Do you love the simplicity of sliding windows and doors but worry about how to secure sliding windows against thieves? Let’s look at some proven ways to make your windows burglar-proof.
Window shopping is a popular activity among burglars as they stealthily observe your house, looking for vulnerable points to exploit when the time is just right.
All puns aside, your windows provide potential burglars with a tempting glimpse of your home and the valuables inside. At the same time, they are also an easy target for prospective intruders as most homeowners focus on securing their doors but often forget to secure their windows.
According to the data from the FBI, a break-in happens every 26 seconds in the U.S. Another statistic shows that nearly 23% of burglars enter homes through an unlocked or open window. So, as you can see, window security is not a matter to be taken lightly.
Sliding windows or sliders are an eye-catching feature in any home or structure as they offer an enchanting, unobstructed view of the outdoors and let in loads of natural light and air.
However, on the flip side, they also provide outsiders with a clear view into your home and a rather convenient window of opportunity to get inside.
Irrespective of whether you have timber, aluminum, or PVC sliding windows, you must secure them against burglars. Join me as I teach you how to secure sliding windows based on my experience as a home security expert and a homeowner.
Discover the Perks of Having Sliding Windows
Before we dive deep into the various ways to secure sliding windows, let us take a look at what makes them so popular among homeowners and designers alike.
Design and Functionality
Sliding windows are a great feature in any structure, whether residential or commercial, as they are sleek, modern, and minimalistic in design.
These windows are also easy to operate and let plenty of fresh air and sunlight into your office, shop, or residential space.
Since sliding windows have a simple mechanism (they slide along the upper and lower tracks in the window frame), they often last longer and are easy to maintain.
Also easy to construct and install, these windows are a cost-effective and energy-efficient option for your home.
Sliding windows are often used in eco-friendly spaces as they can be fastened more tightly and prevent air filtration, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer during winters. I should know; my energy bill saw a sharp drop after we got sliding windows at our place.
You can save even more if your sliding windows have insulated glass panels that provide higher protection and greater temperature control.
How do Sliding Windows Work and Their Types
After exploring the advantages of installing sliding windows in your home, let’s see how they work and identify the weak points that potential burglars try to exploit.
Modern sliding windows can open both horizontally and vertically. A gliding window system comprises two or more sashes that roll or glide along pre-installed tracks in the lower and upper base of the window frames:
- Standard models comprise two sashes; one sash is fixed in the frame, while the other sash is movable and rolls forward or backward to close or open the window as required.
- Versions with more than two sashes have a fixed one in the middle. For instance, you can have a wide sliding window with three sashes; the one in the middle is fixed, with two movable panes on either side. You can also have two fixed sashes in the middle with one movable sash on either side.
- When figuring out how to secure a sliding window, you need to keep factors, like the opening direction and the no. of fixed and movable sashes, in mind. For example, learning how to secure vertical sliding windows is very different from figuring out how to protect horizontal ones.
While sliding windows offer enchanting views and are great for ventilation, they can also be challenging to clean as the sliding track’s dust is difficult to reach. The sliding tracks also need to be lubricated periodically.
The key to figuring out how to secure a sliding window is to first learn how it works and then analyze its weak points. Continue reading to learn more. Continue reading to learn more.
Why Are Sliding Windows So Easy to Unlock/Break Open
After exploring the key features of sliding windows, let’s see what makes them so appealing to thieves and burglars seeking a way into your home.
- Sliding windows use a simple operating mechanism that makes them easy to use and equally easy to open.
- Most sliding windows have factory-installed latches that are weak and easy for burglars to undo or pry open.
- The easiest way to open a sliding window is to shatter the glass pane either in the movable or fixed slash.
- Intruders can also damage and lift the movable sash out of the frame, opening a passageway that allows them to enter and rob your home. This is why it is so critical for you to know how to secure vertical sliding doors.
As you can see, you need to know how to secure sliding windows to protect your home from intruders.
How to Secure Sliding Windows and Make Them Burglar-Proof
When we talk about how to secure sliding glass windows, it’s vital to devise a strategy keeping their build, structure, and functioning mechanism in mind.
As a homeowner with sliding windows, here is a list of the tips, tools, and methods that I found incredibly effective while securing my windows:
1. Use Key-Operated Locks
A simple latch won’t hamper a determined burglar from breaking into your house. The pre-installed factory versions are often flimsy and present no great obstacle to a determined burglar.
You need something a bit more sturdy to keep your sliding window sashes in place.
