Double hung windows are the ones that slide up and down to open. There are several ways to gain entry to this type of window. The first way is to simply pry it open with a crow bar. When this is done, the two small locks that typically are between the two panes, often pull out, as they are normally only attached with a couple of small screws. In this case the glass does not break and therefore a window contact is the primary method of detection. Surface mount contacts are often used with new windows to avoid drilling holes that might otherwise void the window warranty. An interior motion detector can detect the intrusion, after the intruder has already climbed through the window and started moving within the house. More information on types of window contacts will be given in another posting.
The second entry method would be to break the glass to get to the latches to open the window. This is done because the glass is open very sharp and the openings are often a little tight for crawling through. In this case, either a glass break or window contact would work. The glass break would go off first, followed by the window contact and as always a motion detector would detect the intrusion after the intruder was inside. That leaves crawling through the broken window pane as the third option. In this event, only the glass break detector and motion detector would pick up the intrusion.
From a deterrence point of view, security system stickers might help as well as making sure that the window is well lit and not hidden by tall shrubs. From a denial perspective, windows with automatic stops help prevent the window from being slid open too wide. In some cases, people will drill hole and insert a nail to prevent the window from opening too far.
The 3 D’s of Security – Deterrence, Denial, and Detection
One of the important themes that you’ll see repeated throughout these discussions are the principles of deterrence, denial, and detection. Our first objective should always be to discourage or deter a would-be intruder from targeting our property in the first place. It is easy to see how we are the safest if the intruder never targets our home or business in the first place. The second concept is denial. In denial, we attempt to make intrusion more difficult in the event that our property is targeted. The object of detection is to alert you and the authorities of a threat if our avoidance techniques were not successful.
The same principles extend beyond intrusion to other threats such as fire, carbon monoxide, flood, etc. Again, it is obvious that preventing the fire is far better than just detecting and reporting it in the unfortunate event that one occurs.
Home Intrusion Deterrence
The majority of home intruders are looking for an easy point of entry with a low probability of being seen and caught. Other postings will discuss protecting against premeditated crimes and employee theft. Witnesses and Security systems both increase the likelihood of being caught and are therefore usually a deterrent. To avoid witnesses, intruders will want to target homes that appear vacant and choose an entry point where they won’t draw the attention of neighbors or passers-by. A security system sign and window stickers indicate to an intruder that a siren will draw additional attention to the property, not to mention the fact that police will be dispatched as well.
There are many things we can do to make our home seem inhabited. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to assess the degree to which you are making your home a less attractive target.
While you are away
Do you indicate the presence of a security system with clearly visible signs and stickers?
Do you have several lights in your home set up on automatic timers?
Do you arrange for a friend or neighbor to come by and check on your home when you plan on being away several days or longer? Do you discontinue mail and newspaper service?
Do you avoid messages on your home and business phone announcing that you are traveling or not at home?
Is your front entrance lit well enough to enable you to identify visitors at night?
Are all other entrances illuminated well?
Do floodlights or illumination cover all exterior sections of your home or property?
Do motion sensors control your exterior lighting?
Is all landscaping trimmed to eliminate areas for a person to hide near doors and windows?
Is all landscaping trimmed to prevent obstruction of exterior lighting?
Have tree limbs been trimmed to prevent access to upper floor windows or balconies?
Have you planted thorny shrubbery near windows to discourage loitering or hiding?