Securing Single & Double Hung Windows In The Closed & Opened Position!

Single/double hung windows are the most common of the five different styles of non-fixed (open & close) windows that you will find in most homes today. The other four styles of non-fixed windows are the awning, casement, sliding & basement windows.

Home With Single Or Double Hung Windows

Prior to upgrading the security of your home's windows, it is important to ensure there are no problems with the structural integrity of each window & the frames they are in.

Many criminals have a knack for identifying a security weakness, so you will also want to ensure that none of the exterior window trim is missing, split, or damaged & that each window fits securely inside its frame.

When making the single/double hung windows in your home more secure, you really should consider implementing a higher level of security for any windows that has a much greater chance of being targeted.

Windows that have the highest potential of being targeted are ones that cannot be seen from a neighbor’s home or a public area.

You may be able to cut down on the number of windows that are a key target for intruders, by trimming down any overgrown trees, bushes & shrubbery around the perimeter of your home.

This security measure is very important; as it not only limits the number of areas intruders can break-in to without being seen, it can also go a long way for ensuring your home does not attract a criminals interest in the first place.

Nothing will capture a criminal’s interest more quickly, than identifying an area that can easily conceal their presence while breaking in.

Any window with a missing screen can also attract the attention of intruders, as some will view it as one less obstacle to overcome.

As you increase the security of your home, you should always remember that it is the nature of most intruders to always choose the path that provides them with the least amount of resistance.

Burglary as well as other types of unlawful intrusions are also crimes of opportunity, but this is not normally discovered without an intruder first seeing something that captures his/her interest.

This is why it is so incredibly important to ensure there is nothing about your home that will attract the attention of an intruder.

Missing window screens or areas that could conceal an intruder’s presence are the type of things that really should be addressed sooner rather than later.

Out of all the homes on your street, the last thing you would ever want or need is for a criminal to single out your residence as a place of interest.

The Most Commonly Used Lock For Single & Double Hung Windows!

Double hung windows have a top & bottom sash that can move vertically passed each other when they are being opened & closed.

With single hung windows only the bottom sash opens & closes, as the top section of the window is permanently fixed in place.

The most common type of lock used to secure both single/double hung windows is known as a crescent or sash lock.

For many years these crescent styled window locks have unfortunately proven to be an extremely easy lock for criminals to defeat.

The most popular method used in defeating the crescent lock, is to slide a thin bladed knife between the bottom & top rails of the two sashes (windows) & moving the blade against the arm of the lock for it to open.

Many criminals have also defeated this style of lock by sliding a knife or some other sharp object between the two rails to force them apart so one side of the lock pulls free.

The two rails only need to be separated a short distance as most screws that come with these locks are normally about one inch or less in length.

If you have single/double hung windows that are currently being secured with crescent locks, you should consider replacing each of them with a more secure lock.

In recent years some manufactures have been producing keyed crescent locks for single/double hung windows. While this will prevent criminals from sliding the lock open with a knife, I personally would not use keyed locks on any windows in my home that may need to be used as an emergency exit.

Visiting my window security web page will provide you with a better understanding of why I strongly believe that using keyed locks on emergency exits can seriously compromise the safety & wellbeing of you & your family.

Increasing The Security Of Single/Double Hung Windows!

There is a variety of good quality window locks being retailed today that are specifically designed to secure single/double hung windows. This also includes keyed window locks that can be very effective in securing any windows that are not designated as an emergency exit.

Lock For Single Or Double Hung Windows

You should be able to acquire good quality window locks from any hardware store or building supplier in your area.

The larger building supply & home renovation stores like Home Depot, would likely have the widest selection of window locks for you to choose from.

If you’re an internet shopper or you are unable to find what you are looking for in your area, you should find a large selection of window locks online.

Most people will use just one of these different locking mechanisms that are designed to physically secure single/double hung windows.

There are also many people who will increase this level of window security by putting an additional layer of physical protection in place.

Increasing the physical security of one’s windows is generally due to the windows location (higher probability of being targeted); high crime rate in one’s area & for some, it is way to obtain a better feeling of security & peace of mind.

As outlined above the most vulnerable windows in a home are one’s that an intruder can break-in to without being seen. It is very important to secure these type of windows with a higher level of physical and/or electronic security.

Padlock & Chain Wrapped Around Home

You will find below a couple of inexpensive physical security measures for single/double hung windows. One of these security measures used with a quality window lock will significantly increase the physical security for each window.

You will also discover below a very easy way to physically & electronically secure your windows in the open position.   

The most effective way to protect your windows & your home & family at night is to install motion lights outside your home.

If due to a limited budget you are unable to install enough motion lighting to cover all ground level windows, you should try to protect any windows that intruders will mainly target.

If you do not have electricity in an area where security lighting is required, you may want to consider installing solar motion lights. With increase in solar technology, you will find solar security lighting has come a long way in recent years. If you require information on today’s solar powered motion lights please visit my solar security lights web page.

The 1st Physical Security Measure For Single/Double Hung Windows!

Pinning both window sashes together is a physical security measure that has been used for many years, as it can effectively secure single/double hung windows in both the closed & opened position.

To pin the inner & outer window sashes together, you will first need to acquire a couple of ¼ X 3 inch eye bolts for each single/double hung window that you need to secure.

