Double hung windows usually have a top half that can be lowered and a bottom half that can be raised.
- If the window is not to be used as a fire exit, it can be secured it by nailing or screwing it permanently closed
- If the window must be opened or is needed for a fire exit, drill a downward angled hole to house a removable pin or heavy nail to screw the two panes together. A second hole 2" above the first will let the window be opened for ventilation while remaining secure.
- A keyed latch may be installed in place of an unkeyed one
- Grillwork or bars may be installed if the window is not to be used as a fire exit
Casement and awning windows are opened by hinges mounted at the top, side, or bottom. These windows can be easily pried open by breaking the flimsy latch.
- Slide bolts installed with heavy-duty screws can provide extra security while allowing the window to be opened when required
- An "L" shaped bracket screwed to the lower part of the window with a removable steel pin inserted into the sill will prevent the window from being pried open
- The crank handle can be removed or grill work can be installed if the window is not to be used as a fire exit
The young persons responsible for most residential break and enters need very little space through which to enter a home or business, making basement windows particularly vulnerable to forced entry.
Improving the window catch alone is usually not sufficient because:
- The hinges are fastened with short screws
- The frame is often not anchored into the foundation wall
- The glass is single pane and is easily broken
Therefore, metal window bars and grills fastened to foundation walls are the only truly effective means of properly securing basement windows.
There are many styles of window bars and different methods of installation. Some use non-removable screws, some have pins, and some have padlocks. Make sure at least one set of window bars is installed in such a way that they can be removed from the inside as a fire exit. Providing there is no danger, all other windows can have the bars installed permanently.