Find out how to secure basement windows including the different security options to consider and the best tips for window locks, bars and guards.
The basement is one of the most overlooked spaces in the home that sometimes it becomes the most vulnerable part of your home. In fact, there are many horror stories about people finding strangers living in their basements without their knowing.
Basement burglaries are also a real possibility and while it seems farfetched, it can happen, especially if you don’t secure your basement, particularly the windows. When it comes to home security, first-floor entries including windows and doors are often fortified.
But basement windows are not prioritized since basically, they are not the main entry points of the home despite being the top entry points that intruders will consider. This is especially vital if your basement windows have large wells that can be used as a hideout.
So, if you value your family’s security, make sure to take every precaution you can to protect your home and family.
Window Security Options
If you consider all the options you can explore to secure your basement window, there are quite a few you can take a look into. You can simply match these security options with the budget you have and the situation of your basement windows.
Besides the basic habits you can do to guarantee that the windows are closed, there are other elements you can add to your home to make sure of your home’s security.
One of the easiest and most practical ways to secure your basement windows is by reinforcing them with locks. While most windows have simple latch mechanisms integrated into their designs for security, they may not be enough. You can either add window locks or upgrade the current one you have at home.
In adding window locks, you will need to look at the type of windows you have in your basement. A horizontal sliding window has compatible locks that are very different than the ones compatible with casement windows that open outwards.
Before you purchase window locks for your basement window, check the label on the locks on the compatible windows you can use. Here are some of the locks to consider for particular types of basement windows.
• Horizontal Sliding Windows: If you have horizontal sliding windows, a small clamp lock can be installed and attached to the windows to prevent them from opening once they’re slid open.
• Casement Windows: For certain types of casement windows that open outwards, they can be a bit harder to secure. While they are also harder to break into, you still need to cover all your bases and install the windows with a lock that prevents the crank handle from turning to get them open.
• Double-hung Windows: With this type of window, wedge locks can act similar to a door stop and actually tighten as soon the locks are flipped or the windows are forced open.
• Windows that Don’t Open: If your windows don’t open, it doesn’t mean that they’re secured. They can be broken and so the ideal security option you can choose is to get shatterproof glass.
In working with the additional locks, make sure to have the basic tools you need for their installation, including a screwdriver and a drill. You also need to make sure that all of your family members know how to operate that extra locks and that in case of fire, they can be quickly removed from the inside.
The good thing with window locks is that they add security without requiring you to spend so much money on them. Even if you choose upgraded locks like a steel folding lock or a sash lock, the cost is not as much as other security options you can consider for your basement windows.
Another security option to look into are basement window guards, which can come in different forms and designs. There are different things you can use to serve as guards for your basement window, whether it’s in the form of locks, bars, or even well covers. Plants can even be positioned in front of the basement windows to serve as guards for the space.
Plants, especially big and thorny ones, make wonderful basement window guards when positioned strategically. They can serve as hindrances to the sight and movement of intruders who plan to force their way inside through the windows. They need to be flushed against the wall and the window so that intruders won’t wiggle themselves between the plants and the windows.
Egress Window Security Bars
Egress windows, with their specific size regulation, are popularly used for the basement with their large unobstructed space outside the windows. This design makes it an ideal exit in the event of emergencies like fire. But along with this benefit, there is also a real danger of this large space being used by intruders.
The best way to secure basement types of egress windows is by installing security bars. Bars are normally installed in windows that are open since they can promote air circulation without having to compromise your home’s security.
But you can also use them for the egress windows in your basement to keep intruders out, especially since the window is large enough and tempting for them to use.
Adding security bars is not that complicated but you need to make sure that they are temporary and can be removed when needed, especially in case of emergency and you will need to use the basement windows as an exit.
There are many kid-friendly security bars but they might not be strong enough to keep people out so try to search for the ones that can. In fact, there are solid bars and grates that can offer enough protection and which cannot easily be adjusted and manipulated.
Many homeowners do not like how the bars look on their property since they look too industrial and destroy the overall aesthetics of the home. This option should not be disregarded though since the bars and grates can be used as decorative elements if you just know how to customize them in a creative way.
Window Well Security
A window well is a plastic or metal product that’s U-shaped and structured to fit the foundation of the basement windows. The well offers a space between the basement windows and the surrounding earth, which usually matches and goes well with egress windows.
