There are a number of different window security bar and window lock products on the market that can make your home much more difficult to break into. In most cases, that's enough to deter the common thief.
If your house is going to require a lot of work and noise to get into, the thief would rather head to another house much easier to enter.
Adding a window security bar is not expensive and its something the homeowner can easily install, sometimes with no tools. Here is a listing of some of the window security products available today.
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Window security bars are sold in several sizes designed to fit just about any window. The bars install on the inside of the window and are screwed into the window side jambs with long screws.
You need to make sure they are screwed into solid wood so that they cant easily be pushed out by someone trying to break in the window.
The window bars shown in the picture and the links have a locking pin and hinge on one side so someone inside the house can unlock them in case there is a fire and they need to escape through the window.
The bars are also useful in situations where you want to be sure small children cant accidentally climb out the window on higher floors. Check the links for more details.
There are also simple security bars for single hung wooden sashes. The bar shown in the picture can be used in many different sizes of sash.
The bar attaches to the top and swings down to prevent the lower sash from being lifted up. When you want to use the sash normally, you just push the bar out of the way and clip it up at the top of the sash.
Again, this device is also great is you are worried about small children climbing through the opening. Only a tall adult will be able to reach high enough to remove the bar.
An aluminum sash is more likely to be find in a townhouse, condominium or high rise apartment. Most of the sashes have a side sliding vent style of window where there are aluminum tracks.
The small clamp shown in the picture can be attached to the sash track so that the vent cant slide open while you are away. There are a number of different types for these locks, some with tamper proof screws.
The tamper proof screws are useful for children's rooms where you want to make sure the vent cant be opened more than say 6". This makes the lock device useful for safety purposes also.
There are also automatic spring loaded locks that can be useful for wooden sashes. These locks are spring loaded bars which pop out after the window slides past them.
That way the sash cannot be opened further than the lock location after being closed. Unless you push the bar back in and slide the window manually past the lock.
These are useful in situations where you do not want to have to constantly remember to set locking bars in the sashes after you close them.
With these locking bars, the lock comes on automatically as soon as you close the panel.
Just like there are locking pins for patio doors, there are locking pins for windows as well. The pin shown in the picture is designed to be slid into a hole that is drilled through both sashes of a single hung wooden sash.
The pin is pushed in, locking the 2 sashes together. This particular model has a removable key which once pulled out, leaves the pin in the sashes with no way to remove it.
This has the advantage that the window cant be forced open from the inside or the outside. Of course, you really have to be careful you do not lose that key !
No security device is perfect and a determined thief can smash his way in if all else fails. Unless we choose to live in a fortress.
But these devices can make a thieves life difficult enough that he eventually gives up and moves on the next house. As mentioned, some of these devices also help with the security of your children inside the house.
You should check with your local fire department and building department to see if there are any local bylaws governing the installation of security bars.
Some bylaws require that people inside the house must have an easy way of getting out in case of a fire. They may not allow the installation of bars that require keys.