Window Security & Patio Doors
• cutting a snug piece of wood the
Windows & Patio Doors present a special challenge size of a broom handle or hockey
with respect to home security. They can be broken, stick next to the windows used for
forced open, or lifted from their track. Windows can
• adding a secondary locking device.
also be used to defeat door locks when they are within
40 inches of the lock mechanism.
Patio doors are little more than large
In order to improve your security, improVe the securitY oF sliding windows. As such, security can
we recommend that you do the be enhanced using the above methods.
Your eXisting WinDoWs/ The size of patio door allows for
patio Doors additional options. These include the
sliding Windows / patio Doors use of “Charlie” bars and pins.
assess Your VulnerabilitY Sliding windows can be defeated
• Take a look at the accessible
in one of three ways. They can be charlie bars
windows around your property.
forced open, lifted up and out or the Charlie bars are designed to prevent
These generally include basement
glass can be broken. Sliders require lateral movement in patio doors. They
and ground floor windows as well as
reinforcement to prevent easy entry. are installed at a convenient height and
any window that can be reached by an
air conditioning compressor, arbours create a visible deterrent to burglars
etc. Note whether landscaping close the gap at the top of the thereby making them a superior option.
screens these from view. In instances Window Charlie bars are available at most
where this is a factor, consider All sliding windows and doors have hardware and home improvement
reducing or removing some of the an “installation” gap at the top which centres.
plant material. allows them to be lifted up and out.
This gap should be filled by one of
• Check your property for sidelights pins
(long window next to entrance A quarter inch metal “pin” can be
door), sliding windows including 1. A piece of wood can be cut so used to “lock” the patio door frames
patio doors, double hung windows that it is slightly (about 1/8” inch) together. This should be installed
and country-style doors (side smaller than the gap and the width near ground level (in the event of a
entrance with large glass panel). of the window. This will allow fire) by carefully drilling through the
If your property has any of these it to sit on top of the window or intersection of the patio frames, being
features, check the appropriate patio door frame filling the gap yet careful not to come in contact with the
section below. providing for movement. The wood glass or pierce the exterior metal. For
can be removed from the inside if
• Be mindful of your security habits. necessary for maintenance.
Lock all accessible windows when
going out - even for short trips. 2. Two or three flat head wood screws For more inFormation on
Limit the size of accessible window can be fixed into the portion of the this subject, please contact:
openings if they are being used for upper track above the windows
ventilation at night. Accomplish this that are used for ventilation (the
peel regional police
by installing a securable, window window(s) behind the screen). crime prevention services
7750 Hurontario street
stop. Never store ladders on the
exterior of your house as this can prevent lateral movement L6v 3W6
provide access to windows that are Most locks in sliding glass windows
otherwise inaccessible. and doors are constructed of cast Tel. 905-453-2121 ext. 4021
metal or vinyl and therefore are easily Fax 905-456-6106
broken. Window security can be You may also want to examine our
greatly improved by: internet site at:
Revised – May 2008
home security – Window security & patio Doors Fact sheet
p r o d u c t s r e q u i r e p r o f e s s i o n a l are characterized by tighter fits and
installation. (See “glass coating and better locks, which ultimately make
tinting” in the yellow pages.) your windows more difficult to defeat.
The same holds true for doors.
(Note: Some security professionals
recommend the use of a double
cylinder deadbolt to prevent a thief glass
from disengaging the lock by breaking Same as the glass recommendations
the glass. The Peel Regional Police do from the previous section.
not support the use of double cylinder
deadbolts in the home environment as
they can require a key to disengage polycarbonate vs. bars
the lock from the inside which can be Bars have traditionally been used by
a hazard in the event of a fire.) people seeking more security, yet bars
have a number of drawbacks. They
are unsightly-particularly for main
country-style Doors floor use, have a harsh appearance
Country-style doors such as those that and can block escape in the event of a
are common at side entrances have large fire. People also tend to over estimate
maximum effectiveness, the pin should fixed windows that are easily broken. the stopping power of bars which are
be drilled at a downward angle. Pins The security of country style windows routinely defeated by burglars. This
are available at hardware stores and can be greatly enhanced by installing is especially true for bars that are
home improvement centres. a piece of polycarbonate around the installed with screws accessible from
inside frame of the windows. the outside or windows that are located
Double hung Windows away from view.
Double hung windows can’t be forced Don’t aDD to Your
A polycarbonate panel can be used as an
open by applying pressure to the locks. problems alternative to bars. The polycarbonate
The security of double hung windows Many problems can be minimized, by
can be greatly improved by using pins panel is cut to the size of the frame of
thinking security before you purchase.
(see above) or adding a secondary the window and hinged on the inside
If you are contemplating adding
locking device. where a pair of throw bolts are added.
landscaping in front of windows,
The panels are clear like windows and
consider low lying varieties that
provide escape in the event of a fire.
glass require little maintenance and hold
Thieves typically break glass to little appeal to burglars.
provide access to locks. Security If you are thinking about replacing other home securitY
glazing should be used to protect windows and doors consider the Fact sheets
glass within 40 inches of a lock. The following factors:
glazing product can be polycarbonate • Crime Prevention Through
(a rubberized, plastic panel) or a Environmental Design
laminated (film-like) security product Casement and awning style windows • Home Security Challenge
that meets the following forced entry are, by their nature, generally more • Home Security – Doors, Frames &
standards: secure than sliding or double hung Locks
• Underwriter’s Laboratory of Canada windows of comparable quality. This • Home Security – Residential
Standard S 332 (ULC S332) is due to their second lock and the Alarm Systems
presence of a mechanism.
• Underwriter’s Laboratory Standard • Mark Your Property
972 (UL 972) Solid doors are, by their nature, much • Residential Hi-Rise Security
• American Society of Testing more secure than doors with windows.
• Repeat Burglaries
Materials F1233 Class II (ASTM Where a window is absolutely
F1233 Class II) necessary, consider a small half moon
window at the top of the door.
Polycarbonate (NOT to be confused If you have any questions please
with plexiglass) is readily available at Quality contact, Crime Prevention Services
home improvement centres and is ideal Quality is also a factor when it comes at 905-453-3311 or ask for your
for the do-it-yourselfer. Laminated to achieving security. Quality windows Community Liaison Officer.