The second favorite way for a burglar to enter is by climbing or breaking through your windows, especially those on the ground floor.
That’s why knowing how to protect your windows is essential to making your home safe.
Double-hung windows, often found on older homes, tend to be most vulnerable to break-ins. A double-hung window has two panes of glass, one above the other, and are often secured with a crescent latch.
The latch is generally not designed to be extremely secure; it just keeps the window closed. The problem is that the crescent latch is easily jimmied open by inserting a knife or other flat tool.
Another problem can occur when the windows swell due to hot weather because the crescent latch might not close properly. In older homes, it’s common to see that the latches have been painted over so many times that they can no longer effectively secure the window.
But there is a solution.
A simple way to secure double-hung windows is by the method known as “pinning.” To pin your double-hung windows, you’ll need a drill and some nails, rods, bolts or other pinning material.
- Working from the inside of your house, with your windows closed, drill a hole all the way through the upper right corner of the lower window frame, (the frame, not the glass) and about ½ to ⅔ of the way into the upper window frame. Drill this hole at a slightly downward angle, because you’re going to be putting your nail or bolt into this hole and you don’t want it to fall out if someone jiggles the window.
- Then drill another similar hole on the upper left corner of the window. Before you insert your nails or bolts into the holes, make sure they are long enough so you can remove them easily. You don’t want them too short, or they’ll go into the holes and you won’t be able to get them out. After the nails or bolts are inserted, your windows will now be pinned shut.
- Still want to be able to open your windows? No problem. Open your window about 6″, but no more. Drill a second set of holes into the upper frame, so you can also pin your windows open at this point. You’ll be able to ventilate the room, but a thief won’t be able to push your window open any further to gain entry.
Drilling and pinning is an inexpensive and effective way to secure double-hung windows. All ground floor windows should be pinned. The exception would be if there are small children in the home. In that case, one window should be designated for fire emergency exit, and not pinned.
There are basically two types of casement windows: