A third of burglars get in through a window. If you are replacing windows, take the opportunity to install new security windows that are certified of enhanced security.
Also, regularly check all window security hardware and frames for corrosion and windows that have “settled” and prevent the locking latches from functioning properly.
Aluminum Sliding Security Windows
Inspect your aluminum sliding windows to see if they have a metal anti-lift strip in the upper track to keep the panel from being lifted out when in the locked position. If not, install metal screws in the upper track to prevent the windows from being taken out. To prevent the windows from being forced to slide horizontally, install an anti-slide bolt or a fitted dowel.
You can also use a simple thumb-turn screw lock (the type that has a point at the end rather than the flat ones), drilling holes in the track to accommodate the screw for better security. Windows and doors left open for ventilation or for pets to access offer an invitation to would-be burglars.
Double-Hung Security Windows
It is possible for a burglar to pry open the latches on the older double-hung windows. This type of window can be secured by drilling a downward sloping hole into the top of the bottom window through and in to the bottom of the top window and inserting a pin or thick nail. Check the latch to make sure it is functioning and locking properly.
Vinyl Double-Paned Windows
Do not drill into the vinyl frame of the newer vinyl double-paned windows as they are filled with an inert gas. In the likelihood that the seal would be nicked when the frame is drilled, the gas would escape and the window would begin to fog.
Any drilling or modification to a “green window” would void the warranty. These windows are usually secure when the integrated locking hardware is used properly and are often equipped with “ventilation stops.” It should be stressed that, as with all openings, these windows should be closed completely and locked to ensure maximum security.
People who have older homes with crank windows should ensure that the frame has not decayed and that it is in good condition. The cranking device and latch should be inspected to make sure that it is functioning properly. The latching devices can be replaced with one that has a hole on the inside. Through this hole, a pin (not a lock) can be inserted to secure it in the closed position.
Louvered windows are especially vulnerable because the individual panes can easily be removed. We highly recommend replacing them for optimal security.
Consider leaving drapes, shades, and blinds partially open during the daytime to give the illusion that someone is home. If you will be away overnight, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to open the window covering during the day and close them at night.