Large windows and doors are a central feature of most homes these days. You can have them on the front or back of your house, or on an upper floor, like first-floor apartments. First, they’re aesthetically appealing and make a home look spacious and open. Second, they make it easier to enjoy the natural light that comes in during the day.
But if you live in a first-floor apartment, living room windows offer an easy entry point for burglars—particularly when you leave your home unattended at night. Therefore, consider installing a security camera, sensor, reinforced glass, lock or burglar bar on your windows to prevent intrusions and keep your loved ones safe.
According to the FBI 2019 burglary report, 62.8% of all incidents of unlawful entry of a structure involved residential properties. Other statistics show that 23% of those housebreaking offenses happen through first-floor windows. Moreover, the average cost of a home burglary is $2,799.
Numerous options exist to protect your home’s windows and other openings. If you invest in your first floor apartment window security, you’ll gain peace of mind.
Before I share some ideas on how to secure your first-floor windows, let’s dive into examples of the most secure windows for your home.
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Safest windows for home security
Despite the best efforts of the security experts, no window is completely safe. If someone is determined to break into a property through a first-floor window, they will find a way.
There are some windows that are simpler to pass through than others depending on the situation and can either make or break their mission. Below are some cool ideas.
When it comes to window replacement, casements are an excellent choice for home security. They have hinges on one side that allow them to open outward, but the only way to open them is to turn a crank on the windowsill.
Due to the design of casement windows, there is no technique for an intruder to control the window from outside the house.
Related: How to Secure Windows From Inside
The crank mechanism positioned on the inside of the frame opens and shut to flush with the casement window. Almost impossible to tamper with is the hook-shaped arm of a basic casement window lock.
With casement windows, there is no need for extra hardware to fasten them in normal circumstances.
Horizontal sliding sash is the only way to open and close this type of window.
When there isn’t enough room for outward opening, a sliding window is a viable option.
Big window panes allow you to see the outside world in all its glory, as well as let in plenty of fresh air.
With a cam action lock, sliding windows hold the movable glass in position, preventing it from sliding.
No one outside will be able to open or close the window after the tension has been adjusted correctly.
It’s easy to get inside certain older sliding windows if you pop them out of their frames. Although it’s more difficult with modern models, you should still take additional measures to protect them.
Push a solid dowel, steel rod, or two-by-four into the back groove and secure it. Even if someone manages to pick the lock, the rod will prevent the door from slamming open.
As the name suggests, this window type moves in a vertical direction.
With two moveable sashes, double-hung windows are more versatile than single-hung windows.
If you have a tiny child and you want to keep the fresh air coming in, operating the upper sash only is ideal for safety.
Similarly, the sashes are held in place by cam lock, which prevents them from moving.
For modern double-hung windows, added hardware to their frames makes them more secure and boosts their protection.
First floor window security ideas
1. Security camera
Borrowing words from crime fighting: it is easy to prevent crime when it is visible.
One of the best home security systems for a first floor apartment is installing security cameras. It can be positioned inside the home or outside in the yard to cover multiple areas.
Almost any camera can be used as a window camera if placed on a windowsill and pointing outward.
Night vision capabilities will make a huge difference in the clarity of the video captured.
2. Window sensor
When the window they are attached to is moved, alarms will be activated.
Intruders can be deterred by window security sensors, which can detect even the slightest motions. Remotely armed and disarmed alarms are preferred by the vast majority of individuals.
Look for an alarm clock that you can control remotely via an app when you’re not at home.
For those who have a pet, you may want to consider purchasing a door alarm that has pet safety features.
Using these motion sensors, you won’t have to worry about your alarm going off because your pet is just strolling around your apartment.
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3. Reinforce your window glass
Besides being useful and attractive for letting in natural light, windows are an important part of a building’s security system. Storm damage and attempted forcible entry should not be a problem for any first floor glass window.
However, when it comes to securing your windows, normal glasses aren’t up to the challenge, let alone a determined attacker attempting to gain entry into your property.
A wide variety of window film options are available such as cloudy, mirrored and clear. Protective window film is a good solution for window panes that are vulnerable to smash and grab attacks to prevent unauthorized access and armed intruders.
It’s built to last thanks to a heavy-duty polyester film and powerful adhesives that keep it attached to the glass.
Another reinforced window glass option is tempered glasses that offer four times resistance against breakage that is caused by external pressure or impact according to an article published in Scientific American.
4. Window locks
Before breaking in, many burglars check to see if windows are locked or can be forced open to avoid the sound of shattered glass.
Because of windows’ vulnerability to break-ins, a variety of security solutions are available that are particularly built for windows.
These can be categorized as either a window stopper, a window lock, or a window restrictor, depending on how they are used. It is not possible to mount every lock on every window.
For instance, a wide variety of locks are compatible with double-hung and single-hung windows, but many of them will not be ideal for casement windows.
Look for locks that are suitable with the specific type of window you have before making a purchase.
5. Window guards or grills
Break-ins aren’t always meticulously planned like the one in Money Heist.
Many times, a break-in is an act of criminal exploitation. Crimes of opportunity are common in burglaries.
There is a good chance that crooks had already scoured your neighborhood and entered any residence that was most accessible. As a result, thugs are put off by the appearance of your first floor window bars.
Your home’s current locks will benefit greatly from the addition of window guards.
To remove one of these bars is a major undertaking, especially if robbers don’t want to create a scene.
On the other hand, it is difficult to open and close metal grills if you live in an apartment building.
As such, you’ll need to employ other means of evacuation in the event of a fire or other emergency situation.
6. Close vulnerable windows
Everything from family treasures to cash and weaponry may be found in our safe deposit box in the master bedroom. An additional security measure is therefore required because of high risk glass window breakage in these areas.
Most first-floor windows are vulnerable, but those that are close enough to the ground and can be climbed through pose a greater threat than those that cannot.
In order to prevent an intruder from entering through a first-floor entrance or a deck or balcony door, it is recommended that all of the doors on those levels be secured.
Related: How to Baby Proof Apartment Balcony
Passing vehicles and neighbors are less likely to see side-facing first-floor windows obscured by trees, a privacy fence, and other landscaping features.
With less visible windows and doors hidden from the street view, an intruder has a better chance of breaking into your house.