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Think windows: It’s not only your door that needs locking

You probably check whether your doors are locked before you turn in for the evening or leave the house. But what about the windows? With all the fuss around deadbolts, latches, digital access codes and fobs—all related to getting in and out of doors—we often completely forget to consider securing our windows.

Those in the “business” of breaking and entering know this all too well. Quite unsurprisingly then, a great deal of intrusion happens without the actual “breaking” part. Burglars simply enter a property through an already open window. Not only does this allow them to gain access to your home with relative ease, they can also do so quietly without having to break glass or pry open doors.

The solution is fairly simple. A decent locksmith should provide a variety of options for locking your windows. This is certainly a non-negotiable when leaving the house. But having your windows locked all the time may derail your visions of an airy haven and leave your home feeling like a stuffy high security prison instead.

You may have heard an interior designer say: “Windows are the eyes to a house”. And a bit like eyes, we like to keep them open when we can. This is especially true when the mercury beings to rise a bit. Many people also like to keep a window ajar for some ventilation while they sleep.

That is of course an entirely reasonable demand and there are a number of other ways to provide fresh air without sending an open invitation to lurking thieves. When installing windows, adding a lockable limiter will allow you to open the window just large enough to provide a breeze but not so large that a burglar could reach through to unlock it.

For easily accessible windows, like those on ground floors or next to level garage roofs, security experts generally recommend adding a metal grill as an additional deterrent. Other windows that might be at risk and could be grilled are those that can be accessed without a climbing aid, like a ladder. This would include the possibility of two people working together to gain access, where the first climbs and the other assists. Also look out for windows which could be reached by climbing up a waste pipe.

A final consideration needs to be given to getting through the windows from the inside in case of fire. Usually all lockable windows in the same home or apartment will use the same key. This is not considered a security risk. Since they lock from the inside they couldn’t be unlocked or unpicked from the outside anyway. To get out quickly, ensure a key is kept close to the window in a known location so you can easily unlock a window to get out in case of emergency. Also consider how to get out of grilled windows. Many grills can be removed from the inside for cleaning and in case of emergencies.

Just because windows aren’t conventionally used as entrances doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think of them as ways to gain access to our homes. So next time you need to lock up, remember to think windows as well as doors.


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