beading with no security features. This beading can easily be pried away and the glass panel lifted out. This is not possible with windows that are internally beaded - they are far more secure. 

Window Locks and Limiters

You can still improve your window security on older windows; however, it is always advisable to seek professional assistance before adding security locks or special glazing to existing windows to ensure any security alteration or additions will not weaken the window frame or structure. It is also advisable to talk to the fabricator or installer beforehand to ensure any warranty you may have is not compromised. Home security and DIY shops sell inexpensive, key operated locks to fit most kinds of windows. You may need more than one window lock, depending on the size of the opening you need to secure. More vulnerable windows can also be fitted with “limiters” to restrict the size on the opening. 

Don’t forget it is always a good idea to seek professional advice when considering making any changes to your home to improve security.