Types of Window Locks That’ll Keep Your Home Safe

A third of all burglaries in the United States happen through an unlocked window or door. Where are the window locks?

window locks

As a homeowner, there’s a lot you can do to stop petty burglary while keeping a sense of security and trust in your neighborhood.

Securing your windows is the best way to deter the opportunist burglars. These burglars, capitalize on the forgetfulness of homeowners. For example, someone walking by who sees an open window, garage, car, or home act impulsively and only steal what is quick and accessible.

Your First Line of Defense: Windows

When it comes to the first line of defense, a common theme is “Well, if a burglar really wants to get in, they’ll just break my windows, right?” Wrong. It’s not in the common burglar’s best interest to make any noise. A smart and speedy burglar just wants to get in and out making the least amount of noise. Breaking glass is loud and draws attention, therefore breaking two thick panes of glass completely to enter is almost unheard of. By the time the burglar gets through the window, the whole neighborhood would have woken up!

locks windows

In that case, investing in high-quality window locks is your best first line of defense against potential burglary.

You might also be wondering if window locks are necessary on all your windows. In short, it’s always a good idea to have window locks on first story windows or windows large enough that a person could fit through. Even garage windows need window locks because intruders could release your garage door emergency release lever and enter your garage through the main door. Therefore, it’s vital to at least put locks on these critical windows.

While it’s recommended to put locks on second story windows, it’s not necessary to stop petty intruders. On the other hand, adding second story window locks might be necessary if you have small children. To keep kids safe from accidentally falling out a window, it’s recommended¬†at the very least to have child safety latches, or locks on second story windows to prevent accidental curious children from an accident.

The Buyer’s Guide to Window Locks

Window locks come in all different shapes and styles, however, one lock does not fit all windows.

Some locks are integrated into the handle, while others are externally placed. What’s important to know is how these locks function, so you, the homeowner knows when a lock is potentially loose or inoperable. The last thing you want is to think you lock works and find out too late that you had an easy-to-manipulate lock system.

Not all window locks carry the same strength. Some windows are held together strongly by a removable screw, while others are locked on the window track.

In this example, we’re going to look at 10 common window locks that you’ll see or purchase with your windows.

Handle Lock

Simple handle locks typically are placed on the middle inside of a window and lock by a horizontal latch. When the handle lock is pulled vertically, it unlocks and serves as a window handle as well.

Folding Latch

Primarily, You’ll see folding latches on awning and casement windows. These locks are on the frame of the window and fold down in order to fully lock the window. Casement windows often referred to as “crank windows” have the handle that twists clockwise or counterclockwise to open or close. Once the window is in the desired position, then the lever folds to lock.

Window Pin

Window pin locks are extremely strong when engaged. Window pin locks break up into two parts. One piece is installed on the window, and the other piece is commonly installed on the frame. When these two pieces are connected, it makes the window very rigid and hard to open.

Think of window pins as a door chain lock, but window pins keep the window from opening, unlike a door chain lock allows a door to be opened a few inches.

Hinged Window Lock

Hinged window locks are versatile because they allow the window to be opened to any size to allow for infinite ways to ventilate your home. They’re also safer for children because they can only be opened a limited amount. Hinged window locks are a great option and have overall safety features similar to that of a child safety lock.

Sliding Window Lock

Sliding window locks are classic and simple. They’re easy since no installation is required. Sliding window locks just get placed on the window track when desired, and are extremely effective in preventing home intruders. Sliding window locks are also commonly seen on patio doors, but primarily or sliding windows.

Some more advanced sliding window locks have a second layer of protection where they require a key to open theme

Lag Screws

If you’re looking for a temporary and cheap way to lock your windows, lag screws are a good temporary option. While not secure, they require you to drill holes into your window and insert lag screws. When these screws are tightened, the window locks. This is a cheap and low-quality way to lock your windows, but it’s much better than nothing.

Swivel Action Lock

Swivel action locks carry a snib that when the window is fully closed, latches the window to a locked position. It’s similar to that of a self-locking patio door, in which the window only opens when the lever is turned. Swivel action locks are simple ways for forgetful homeowners to keep their house secure.

Child Safety Latches

Child safety latches are not mechanisms, but they do deserve an honorable mention. Child safety locks are small latches that protrude 3″ to 5″ above the window to keep a window from opening past that height. When the child safety latches are engaged, it prevents the window from opening fully keeping children safe while enjoying a cool breeze.

Keyed Lock

Keyed locks are typically a secondary lock for your window, and are great for windows near an important room. Keyed lock windows are great for those who want to keep their windows locked for no only outside intruders, but inside as well.

types of window locks

Just make sure you remember where you put the key!

Window Latch

Window latches are the most common type of window locks. These window latches lay usually above the first window pane and can be locked with a simple horizontal lever. If you’re looking for a simple gold standard, then a window latch is your best bet.

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