No one ever wants to imagine that their home could be burglarized. However, the sheer unpleasant nature of such thoughts can result in a lack of action that could be endangering you and your property. For example, far too many people choose to rely on the safety of their neighborhood or take their chances a break-in will never happen and fail to take some common-sense precautions around their home. Instead, it is essential to assess your home for common weak points that could easily allow intruders access.
Fortunately, there are a few different steps you can take to better ensure the safety of your home, beginning with recognizing its weak points and taking the necessary steps to secure these areas. When it comes to securing your home, one area that is often overlooked is the basement—especially its windows. In fact, basement windows can be one of the easiest points of entry into your home.
Benefits of Basement Windows
Of course, basement windows are a necessity in most homes, as basements themselves can be used for a variety of purposes. For some homeowners, a basement allows for extra storage space. For others, the basement may open the possibilities to add another living space, such as a family room or playroom.
Basement windows allow natural light to enter these areas, making them safer to navigate, more pleasant to live in, and ultimately saving on electricity necessary to provide light. As a result, window manufacturers have developed a number of window types and styles ideal for these unique spaces, allowing you to choose from a diverse selection depending on your basement and your needs. Regardless of which basement window style works best for your home, it is important to make sure that it offers the protection necessary for a window at ground level.
General Prevention Tips
When it comes to making your home intruder-proof, there are a few different factors to consider. Regardless of the specific measures you take to protect your basement windows, it is a good idea to take some general precautions. For example, consider adding the stickers most home security companies provide to your existing windows and doors. Break-ins are crimes of opportunity, and you can protect yourself by demonstrating that your home is not an easy opportunity.
Outdoor lighting can also play a key role in protecting your home. Motion-sensing lights at all access points to your home can help any home security camera systems in these areas better capture attempts to access your home. Both can also serve as an additional break-in deterrent.
Protecting Your Basement Windows
With their close proximity to the ground, basement windows can be an attractive point of access for potential intruders. In addition to the general tips listed above, you’ll want to consider these five essential basement window tips:
- Don’t neglect basement window visibility. There is a common misconception that shrubbery and other plant life obscuring your basement windows might deter a potential intruder. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Shrubbery allows for an intruder to stay hidden from the view of your security cameras, which can allow them more time to canvas your home and find a way inside. The more visible the better, especially with the added element of outside lighting.
- Choose windows with locks. There are many different forms of window locks on the market. Most new basement windows include a lock, and you can purchase window locks separately for existing windows. Some window lock options include pinlocks, which prevents the window from lifting, keyed locks that require a key to open, hinged and wedged locks that secure the window in place, and sash locks, which are ideal for double-hung windows.
- Choose reinforced glass. When it comes to the glass in your windows, you have plenty of options. If your basement windows do offer accessibility that may compromise your safety, it may make sense for you to choose a difficult to break material like plexiglass or invest in a window film. While some films make your windows more resilient against breaking in the first place, the main benefit occurs following a break, as the film holds the glass in place even after it has shattered. This means that a potential intruder will not have easy access to slide into your home.
- Consider adding physical or virtual window bars. For some homeowners, the option of installing window bars can be appealing. Window bars provide the added security that even if a window is smashed, it is impossible for an intruder to fit between the bars. However, some homeowners may not like the look, even though there are decorative options. If you are someone who would like the added security without physical bars, installing a simple sensor that provides a virtual version of window bars may work fine for you. If the window is disturbed, either by opening or breaking, an alert will sound, supplying a further deterrent for a would-be intruder.
- Update your windows. When it comes to updating the windows of a home, many homeowners simply skip over updating their basement windows. However, as we’ve demonstrated, your basement windows serve a critical role in protecting your home against burglary. As a result, you’ll want to make sure that your basement windows are up-to-date and provide this first line of protection. You’ll find that most new vinyl basement window models come equipped with tight, locking seals which can provide better protection. Vinyl is also virtually carefree and easier to maintain when it comes to issues such as mold, dust, and environmental impacts.
Protect Your Home
If you have a basement, it is crucial to consider the kind of attention it could draw from an outsider. Basement windows especially are vulnerable to a break-in, especially since they are often overlooked when it comes to making updates around the home. However, simply updating your out-of-date windows and frames can make all the difference, as new windows provide better locking mechanisms and are often easier to maintain. With the increased affordability of vinyl window options, you can install secure windows while leaving plenty of funds available for the additional security measures that can keep you and your family safe.