Window locks do more than keep your windows closed. They help protect against burglars, and other intruders.
Windows require the right type of lock for the specific style of window to be more effective at securing your home.
What are Window Locks?
Window locks secure your windows, and prevent them from opening easily. Another function of window locks is that they help keep burglars away. Burglars typically try to get in through doors before trying windows.
There are exceptions, particularly when trying to enter a home at night, or when the intruder thinks that the homeowner and family members are not at home.
Types of Windows to Lock
Whether you have existing locks on your home, or plan to install new locks, you need the ideal lock on each window.
Sliding Window Locks
Sliding windows open when you slide the sash to one side or the other side. Some homeowners may wonder how to lock sliding windows since they do not open in the same manner as traditional-style windows.
Sliding window locks include locks that use a lever to open or a thumbscrew. Other options include sliding metal bolt locks and key-style locks.
Double Hung Window Locks
Double hung windows are the traditional style windows that have a sash that typically opens from the bottom. Some double hung windows have an option to open from the top of the window.
Traditional-style locks for these windows have not always proved as secure as some other locks. Today’s modern locks provide an increased sense of security and safety for homeowners.
Casement Window Locks
A Better Homes & Gardens article suggests that casement windows are one of the most-secure styles of windows available today. Casement windows open by using a hand crank.
The locks for casement windows help keep the window from opening, or limit the distance that the window opens. They range from chain locks, to key locks that open only with a key.
Types of Window Locks
Using the right type of lock on the windows in your home adds increased security, and helps provide safety for your family. Choose the type of window lock recommended for your specific style and size of windows.
If you have different styles of windows in different areas, you potentially need more than one type of window lock.
Sash Window Locks
Traditional sash window locks on double hung windows are the two-part window lock that most people recognize when thinking of window locks. A person simply turns a half-circle fastener into the catch, which locks the window.
Some sources consider these locks less secure than other types of locks.
Stash stops allow for opening the window only to a certain point, but not wide enough for someone to fit through the window. Homeowners simply remove it with a key or remove the stop in similar fashion as when removing a screw.
Use professionally manufactured sash window locks for added security when you have single or double-hung windows. Avoid the unsightly DIY fix of adding a screw or nail in the window.
Modern window styles often feature window latches, which are often used interchangeably with sash locks. Window latches today offer a stylish look, and help secure windows made of different materials.
Vinyl windows often feature a modern window latch, requiring the homeowner to turn the latch into the catch, locking the window.
Folding latch window locks are a popular option for casement or awning windows. Installed on the window frame, the homeowner simply folds the latch down to lock the window, and pulls the latch up to unlock the window.
Folding locks used on casement windows are similar to a hinged wedge lock. The lock mounts to the top window in a double hung window. Fold the latch in to unlock the window, or keep it out to allow the window to open only a few inches.
Window bars limit the ease of access, making a burglar have to work harder to find a way into your home. This often deters burglars that want quick access without being seen.
Window bars come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit a variety of windows. Make sure that you know the size that you need. The best option is choosing a professional with experience installing window bars.
There are disadvantages to this style of window protection. One is that they potentially reduce the value of your home. This is because window bars are sometimes perceived as giving the appearance that the neighborhood is not safe.
Keyed Window Locks
Keyed window locks provide outstanding window security. They work well with sliding windows, single-hung or double-hung windows.
They are installed on the side or bottom of the window and secured to the frame. Keyed locks require that you have a key to open the window.
The Importance of Securing Your Home Windows
Burglars easily gain access to unlocked windows if they discover that homeowners locked the doors. It takes seconds to enter through an unlocked window. Information about how to break into a window with older style locks is readily available across the web.
When you install modern locks, particularly those made for your specific type of window, you keep yourself, your family, and your belongings safe, secure, and less likely a target for burglars and other intruders.