If you’re thinking that your doors and primary windows are the only access or entry points that require your attention, think again. Your basement may not be at the top of your to-do list in terms of home security, but it’ll be on the mind of a potential home intruder.
Our homes are not only our castles but our safe-havens. As much as we’d like to believe that we’re totally safe, burglars and intruders are always looking for properties to invade. This real and ever-present reality requires homeowners to be diligent and take the necessary steps to secure their havens from anyone and anything seeking uninvited access to their property.
Rebecca Edwards, Lead Safety and Tech Reporter for SafeWise.com, shares, “You always hear that you should guard all the first-floor entries into your home, and that includes basement access. It may not be the front door or kitchen window, but basement windows—especially those with larger window wells where a bad actor could hide—are important security vulnerabilities that shouldn’t be overlooked.”
Knowing how to secure basement windows could be the difference between a break-in and peaceful homeownership.
Why Secure Your Basement Windows?
It’s crucial to take the necessary measures to consider the security of every aspect of your home, including your basement. If you’re wondering how common basement break-ins and home invasions are, the answer is quite alarming to say the least.
An estimated 66% of all burglaries that take place every year—2.5 million—are classified as home break-ins, with 23% of burglaries taking place by way of house windows. Basement burglaries make up a significant amount of those intrusions, roughly 9%.
You can take specific steps to avert a home invasion, such as double-checking the locks on your doors and windows before leaving the house and keeping a light on when you’re not home to make it look like someone is there.
But if you’re looking for smart ways to secure your basement windows, we’ve got some tips that may be helpful in helping you to step up your security game and keep intruders away.
1. Consider Doubling Down on Lights
Lights are a deterrent for burglars and intruders because they eliminate “invisibility” and compromise “cover” of an intruder. The last thing a burglar wants is to be seen, and lights of course do just that—increase one’s visibility. Try placing indoor lights strategically around or near your basement windows so that the inside light illuminates the outside view and allows you to better see what’s going on outside. These lights will also expose the activities of anyone lurking outside.
Edwards adds, “Solar motion detection lights are another great option to help you shine a light on suspicious activity around your home. It saves you the hassle of regularly checking on battery-powered lights and doesn’t impact your monthly power bill.” Wireless or wire-free lights installed around the home can also be a good deterrent, and if you can get lights with a motion sensor feature, you’ll help to hinder any suspicious activity in the works, because the cover of darkness will be eliminated.
According to the experts, window sensors can help protect your home, and don’t have to break your bank. “Something people don’t always realize is that you can buy window sensors without investing in a complete home security system,” says Edwards. “There are stand-alone sensors out there that work with an app that will send you instant alerts if movement or tampering is detected. This can be a more affordable and practical solution for those who don’t have a new security system in their budget.” 2. Add Window Bars and Grates
Windows are designed to be opened, and ideally, you would want the option to ventilate your home at will without opening up your family to the threat of unwanted tampering of your property. Window bars and grates offer solid protection, because once installed they are steadfast and not easily manipulated or adjusted.
If you’re thinking that window grates or bars will diminish the overall look and aesthetic of your home, look for grates or bars that can be installed to the inside of your window. Or if you’re willing to spend a little more money, you can explore more decorative options that offer the desired security without altering your home’s overall appeal. Edwards reminds us, “If you’re using bars or other barriers to shore up security for basement (or any) windows, make sure you have adequate escape plans in place in case of fire or another emergency where it’s crucial to get people out of your home safely.”
3. Consider Window Decals
Basement windows are an attractive go-to entry point for intruders because they offer easy access to the house due to their street-level location, and because typically at night, residents darken their basements and retire to their bedrooms. Although basement windows appeal to a burglar, the idea of getting caught does not. Window decals or stickers that indicate your house is protected by a security system or company can be an effective deterrent and thwart any attempts at an unwanted entry.
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