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Five Tips to Securing Windows and Doors to Prevent Burglaries

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Burglaries occur every 13 seconds across the United States, according to the FBI,. To prevent a break-in from happening to you make sure you first of all lock your doors and windows. Second, realize that there are two types of break-ins: glass breaks and lock/pick break-ins.

The 2016 U.S. Houzz Smart Home Trends Survey of nearly 1,000 homeowners, conducted in collaboration with the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, found that when it comes to automation, protecting the home against intruders (67 percent) and monitoring/controlling the safety of the home when they are away (52 percent) are the primary concerns.

Locking Terminology 101

Before we get to how to keep your home safe let’s go over some terminology when it comes to locking points.

  • Multi-point lock: Quite simply this is a mechanism that has more than one locking point that is spread over the length of the door. When choosing among these locks, be sure to evaluate the strength and construction of the lock.
  • Mortice lock: The locking action is achieved by a bolt that shoots out of the lock and into the striker plate when the key is turned.
  • Deadbolt: On a multi-point lock, the deadbolt is located at the center of the lock for increased security.

Preventing a Break-In

Below are some of the measures that can be taken to guard against both types of break-ins, as well as additional ideas to keep your doors and windows secure.

  1. Protect your Patio Door

There are many “holes” in the home into which an intruder can enter. One of these is the patio door. These are available in several types including the sliding patio door (SPD) and the high-end hinged patio door (HPD).

Dan Gray, sales and marketing director for Roto Frank America, points out that sliding patio doors, primarily manufactured of vinyl, typically are sold with only a single-point mortice lock. However, there are companies like his that offer a product that is available in single-, dual-, and quadruple-point mortice lock versions. Obviously, more locks translate to better security.
Yet inefficiencies still remain, including the range of movement in the panel that makes the door susceptible to manipulation and forced entry. The need for greater security drove the evolution of the multi-point locks for sliding doors that exist today, so be sure to check your patio door to make sure it’s not susceptible to easy entry.

Hinged Patio Door Options
If you are looking for extra security, a hinged patio door may be the answer. These are higher–grade, premium doors. Many of these are manufactured in wood, and are more likely to be sold with multi-point hardware and include top and bottom shoot bolts, says Gray.

“HPDs typically are installed in high-end new homes or remodeling projects,” adds Gray. “Some of the hardware gears are stainless steel to offer superior corrosion performance (old, corroded locks offer easy targets for burglars), but of course the stainless steel comes with a much higher price tag.”
Whether to add a secondary locking point sometimes boils down to common sense, according to Jeff Shilakis, president of hardware supplier Hoppe North America.
“If he [a burglar] has to defeat one point it’s easier. With two points he will have to make more noise. They want to get in and out,” he says.

2. Securing Additional Entry Points

Summer is the season when most break ins occur, so make sure when you open those windows you lock them at night for added security, and during the day if you are leaving the house.

While the patio door is often vulnerable, as discussed earlier, the front door is sometimes more secure as it often has two locking points and/or multi-point locks. As you checked your patio door for security monitor your front door as well and make any necessary upgrades.

  1. Don’t Invite Intruders

A window or door screen definitely is not a safety device and won’t do much to deter a burglar wanting to enter your home. However, you don’t want to invite an intruder either with a broken window or door screen. Replace a broken screen immediately, and of course that goes for a damaged window as well. can be a valuable tool to find a company to help with that repair. If you want some added protection look into a variety of security screen options available on the market.

Another common sense factor to always remember is to use window treatments to hide valuables inside the home. Don’t leave your windows with a view for would be invaders to see what’s inside.

  1. Invest in a Security System

A security system is a great way for you to know when a window or door in your home has been compromised. Sensors will beep if a door or window has been opened and most systems even tell the zone that has been opened so you know if it’s a door or window, etc. Some systems have glass break sensors as well.

  1. Consider Security Film

When preventing would be intruders, remember the more work it is for them to get in, the less likely it is they will bother with your home. Security window film is another way to delay would be intruders. Security film adheres to the glass and even if the glass has been damaged the film prevents it from shattering out of the panel. Depending on the film and glass thickness, this type of film can withstand the force of a simple solid object like a rock (, or a strong storm —as well as deterring a burglar, so you will get extra benefits from installing film. Also ask your film installer about energy benefits of the film, as another added bonus to making this investment.

Taking the above tips into account can help deter a burglar from trying to enter through your windows or doors. If you have suffered a break in and are in need of replacement glass, use to find a shop in your area to handle the replacement. They will be happy to discuss options for making your entrances more secure too.

Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases.



Tara Taffera

Tara Taffera was the editorial director for USGlass magazine, AGRR Magazine , and Window Film Magazine. Her skills and more than 20 years of experience have helped her earn numerous journalism awards, including coveted Jesse Neal Awards. Tara enjoys spending time with her family and staying active with her husband by competing in races together, including triathlons. She also spends time volunteering in her community and with her church. Find out more about Tara on Linkedin.

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One Response

  1. It’s awesome that this article talked about how security systems have the ability to recognize the particular zone that has been opened, like windows or doors. We just moved into our new home, and we are planning to install smart home locks to ensure the safety of my family. Knowing about this special feature helped me understand more about what other things a security system can do. Thanks!

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