Basement windows present a significant security vulnerability for many homes. Although the basement itself may not hold anything of value, often doors or windows leading to the basement are not as well protected as other entry points to the home, and therefore, burglars see it as easy access to the rest of your home.
Here are a few quick tips to guide you through improving the security of your basement windows.
Use good outside lighting
Make sure your basement windows are always well-lit during the evenings and at night. A dark place is always more likely to be broken into.
Keep basement windows visible from the outside
A basement window that is concealed by plants or shrubs is attractive to burglars because it provides them a cover under which they can easily operate.
Install security bars and good locks
Heavy security bars made of iron or steel offer sufficient protection against intruders. However, you must install these bars in such a way that firefighters can still use the window as an exit point, in case of an emergency. Most of these bars can be manipulated from the inside so that the window can provide an escape route.
Use a reliable set of locks and keys for the basement windows, if they do not have secure latches or other locking mechanisms. However, you must be able to open at least one window in the basement without the use of keys, in an emergency situation.
Advertise your home security system
A monitored home security system is one of the most effective ways of preventing break-ins. Make sure any passers-by can clearly see your home security stickers. Your basement windows must be secure and set up in alliance with the security system.
Use shatter-proof glass
To improve the security of your basement windows, it can also be beneficial to have shatter-proof glass installed as a replacement for regular glass. Since basement windows are usually fairly small in size, installing shatter-proof glass can be relatively affordable. Unless you have experience in glass installation, it’s highly recommended that you hire a professional to upgrade the glass in your basement windows. Research professional glass installation services in your area, and choose a highly rated service provider that has positive customer reviews.
Block the view into the basement
Use glass block for your windows, so that any outsider cannot peek in and see what is going on inside your basement. The intruder will not be able to tell if the basement is empty or occupied. Glass block is also extremely strong and difficult to shatter.
Plant tactical landscaping
To help limit access to your basement windows, you can also use tactical landscaping methods. Plant low, thorny bushes around your basement windows, making them difficult or nearly impossible for an intruder to access. If you are worried about the appearance of your home, you can use Hawthorne, Rosebushes or Barberry bushes to create a visually pleasing “barrier” around your basement window area. If you need to have access to your basement windows, you can also use thick, thorn-free shrubbery that still provides limited access.
The most effective home security strategies are those devised with your home's particular layout and weaknesses in mind. Always remember to protect every potential entry into your home, not just the ones you use every day.