Staying Safe With Open Windows: What You Need to Know

woman opening window

If you love opening your windows to allow fresh air into your home, or as an alternative to air conditioning, then unfortunately, you’re putting yourself in a safety predicament. You’ve likely heard the saying that when a door closes, a window opens; well, this is actually a blessing to burglars who rely on you leaving a window open in your home to strike. But opening windows doesn’t just make it easy for some people to get in; it also makes it easy for children and pets to get out.

If you do love to keep your windows open, here’s how to do so, all while remaining safe.

Add Window Stops
Visit your local home goods store and explain the types of windows you have to an employee. There is a window stop for every window style that will allow you to open your window only partially. This makes it difficult for burglars to climb in, or children to crawl out.

Open Higher Windows
If you have a multi-floor home, only open windows on the top floor. If you only have one floor or the top-level windows aren’t allowing in enough air, look for higher-up windows on the first level. Only open windows that children cannot reach and ones that are high enough to make it difficult for burglars to crawl in.

Don’t Leave Ladders Out
Do not leave ladders or any furniture outdoors that a burglar can use to crawl up into your high windows. Even a large outdoor chest or trampoline can be used, so store these out of sight if you’re going to open the windows.

Add Window Bars or Fences
While they may take away from the decor of your home’s exterior, bars can greatly increase window security. And luckily, there are stylish bars available that can complement your windows. Adding bars to your windows also tells burglars that you take protecting your home seriously.

You can also try building a small fence around your windows. In the end, these look like miniature balconies and can further prevent pets or children from falling through if they accidentally walk or crawl nearby.

Add Motion Sensors
If you’re going to keep your windows open, activating motion sensors on the exterior of your property near your windows is essential. It only takes a few moments for a burglar to get in and out of a window with your valuables. If you’re on the other side of the house, you will not hear him, but you can hear your motion sensor alarms if they go off.

Keep Valuables Out of Reach
Valuables should be kept far away from windows. Even if a burglar can only partially reach through a window, he may still manage to grab a piece of jewelry or stack of cash near it.

Add or Secure Screens
If you do not already have screens, add them. These naturally keep insects out, but they also put one more obstacle between a burglar and your home. If a burglar has to take the time to uninstall a screen or cut through it, that’s just extra time he spends outside of your window, where someone can spot him.

Never Open Windows Near Doors
Do not open windows near doorways that open into your house. A burglar can reach through the window, unlock your door and walk right in. Remember that, even if your window is several feet from your door, with the proper tools, a burglar can still access the lock.

Close Windows When You Go Out
Finally, if you love keeping your windows open, then you need to take extra precautions to make sure you close them when you go out. Check every window before leaving the house and use your home automation system to set up alarms to notify you if you’ve left a window open.

Security concerns shouldn’t stop you from allowing some fresh air into your home. But you do need to recognize that inherent vulnerability presented when you leave your windows open and address it.

Posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017