Food for thought: it's said that criminals tend to break and enter when it's easy
to do so. Usually that means they poke around until discovering a vulnerable dwelling with unlocked or poorly secured windows
. One simple home
improvement project should be on the To Do list of any DIY'er
-- the installation of window locks. That is, clever yet inexpensive locks in addition to the ones your windows already came with. Why? Many of those locks can be easily defeated by someone with the know-how.
Lots of older houses (mine included) have wooden-framed double-hung windows. Here's how to install window pins that will help prevent this type of window from being pried open:
Step 1) Get your tools ready! You will need a drill
with drill bits, a hammer, a tape measure and a pencil. And, of course, your window pins. You can use one pin per window or two -- one on the left side and one on the right. Your choice.
Step 2) Close and lock your first window. Use your measuring tape and pencil to locate and mark the point to drill your first hole. This is where the window pin will go when the window is in the closed and locked position.
Step 3) Carefully
drill your first hole. You'll probably need to go with a 1/8-inch bit. If you're afraid of splintering the wood, drill a smaller guide hole first. Either way, you need to drill all the way through the inner/lower sash and then about three-quarters of the way through the outside sash. Caution! If you drill too deep you might go all the way to the other side
, meaning your pin could be popped out by someone standing on the outside of your home. Oops!
Step 4) Install the window pin. Brush away any wood dust first. If the pin still does not work smoothly, use a little petroleum jelly or soap
to grease its path.
Step 5) This one is optional. Drill one more hole (or two if you're using two pins per window) through the upper sash a few inches above the first set of holes. That way you can raise the window open a tad and reinstall the pin/s. This gets a little air in the house at night without having the window open far enough to present a security
Yes, if someone really
wants to break in, they can just smash a window. However, crime statistics suggest that most criminals don't want to be so obvious and are likely to give up and move on to the next prospect.
I found easy-to-follow instructions for this project in the book Dare to Repair
by Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet. A guide to various types of window locks
can be found on Home Depot's website. I also found more handy burglary-prevention tips here