While there are specific window locks for different types of windows, my advice would be to opt for key-operated sliding locks to secure your sliding windows.
You can slide these locks along the tracks and use them to crank open the window for ventilation and keep it fixed or close it completely. I would recommend getting these key-operated locks if you’re trying to figure out how to secure vertical sliding windows.
Pro-Tip: Avoid buying plastic locks for sliding windows as they are of cheap quality and lack strength. Instead, go for aluminum or stainless steel metal locks that are strong, durable, and long-lasting.
2. Add Sash Locks
Sash locks that fasten two connected sashes are also a great security mechanism for sliding windows, especially ones that open vertically.
A sash lock typically has two parts, the catch and the lever, that are screwed into a pair of connecting sashes. Once the components are in place, you just need to fix the lever in the catch mechanism to secure your sliding window and unlatch it whenever you want to let in some fresh air.
A good-quality sash lock, when properly fastened, will be able to withstand the force applied by an intruder trying to slide open your windows. Sash locks should be a part of your strategy on how to secure vertical sliding windows.
Pro-Tip: You can opt for old-fashioned or antique brass sash locks that are sturdy and add charm to your window frames.
3. Drill Screws into the Tracks
Another effective strategy to secure sliding windows is a simple DIY that involves installing two screws into the upper track. The first nail is screwed vertically into the upper track to prevent anyone from lifting the sash out of the sliding track. The second nail is screwed in horizontally to stop the sash from sliding sideways.
Pro-Tip: If you screw in the horizontal nail only partially, you can use it to open the active sash to a certain extent and then fix it in place. Doing so enables you to crank open the window a bit for ventilation while preventing it from being open any further
4. Fix a DIY Dowel
If you’ve got a woodworking workshop in your garage or like to chip away in your free time, then may I suggest fashioning a DIY wooden dowel to keep your sliding windows and doors closed?
In simple terms, a dowel is a metal or wooden bar that fits between your window frame and the jamb to prevent the sliding sash from being pried open. While there are commercial versions available in the market and even online, a homemade one will serve the purpose just as well.
Irrespective of whether you’re searching for how to secure vertical sliding windows or horizontal ones, dowels work for both styles.
Pro-Tip: It’s an old-school trick that works like a charm to secure sliding glass doors, too
5. Use a Sliding Window Lock
A sliding window lock is installed on the track of a sliding window to keep it from opening. This type of lock uses a lever, thumbscrew, or even a key to lock the sliding sash in place. You can add this method to your list of strategies on how to secure sliding glass windows.
Pro-Tip: As these locks come in various designs and styles, I would suggest consulting your local handyman or hardware store owner to see which locks offer the best protection for your sliding windows.
6. Double-Glazed Windows
When looking for different strategies on how to secure a sliding window, it’s important not to forget about double-glazed frames.
Double glazed sliding windows are not just harder to shatter but also provide better insulation for your spaces during both summer and winter.
My suggestion would be to opt for unbreakable or tempered glass in your double-glazed sliding windows.
Pro-Tip: You can also apply a window security film on the inner surface of your double-glazed sliding windows for additional protection.
Expert Advice for Additional Security
Install a Home Security System
Did you know that residences without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized?
As a home security expert, I always recommend installing a home security system, including indoor and outdoor cameras.
Upgraded home security systems with smart technology now offer real-time monitoring and additional security for your home.
From incorporating a live feed that can be accessed from your phone to reporting and flagging any suspicious activities, a comprehensive security system can help secure every corner and window in your home.
You can also add window alarms to your sliding windows and sync them to your smart home security system.
Install Child Safety Latches
A common worry among many families with young children is the fear of children opening and falling out of a sliding window.
It’s a perfectly reasonable concern, and I am a firm advocate of using secure child locks to keep your sliding windows closed, especially if you have children under the age of 5 at home. You can find plenty of highly-rated child locks on Amazon.
In this article, we have explored the merits of having sliding windows in your home and studied different ways of how to secure sliding glass windows.
A sliding door or window adds to the beauty of a space, but at the same time, you do need to take proper precautions to secure them against any intruders who may intend to rob you or worse.
As they say, precaution is better than cure, and the principle applies to securing your home as well.
Do you have any more questions about how to secure sliding windows in your home? Just post them below, and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
I have been a security guy throughout my life. For the last 30 years, I have been making homes safer and hence, putting people at ease. Even on the other side of age, I get fascinated by how technology and simple hacks can make a whole lot of difference to the overall security of the house.