If you are replacing windows, take the opportunity to install new ones that are certified to British Standard BS7950 ‘Windows of Enhanced Security’ and consider using laminated glass, particularly in ground-floor and accessible windows, as this is much harder to break.
In the absence of a multi-point locking system and laminated glass, all ground floor windows and those which open onto accessible areas, balconies or roofs should be fitted with window locks, unless designated as a means of escape.
Before fitting locks to PVC-U or metal windows, talk to the installer to make sure this will not affect your warranty.
Keep windows locked at all times unless you are in the room. Remove the keys and keep them out of sight in a safe place, but nearby in case you need to get out of your home in the event of a fire or other emergency.
These doors are especially susceptible to attack from levering instruments, e.g. screwdrivers jemmies or even garden tools. Security on timber and metal frame French windows can be improved by fitting mortise or surface-mounted security bolts on the inside top and bottom, together with hinge bolts and frame reinforcement.
Louvre window slats should be glued into the end plates to prevent easy removal. Where possible replace with fixed glass panels.
For those windows and other glazed areas which are at higher risk of criminal attack - e.g. patio doors, French windows, glazed external doors, and windows next to any door - fit laminated safety glass to improve security.
Laminated glass should not be confused with toughened safety glass which shatters into thousands of small pieces with no sharp edges, leaving a gaping hole to climb or reach through.