Another way to secure your basement windows is by choosing to secure the well too. In most cases, wells are constructed surrounding the window because the windows are below-grade. Because of the design of the window well and an egress window, the danger of someone intruding is a real thing.
The well is often used as a good landing space to climb in and out and the basement window. This is why it needs to have some sort of protection to avoid this from happening. You can secure your basement window wells by using plastic covers and grates. And these security options offer more than just protection against intruders.
Other benefits of well security include the following:
• Protects the well from outside elements: These well covers help keep leaves, dirt, and water from accumulating, as well as animal nesting.
• Saves energy: Window wells with covers can help improve the insulation and lighting of your basement, especially since the area is not good at keeping drafts out in the first place.
• Excellent crafting and structure: Window well covers are designed to be sturdy enough to withstand weather elements and daily wear and tear even under these conditions.
• Prevents basement flooding: Most covers for window wells are structured to be leak-proof so this means you won’t have to worry about your basement getting flooded with water entering through the windows.
Decide for yourself if you want to enjoy these advantages or if you want to explore more security options for your basement.
Window Security System
One of the best options to explore when thinking about securing your basement window is installing a window security system. You can even choose to install an entire home security system to make sure that your home is well-protected from the dangers and possibility of intruders coming inside and hurting your family.
When you invest in a home security system, you get to benefit from the following:
• 24-hour monitoring (For the entire home or just a specific area like the basement)
• Police alert
And the most basic and standard system can come with security cameras, motion sensors, lights, and glass-break sensors. All of these elements are tied to a monitored system that can either alert you of the break-in or the authorities who can help you deal with the situation.
And this is not necessarily expensive or complicated to operate. If you already have a working security system, one thing you can do is beef it up if you’re convinced that it’s not enough. And there are many ways to do this, including the following:
• Consider putting window decals: Basement types of windows appeal so much to burglars and one of the ways to shoo them off your property is by issuing a warning through decals. These decals serve as an initial warning to intruders that the property is secured and well-protected by a home security system.
• Add security cameras to specific areas: Most security cameras are installed in the doorways but you can also add some to areas you don’t have one installed yet. Putting a camera in the basement window can help you secure that area better.
• Add new door/window sensors: Check out which doors and windows will benefit more from some entry sensors to add a layer of protection against intruders.
• Add glass break sensors: Another alternative you can have for entry sensors is these which can alert you to the sound of breaking glass.
Tips For Securing Windows in the Basement
Besides installing all of these security options, there are some things you can do to ensure that your basement windows are fortified and have the maximum protection against intruders.
Many of the decisions you will need to take into account depending on the type of window you have in your basement. Some of the practical tips you can follow are the following:
• Rearrange the pieces of furniture in your basement: Take note of the arrangement of the furniture in your basement and take out the ones near the window that can be used by intruders as a handy step-down.
Choosing to do the opposite thing, you can position a tall piece of furniture like a bookcase in front of the window, limiting the intruder’s view from outside. You need to make sure though that you can remove the furniture out of the way in case you need to use the windows as an exit in times of emergency.
• Make sure those areas surrounding the basement are well-lit: If you want to make sure no one forces his way inside your home using your basement windows, you need to actually be able to see the attempts and movements.
This can be possible by keeping the area visible and well-lit. And since most lighting in the basement is recessed, this somehow helps intruders since darkness is an advantage that they can use. Add exterior flood lights and choose brighter interior lighting to deter intruders from taking advantage of the situation.
• Invest in reinforcing glass for your windows: Intruders breaking your basement windows is a real thing and if you want to avoid this from happening, you can put window film on them so that once they are shattered, the glass will still hang in place.
This means you will hinder intruders from sliding through cleanly using the empty window frame. The shatter-proof window film is easily available in the market and it doesn’t cost that much.
• Make sure not to place valuables near the windows: Besides making sure that intruders won’t be able to peek inside your basement, consider not placing valuables near the window and anywhere inside where they can easily be seen from the outside.
If you’re using the basement as a storage space for important things, position them away from the window as much as possible. You can also use cardboard storage boxes to make them less appealing to burglars and intruders.
See more related content in our article about basement window sizes on this page.