After our last post on crime, we received a couple of emails asking about why and how we used bars in our windows. The thieves who broke into our home, tried a crow bar on 5 back windows and doors before they got in. Here was their unsuccessful attempt on our back sliding door:
The thief tries to exert enough force to break your latch. They eventually did on one of our sliding windows.
So now we have installed bars on the slides of all windows and doors. This is what one of our windows looks like without a bar:
So, if the thief breaks your latch, it slides right open.
Here is what it looks like with a bar in the slide:
Even if the latch is broken, the bar prevents the window from opening completely.
So, where do you get a bar? We are sure there are very fancy solutions. You could buy something custom made, forged from metal, and pay thousands of dollars. Your tastes and requirements may dictate that type of solution. However, I’m just not that fancy. So, we measured the various lengths of all our windows and then went to Home Depot. An easy solution is hand rail that you may use to go down steps. Home Depot will cut a handrail to any length. So, they did all the cutting. We got the hand rail home (the bars) and painted them to match our windows. It cost about $35 for 16 windows.
Now, is this full proof? Of course not. Your competent thief will bring a tool that he will use after he breaks the latch. He will then fish the tool in through the 1/4 inch spacing and attempt to flip up and remove your bar. However, that takes time, effort, and additional tools. All of those work in your favor in deterring the common thief from robbing you.
If you couple that with a security system, it is even better. The thief needs to break your latch, which will likely set off the alarm. They’ll then need to pop the bar, which could take a minute or two. That then leaves them about 3 minutes in your house versus the 5 minutes they may normally take (all the while your alarm is howling with the Sheriff on his way).
Or the dumb thief may just smash your window, making a lot of noise, and again setting off the alarm.
It’s a crap-shoot.
So, you can’t stop them all. But we believe most thieves are criminals of opportunity. If you make it harder than most, they’ll go somewhere else.
If you aren’t employing some solution like this, we’d recommend you consider it strongly.