Window Security & Home Safety: A Homeowner’s Guide
Although most people think of aesthetics, light, comfort, and views when it comes to windows, there’s much more to consider, especially when it comes to the safety of your home. Windows are usually the last thing people secure in their home, which is why the number of home intrusions that occur via unlocked or open windows is among the highest. It may seem obvious that the type of windows and doors that you choose to install impact safety, but let’s take a deeper into some of the specifics.
Which Type Of Windows Are the Most Secure?
Casement windows that use a crank to open the window outward are a window style that deters thieves. Locked, casement windows are more difficult to force open than double hung windows. Modern casements from leading manufacturers have two locking arms, making them even harder to force open. Casement windows are also highly energy efficient, especially when you choose models that feature low-e glass.
Sliding windows are the next safest option to casement windows based on their design and cam action locks which makes them immovable. These can be augmented with sliding bars that sit in the track for extra security.
Double hung windows are another secure option, especially new designs by quality manufacturers such as Andersen. Andersen’s products offer a host of safety features which can be added to the sash to make it more difficult to pop windows open from the outside.
Every operable window requires a locking system for security, but the design of the window will determine what type of lock that is best. Just a few examples used by leading manufactures include the following:
- Keyed locks, which provide the highest level of security in locking systems and are ideal for double or single hung windows
- Cam-action locks for windows feature latch-in-place designs that prevent sliding windows from opening on their sliding track
- Swivel-action locks are predominantly used for double hung windows
- Other lock types that are more hidden from view that can lock the window and keep the sash from being lifted for entry
Multiple panes are an important security and energy efficiency feature as well.
An example is triple-pane windows and extra strong window glass that can provide additional protection. These designs can rival or exceed energy efficiency of low-E glass.
Reinforced glazing, otherwise known as impact-resistant glass, laminated glass, or safety glazing can also add an additional layer of security from break-ins. This glass is made several layers thick and topped with a laminate that protects it from impact. Exterior hits will shatter it but the glass will remain intact., which makes entry through the window difficult, if not impossible.
Some manufactures like Andersen have developed glass window designs that combine low-E and impact resistant properties into an integrated glass window design. These designs are popular in New Jersey and other coastal regions where hurricanes are more prevalent.
Of course, the best lock cannot be a deterrent if it is not engaged, which can easily happen in any home. There are several options to monitor locks in windows and doors such as Andersen’s VeriLock Security Sensors that are embedded into the window’s design. This enables remote monitoring via security software accessed by smartphone to ensure windows are locked.
New Jersey can be prone to harsh winters, hot summers, and hurricane force winds. Today it’s possible to choose engineered windows that provide the features needed for these conditions and also deliver security, beauty, and functionality. Equally important is that these leading manufacturers have opened nearly limitless options in terms of design and aesthetics to provide New Jersey homeowners with the best of all possible windows to the world outside.
Ready for a window replacement? Contact the experts at Builders’ General. We’ve been helping custom builders, remodelers and homeowners like you get it done since ’31.