Single & double hung windows are just one of five different styles of windows that you will find in most homes today but they are also the most common. The other four types are the awning, casement, sliding & basement windows.
Prior to upgrading the security of your home's windows, you may want to first ensure there are no problems with the structural integrity of each window & the frames they are in.
It is important for each window to function properly & fit securely in their frames.
You will also want to ensure that none of the exterior window trim is missing, split, or damaged in any way.
Below you will find what problems exist with what is considered the most commonly used lock for single and double hung windows.
You will also discover the best way to secure these types of windows both in the closed & opened position.
Double hung windows move straight up & down & operate by means of two windows or sashes that slide vertically past each other.
Many single/double hung windows are secured with a crescent lock (sash lock) & unfortunately the biggest thing this style of lock provides is a false sense of security.
Crescent locks have been around for many years & were specifically designed to be used on single/double hung windows.
Unfortunately intruders have been opening this style of lock for years by sliding a thin bladed knife between the two sashes & then sliding the lock to the unlock position.
Sometimes they will use the knife between the two windows to leverage force so the two rails will separate enough for the lock to pull completely free of one rail.
If you currently have single & or double hung windows in your home being secured with crescent locks, you really should consider replacing all of them with a more secure lock.
There are several types of good quality locks that are specifically designed to secure single/double hung windows. As mentioned above crescent locks used to secure this style of window can easily be manipulated by an intruder to the unlocked position.
It is due to this fact that some manufactures are producing crescent locks for single & double hung windows where a key is required to unlock them.
This will certainly prevent an intruder from sliding it open, but as I strongly stated on my window security web page, keyed window locks should never be used to secure windows in a home environment.
Installing keyed locks on a home's windows & then fully expect the key for each & every lock can be obtained easy & quickly encase of an emergency is totally unrealistic.
Having the key to each window lock located in their own designated place may work in the beginning but over time (weeks, months & years) things get moved around & different areas get painted & renovated & so on.
It is just way too easy for anyone to be faced with a life & death situation if they have to rely on a key to let them exit their home in an emergency.
If any family member(s) was to find themselves trapped inside a dark, smoke filled room, the last thing they ever need is to be losing crucial time searching for a lost or misplaced window key.
There are many good quality secure locks along with other protection measures that can adequately secure the windows in your home. There is absolutely no need to risk you & your family's lives over these $10 mail box style window locks.
Single & double hung windows have been around a long time & they are popular & widely used. These windows can provide an adequate level of security for you with the implementation of the physical & electronic security measures outlined below.
There are different locks that can help make this style of window more secure which do not require a key to unlock them.
You can view the different type of locks that are suitable for single & double-hung windows at a hardware store in your area. A store employee could easily show you all the different locks that are specifically designed to help secure single & double-hung windows.
You can also purchase window locks from the internet as many online retailers carry a wide range of locks for each style of window.
Unfortunately whatever style of lock you choose you will more than likely have to purchase longer screws than what is sold with the lock. Most window locks come with screws that are approximately one inch in length.
Depending on the lock you purchase you will need to secure at least part of the lock to the top rail of the inner sash & possibly the bottom rail of the outer sash. In doing this you need to measure the thickness of these rails & purchase screws that will penetrate no more than ¾ of the way into each railing.
Single & double hung windows are not only the most commonly used window but they are also the most easiest to be alarmed & secured in the open position. The security measure shown below on pinning both window sashes together should only be implemented on single & double hung windows that are made out of wood.
There are also two different methods shown below of securing single & double hung windows in the open position. The first method can be used on windows of this style made out of wood & the second method can be used on single or double hung windows made from vinyl, metal or wood.
The physical security measure of pinning both window sashes together will want to be used in addition to an appropriate lock designed for this style of window.
Additional physical security measures are not something you may need for all windows in your home but you may want to consider implementing them on windows that are most likely to be targeted due to their location. The windows in your home that may need a higher level of physical & electronic security are any windows that cannot be seen from a neighbor's home or from anyone in a public area.
This security measure requires pinning the inner & outer window sashes together. You will 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, drill ¼ inch diameter holes at a slight downward angle through the top corners of the inner sash into the bottom rail of the outer sash.
It is extremely important that you do not drill too close to the windows pane where you would hit the glass or damage its thermal seal.
It is also important not to drill more than ¾ of the way into the outer sash.
Since it is so crucially important that you do not drill too far into the outer window, I placed some information below that will help you drill the correct depth into the outer sash.
To ensure you do not drill too far into the outer sash you should measure first how far you need the drill bit to travel to get all the way through the top railing of the inner sash & only ¾ of the way through the outer one.
For Example: If both railings are two inches in depth then use that measurement to work with even though the precise depth would increase a little (not enough to worry about) when drilling at a slight downward angle.
Two inches through the first railing & ½ inches would be ¾ of 2 inches for a total drilling depth of 3½ inches.
