Here are a few tips to upgrade your home window security.

Windows, for whatever reason, are often overlooked when it comes to home security, and this boggles my mind. I mean really, a big plate glass picture window at ground level makes the whole smash and grab process pretty easy. Especially if that window is in an out of the way spot, or isn’t well lit.

So, short of putting bars across your view to the outside world-which by the way is definitely an option that doesn’t have to be butt ugly-what can you do?

Make access to any window that is at ground floor level, or within about six feet from the ground, tricky to negotiate. Remember, burglars and vandals want to be in and out as soon as possible, and the less they have to impede them the better for them. And nobody likes to hurt themselves. So how about some cactus? Prefer something prettier? Most people know at a glance what a rose bush is, and they know about the thorns that adorn them as well. So even from a distance, someone scoping out an area for a possible break-in may discount that as an access point right away. Want to be a little more deceptive? I wouldn’t know a Hawthorn if I saw one, but apparently, from a home security standpoint, they are a great idea. This bush or hedge grows to about twenty five feet high. But those pretty pink and white flowers could blind a burglar to the danger that lies within, because they come with thorns that are one to five inches in length. Anyone with half a brain would back away from that after getting too close and getting stabbed.

This gives you an idea of some things you can do from a landscaping perspective for home window security. But what about the window itself? What can you do to make sure it’s secure as possible?

First, the type of window you choose will have an impact on your home security. Despite the remark at the beginning of this article, picture windows are secure, since they don’t open and most burglars prefer to be stealthy. So unless they came equipped with a glass cutter, the only way for them to gain entrance is to smash the window. As far as other types of windows go, vertical sliders, whether double or single hung, casement windows and awning windows are all secure, depending on how good the locking mechanism is. Horizontal sliders, those like patio doors, provide the least security, but again, a good lock could upgrade the window’s security from poor to fairly good. However, the other types of windows mentioned are still a better bet.

And of course, if you want the maximum security for your windows, you can consider installing window bars. Depending on the application and design, they can actually look quite nice too!