Your home’s weakest points are without a doubt the windows. We fail to realize that these key elements need a better approach when it comes to fortifying our homes against nature’s wrath. If you want to protect your home against intruders and the elements, you need to secure your windows properly.
Home security remains a complex subject, and there are many things you need to consider when fortifying your home. It seems that natural disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity, and even more, shortly after such events, the human factor comes into play.
As the first rule of home defense, you need to be able to control and secure your access points. You can imagine that any widow can become an entrance for every suspicious subject wandering onto your property. However, before worrying about the human factor, we have to think about Mother Nature’s fury. Hurricanes and tornadoes can breach your doors and windows and bring debris inside. Besides wrecking your entire household, those flying projectiles can easily penetrate through the human body.
During a hurricane or tornado, high winds breaching through doors and windows are the number one cause of high damage or destruction. The winds are funneled through the openings, and their increasing power and pressure cause roofs to rip off homes and damage the entire structure.
Now that we understand how the weakness of an entry point can cause total destruction, it’s time to identify, control and fortify these points. While doors and garages are usually the first points to get our attention, it seems that windows never get enough care. While most people will install all sorts of alarms to secure their windows, few people spend the time to physically strengthen or armor up their windows. There are many options to secure your windows, and you need to pick the right one for you.
Options to secure your windows
This option is one of the easiest and cheapest methods to protect your windows, and you’ve seen many houses on the news with doors and windows covered with plywood. The sheets of plywood can be easily cut to fit around the external frame of your window. All you need is an electric screwdriver and some screws, and you can secure them in place. The problem with using plywood is that most people wait until the last moment to acquire these materials. This practice causes a shortage in supplies and other construction materials every time a natural disaster is announced on the news.
Be smart about it and prepare in advance. Cut and fit your plywood long before an impending natural disaster and store them in a dry place. Use a permanent marker to identify the sheet for each window. Don’t forget about stockpiling screws.
Once you mount the plywood covers your home is protected from high winds and debris. They may also offer some sort of protection against looters and vandals, but not for long.
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Although plywood covers are cheap and easy to install, they require a good amount of resources and time to be installed and removed. Also, you cannot install them permanently, unless you want your house to look like it’s abandoned.
Metal security bars
If you want better protection for your windows, these metal security bars might be what you are looking for. To secure your windows, you have two choices: internal and external metal bars. These metal bars are made from steel or high-strength aluminum. Some look like prison bars while others are designed to augment the decorative style of your home.
External metal bars are mounted on the walls around the windows, and they have various mounting adaptors. These adaptors allow you to install them on any window frame design you may think of. To increase their efficiency, the mounting bolts are designed for a one-way installment, and you need a special tool to mount them. This mechanism prevents intruders from removing the bolts and take down the metal bars.
Internal metal bars have a similar design, but they are mounted behind the window on the inside walls of your home. The brackets are screwed into the walls around the interior window frame. Once they are mounted, the bars go into the recessed holes in the mounting bracket. They have a 360 degrees lock which can be unlocked with a security key. These metals bars can help you secure your windows, and you have the possibility to remove them by using the security key. It is especially useful to be able and remove them in case of fire or flooding when you’re trapped in.
If you go with external or internal metal bars to secure your windows, you should know that they offer little environmental protection. These metal bars can only stop large pieces of flying debris, but they are effective against intruders.
Related article: Quick Tips to Prep for Burglaries and Home Invasions
Tornado or Hurricane Screens
Some constructors recommend these security screens as being the best protection from both natural disaster and home intruders. They are a mesh screen made from steel or high-strength aluminum. As a unique feature, the security screens are woven in a tight 12-strands per inch pattern. This design improves the overall strength of the frame but also helps to stop small debris. The security screens are designed to be mounted on the frames around the windows.
Manufacturers claim that these security screens can withstand impacts from sledgehammers, prybars and even large pieces of wood driven by high-speed winds. These are recommended for long-term home defense solutions and offer good protection against looters.
These screens can help you secure your windows year-round against nature and intruders and are easy to operate. They do not require maintenance, and even though are the most expensive option, they are well worth the investment.
Window security film
The security film is another invention designed to secure your windows and offer protection against intruders. These are similar to the ones used to protect storefront windows and doors. The security film is attached to the window to prevent the glass from falling out of the frame once it gets shattered. For better protection, the film should be placed on both sides of the window.
It is preferred by many house owners because it’s practically invisible to the eye and it doesn’t change the aspect of their home. It is also a budget solution, and it’s the most cost-effective solution if you don’t have money to invest in home protection.
The security film may be a budget option, but you also how to consider its limitations. If you plan to stop an intruder, you won’t succeed. At best, you will slow him down, and hopefully, the alarm will scare him off or provide notice to the homeowner or neighbors. If you hit a window in the same spot for a number of times, the security film will eventually rip or tear open.
Since prepping your home takes time and money, you shouldn’t wait until the last moment to do it. Even more, think about making life harder for home invaders and combine some of the above methods to secure your windows. A determined looter will start to break through the plywood, but it will give up when he reaches the indoor metal bars. Think about how safe is your neighborhood and region and about how often it gets hit by natural disasters.
A good home security plan should be based on layered defense, and you shouldn’t leave things to chance. You need to secure your windows if you want to cover all entry points. Having multiple overlapping security layers is the best way to keep unwanted guests outside.