Simple Security for Single Hung Windows


As discussed in other posts, your security goal is to “five minute proof” your possessions. Often, people mistakenly assume that the goal is to make it impossible for someone to get into your home.

In my experience, I have learned two general truths about burglary:

1) You cannot make it physically impossible for someone to break into your home; and

2) Virtually every ‘successful’ burglary can be prevented (I’m calling a burglary a ‘success’ from the burglar’s point of view… namely that they got enough of your valuables to justify the effort of getting in).

In order for you to keep burglars out of your home, you need to give them a good reason why they should just not bother trying. One of the best ways to help do this is to ensure that your alarm is tripped while the burglar is still standing outside your home.

In the case of single hung windows such as those in the photo above, a great (and cheap) way to help slow a crook is to install a wooden block in the track above the window that slides up. A piece of an old hockey stick or other small block of wood works best and can even be painted to match the window frame.

The block should be installed so that you can open the window no more than 3 or 4 inches. If the crook is standing outside your home and pries open the window, he will open the window just enough to set off the alarm but not enough to climb through. This way, the alarm is sounding, Provident is on the way and the crook is still standing outside trying to decide whether or not it’s worth it to try another route.

The block of wood trick can also be used on sliding doors (provided that the slide track is on the inside).

The mistake that most people make when doing something like this is to use a block that does not allow the door to move at all until the stick is broken (and then you are no further ahead because the first alarm will trip as the burglar is actually getting into your house).  It is very important that you allow for at least a few inches of space so that the alarm will trip before the burglar gains entry.  The value of your alarm monitoring increases exponentially when you can detect the crook while he’s still outside (provided you have immediate response)

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