What locks do you use to secure your windows?

This is a discussion on What locks do you use to secure your windows? within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I plan to add hurricane film to my windows to help make them shatter resistant. However, because of this it drastically increases risk in a ...

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Thread: What locks do you use to secure your windows?

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    Member Array GatorGuy407's Avatar
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    What locks do you use to secure your windows?

    I plan to add hurricane film to my windows to help make them shatter resistant. However, because of this it drastically increases risk in a fire because the window can't be easily broken so I don't want to do anything drastic like screw my windows shut. The screw type window locks that home depot sell don't fit my runner because its too wide.

    What have people found to be a good extra layer to slow someone down trying to get in?

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    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    A 150 lbs of dog that doesn't like strangers.
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    Stick cut to fit.
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    What farsidefan1 wrote. PVC pipe works. It is inexpensive and easy to cut to size.
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    The locks that came on the windows when they were installed. The back of my house is extremely private and if someone wanted in they could take all day and no one would see them. In other words, if I'm not home there's nothing I can do to keep someone out
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    Senior Member Array cn262's Avatar
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    You can drill a small hole in the "stile" and use a double-headed nail to secure the window (where the top/bottom or side sashes meet) but still make it relatively fast and easy to open in an emergency. The piece of wood (or PVC) as mentioned before also works. Easy, effective, and inexpensive. My only concern with anything like this is how a family member might deal with it under stress (such as a fire at night). But, I did this at my first house and it worked great.

    I was looking at the 3M film to keep windows from breaking, and what I read is that this can also deaden the sound and make it easier and quieter for someone to push out the entire glass pane. Personally, I would rather hear someone break the glass. Either my dog or I will hear it, and to me that is an advantage.

    If you have a house alarm system there are also "flex switch" glass break detectors (different than the standard contact switches). I have these in my house and they work well. There was only a false alarm once. I had several bags of rock salt stacked too high in the basement. One night a bag fell and did make a glass breaking type sound. It was enough to set off the alarm and wake me up. It was easy enough to make sure that never happened again, so I am happy with these as well.

    The other thing to consider is just making your house a less attractive target. Keep it well lit. Keep bushes / hedges trimmed or away from windows. Don't leave things laying around that would make it easier to get to a second story window. Use cameras, etc. Personally, my hope is that someone with bad intentions looks at my house, compares it to the neighbor's houses, and either decides to go to another neighborhood or focus on another house.

    Note: See Overview - Deciding What to Do With Existing Windows | Efficient Window Coverings for diagram with names.
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    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    What locks do you use to secure your windows?
    Just what the builder put in.
    I also added an alarm system and 90 lbs of this!

    I sure hope she's done growing!
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    Do you know all those gun locks that come with all the guns you buy...................
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    For the horizontal sliding windows I just use a piece of wood. For the ones that slide vertically, this is what I did.

    Sliding Patio Door Lock

    6feb0a80-8b5f-4ff5-8435-9909fbbeb192_400.jpgwindow-frame-diagram-parts.gif

    I will try to explain because I did not use them as they were designed. The posts are supposed to go into a hole that you drill into sliding patio doors. Instead, I did not drill any holes into the sliding window. I mounted a pair of these locks into the side jambs, about 1-2" above the sliding window pane. I used long screws (about 3" I think) to secure them. The posts you see in the top picture prevent the window from sliding all the way open, when the thumbturn is turned all the way clockwise. When you turn the thumbturns all the way counterclockwise, the posts retract and don't block the sliding window frame anymore and you can open the window all the way to the top.

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    Member Array GatorGuy407's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cn262 View Post
    You can drill a small hole in the "stile" and use a double-headed nail to secure the window (where the top/bottom or side sashes meet) but still make it relatively fast and easy to open in an emergency. The piece of wood (or PVC) as mentioned before also works. Easy, effective, and inexpensive. My only concern with anything like this is how a family member might deal with it under stress (such as a fire at night). But, I did this at my first house and it worked great.