Wrap a piece of tape tightly around your ¼ inch drill bit at exactly 3½ inches back from the tip of the bit.
When drilling each hole just stop drilling when the bit travels in as far as the tape.
To make sure the tape you wrapped around the drill bit has not moved recheck the distance with your measuring tape after each hole to see you still have 3½ inches from the tape to the tip of the drill bit.
It is better to be safe than sorry as you do not want to drill more than ¾ of the way through the bottom of the outer railing.
Once your holes are drilled insert the eye bolts in the holes to prevent the windows from been lowered or raised.
With the eye bolts removed you can raise the inner window up about 6 inches to allow fresh air into your home.
If you insert your drill bit into the ¼ inch holes when your lower window is opened at this height you will just need to drill ¾ of the way into the vertical pieces of the outer sash.
If you insert the eye bolts into the newly drilled holes both windows will be locked in place while the lower window is opened 6 inches to allow ventilation.
The above information explains how you can secure a single or double hung wooden window in the closed & opened position by pinning both window sashes together.
The following information will also show you how you can secure single & double hung windows in the closed & opened position no matter what type of material (vinyl, metal or wood) it is constructed from.
You will also discover below how easy it is for you to have any single or double hung windows fully armed using a magnetic switch sensor (window & door sensor) with the window in the opened position.
As an additional physical security measure you can prevent the lower sash from been raised up by inserting a round wooden dowel about ¾ of an inch in diameter & have it inserted inside the window track.
The length of the dowel will be determined by the distance from the top railing of the lower window to the very top of the window track.
You will want to make the length of the dowel long enough where it will be a snug fit, but not too tight where it will hamper anyone from removing it in case the window will ever need to be used as an emergency exit. A piece of wood that is comparable in size could also be used.
There are many different diameters of dowels available & sold at different lengths & you will find that they are sold at most hardware stores. You can also use a length of dowel to secure single & double hung windows in the opened position to allow fresh air into your home.
You would just need to use the same size dowel as above cut 6 or 7 inches shorter to allow the window to be raised up that distance. You will want to insert the dowel inside the window's track & you will find double sided carpet tape will work very well for securing it in place.
Below I will show you how incredibly easy it is to have your window fully armed in the open position. If you choose to use a dowel to prevent your window from been raised up too far & also have it fully alarmed in the open position, I strongly suggest you allow your window to be opened up a full seven inches.
I will show you how to have your window fully armed when it is opened at precisely six inches & that is the height you will need to have your window opened.
Allowing an intruder to open the window that extra inch to seven inches is not near far enough to allow him/her to enter your home, but it is certainly far enough for the intruder to trigger your alarm.
Finding appropriate ways to secure & fully alarm any windows in our homes that will be placed in the open position has become very important due to the different approach that we now have to take in securing our homes.
Over the past decade or so there has been a very large increase in the number of individuals & families alike that have been violently victimized in their own homes.
With the large number of sexual predators & the violent home invasion criminals that have become a plague on today's society, the main objective on how we secure our homes had to change.
Keeping the home occupants safe & secure is what home security is mostly about these days & not just about securing its contents when the home is left unoccupied.
One of the most important security measures we can take in keeping our families from been violently victimized is to keep our home alarm systems armed at all times.
Many people like to have a window opened on certain days to allow fresh air in their homes.
There are also many people who find they sleep much better by letting fresh air come in through their bedroom window at night.
When it comes to having a window opened that has an alarm sensor some people have created a security zone to turn the sensor off so they could have the rest of the system armed.
If you have any single/double-hung windows in your home you can easily have them fully armed when the window is opened.
It is certainly more secure to have the window armed in the opened position than having the alarm coverage for a certain window(s) shut down.
It is important to install detection sensors on all windows in your home that an intruder can easily access.
For the purpose of showing you how to have alarm coverage for your window when it is opened 6 inches I will be describing it using a surface mounted magnetic sensor.
It will work exactly the same for you if you have chosen to use the recessed magnetic sensors in your home.
Magnetic switch sensors (window & door sensors) are the most widely used perimeter detection devices used in the security industry by far.
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 Magnetically 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 should be when the window is 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 to the window just six inches lower than the first, that magnet takes the place of the first magnetic when the window rises up six inches, the exact distance the two magnets are spaced apart. Allowing an intruder to open the window up an inch further will be far enough to disrupt the magnetic field causing a break in the circuit.
You can now see how easy it is to have a single or double hung window fully alarmed in the open position as all you need is a second magnet & two small screws to attach it to the window. You will find this to be a much safer & secure route to take than creating a security zone to disarm the sensor when you choose to have the window opened.
It is also important to have a loud exterior sounding device in addition to having one located inside your home. Hearing two alarms both loud & strident inside & outside your home should persuade even the most determined intruder(s) to quickly move on.
I sincerely hope the information on securing single & double hung windows in the opened & closed position has been helpful & beneficial for you. You may want to consider bookmarking this site as new & updated content is uploaded weekly.
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