With the window fully closed you will need to drill ¼ inch diameter holes at a very slight downward angle through the top corners of the inner sash into the bottom rail of the otter sash.

It is very important not to drill too close to the window pane where you could hit the glass or damage its thermal seal. You also should not drill more than ¾ of the way into the bottom corner of the outer sash.

To ensure you do not drill more than ¾ of the way into the outer sash you will first want to measure how far the drill bit needs to travel to go all the way through the inner sash & only ¾ of the way through the outer one.

For Example: If both railings are two inches in depth then you need the drill bit to travel two inches through the inner railing plus 1½ inches which is ¾ of the way into the outer railing for a total drilling depth of 3½ inches.

You will now want to wrap a piece of tape tightly around your ¼ inch drill bit at exactly 3½ inches back from the tip of the bit. You can now drill at the correct depth each time by ensuring the bit only travels in as far as the tape.

As a precaution, after drilling each hole you may want to quickly recheck your measurement from the tape to the tip of the drill bit to ensure your tape has not moved.

Once your holes have been drilled you can simply pin both sashes together by inserting the eye bolts in the holes.

This will stop the window from being raised up & with double hung windows it will also prevent the top sash from being lowered.

To pin both sashes together with the window opened, you will want to raise the inner sash up about six inches.

You should find this to be an adequate height to allow fresh air in & low enough to keep intruders out.

With the window opened at this height, insert your ¼ drill bit into your previous drilled holes in the top rail of the raised sash & drill ¾ of the way into the vertical or side pieces of the outer sash.

Once the eye bolts are inserted into the newly drilled holes, the air can freely circulate through the six inch opening & the upper & lower sash in the window are locked firmly in place.

The 2nd Physical Security Measure For Single/Double Hung Windows!

This is an effective & inexpensive security measure for single/double hung windows & is used to secure many sliding windows & patio doors in the open & closed position as well.

You can prevent the lower sash from being raised up by inserting a round wooden dowel about ¾ of an inch in diameter inside the window track.

The length of the dowel will be determined by the distance from the top railing of the lower sash to the top of the window track. To ensure the dowel stays firmly in place you will want to make it long enough so it becomes a snug fit.

If the window may need to be used as an emergency exit, you do not want to make the dowel to tight of a fit where it could be difficult to remove in an emergency situation.

Important Note: For double hung windows this physical security measure only prevents the lower sash in the window from being raised up.

To prevent the bottom sash from being raised up more than six inches you would require a dowel that is six inches shorter than the one above.

You will now need to secure the dowel in the top section of the window track. I have used this security measure many times in the past & have found a narrow strip of double sided carpet tape works very well for securing the dowel in place.

With the window opened six inches, the top rail of the sash butts up to the bottom of the dowel & prevents the window from being raised any higher.

You can obtain dowels of different diameters & lengths at one of your local hardware or building supply stores & you may also find them in craft stores, as they are sometimes used in making crafts. A piece of wood comparable in size could also be used.

Physically & Electronically Securing Your Single/Double Hung Windows In The Opened Position!

A home alarm system provides your home & family with a second line of defense. The most widely used perimeter detection devices used in setting up the alarm coverage for one’s home are magnetic switch (window & door) sensors.

Illustration Of How To Alarm Open Window

Your magnetic switch sensors can either be surface mounted or recessed.

For the purpose of showing you how to have alarm coverage for any single/double hung window that is opened six inches, I will be describing it using a surface mounted magnetic sensor.

If you have chosen to use recessed magnetic sensors on your windows, you will find this security measure will work exactly the same.

A surface mounted magnetic sensor is housed in two small rectangular plastic casings, one holds a magnetically activated switch & the other one holds a magnet.

The Magnetic activated switch is always attached to the window's frame & when the window is closed the magnetic part of the switch is attached to the window directly adjacent to it.

The above diagram shows how all magnetic sensors appear on single/double hung windows when they are closed. Once the window is opened, the magnet attached to the window moves up with it disrupting the magnetic field causing a break in the circuit & therefore triggering the alarm.

With attaching a second magnet (see above diagram) to the window just six inches lower than the first one, that magnet takes the place of the first magnetic when the window rises up six inches. If an intruder tries to enter the home by raising the window higher, the magnetic field will be broken & this will immediately trigger the alarm.

If your alarm system will not always be armed when the window is opened, you may want to insert a dowel in the window track as disused above.

Model Of Home Secured With Padlock & Chain

Although in this situation the length of the dowel should be cut an inch shorter to allow the window to be raised up seven inches.

To receive alarm coverage for the window when your system is armed, you will need for the window to be opened six inches. Allowing the window to open an inch further is still not high enough for an intruder to enter, but it is more than enough for the magnetic field to break triggering the alarm.

Inserting a dowel in the window track will prevent an intruder from entering the open window.

Allowing the window to be raised up an extra inch with the alarm armed, will immediately inform you someone had just attempted to enter your home.

Using a short piece of wooden doweling & a magnet with a couple of short screws is a very inexpensive security measure to implement. It is also a simple & worthwhile way to effectively secure single/double hung windows in the open position.

I sincerely hope the information on securing single/double hung windows above was in some way helpful & beneficial for you. You may want to consider bookmarking this web site as new & updated content is uploaded weakly.

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Basement Windows
Highly Effective Basement Window Security Measures!

Window Security Bars
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Window Alarms
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