    I was looking at the 3M film to keep windows from breaking, and what I read is that this can also deaden the sound and make it easier and quieter for someone to push out the entire glass pane. Personally, I would rather hear someone break the glass. Either my dog or I will hear it, and to me that is an advantage.

    If you have a house alarm system there are also "flex switch" glass break detectors (different than the standard contact switches). I have these in my house and they work well. There was only a false alarm once. I had several bags of rock salt stacked too high in the basement. One night a bag fell and did make a glass breaking type sound. It was enough to set off the alarm and wake me up. It was easy enough to make sure that never happened again, so I am happy with these as well.

    The other thing to consider is just making your house a less attractive target. Keep it well lit. Keep bushes / hedges trimmed or away from windows. Don't leave things laying around that would make it easier to get to a second story window. Use cameras, etc. Personally, my hope is that someone with bad intentions looks at my house, compares it to the neighbor's houses, and either decides to go to another neighborhood or focus on another house.

    Note: See Overview - Deciding What to Do With Existing Windows | Efficient Window Coverings for diagram with names.
    Thanks for the great information about the window film. I hadn't thought about it reducing the sound of someone breaking the window. I will probably still go with the window film because I like the idea of keeping someone out as long as possible. You never know, someone might give up if they give a whack to a window and their tool just bounces off. I will probably get a vibration sensor so as soon as someone hits the window, film or not, it'll give me a warning of someone trying to get in. I'll just need to make sure it is sensitive enough to pick up on vibrations with the film.

    A lot of good information. Thanks.

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    Member Array GatorGuy407's Avatar
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    For people that have used the PVC pipe method did you attach it to the window in any way? Looking at my window, I don't see any method that would make me feel confident that the pipe wouldn't move from someone just jamming on the window from the outside if I have it just placed within the window casing. It just seems there would be a number of different ways it could move. Obviously if I cut it really tight then it would have a better chance of staying but it would also be difficult to remove if needed to do it quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Str8upguy View Post
    The locks that came on the windows when they were installed. The back of my house is extremely private and if someone wanted in they could take all day and no one would see them. In other words, if I'm not home there's nothing I can do to keep someone out
    I'm in this camp as well. Can't see my home from the road (sits about 150 yards back). Neighbors out of sight as well and several hundred yards away. Someone could drive through my front door and no one would know. I often just leave the front door unlocked while I'm gone. If I come home and my place has been cleaned out, I can choose the window to break out instead of worrying about someone breaking out a huge window or busting the door in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GatorGuy407 View Post
    For people that have used the PVC pipe method did you attach it to the window in any way? Looking at my window, I don't see any method that would make me feel confident that the pipe wouldn't move from someone just jamming on the window from the outside if I have it just placed within the window casing. It just seems there would be a number of different ways it could move. Obviously if I cut it really tight then it would have a better chance of staying but it would also be difficult to remove if needed to do it quickly.
    I do have one window that I installed a panel with a cat door in. That leaves the window with no way to lock. I use a short 2x2 with 2 screws into the window frame to keep it secured. Same could be done with a PVC pipe I'd think.

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    Cheap hardware store replacement broom stick cut to length with parachute cord... When the sliding glass door is shut the stick lays in the track behind the door preventing it from sliding, the para cord is attached to the back of the door keeping my lazy butt from bending over... just keeps honest folks honest.. if they want in they will get in.


    Not something for everyday .. but while Stationed at Ft Campbell KY and preparing to deploy for 6-12 months I asked the local PD to send someone out to evaluate house security.
    Already had deadbolts and security lights.. the LEO advised a few more motion lights and to use 3" wood screwed right through the windows were they overlap.

    Gotta love a small town.. while deployed the PD sent me a Xmas card and the day after I got home the LEO stopped out with a copy of the log showing that twice a day a LEO walked around my the outside of my house checking windows and doors.. neighbors verified seeing them do it all Winter long.
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