Closely set metal bars keep intruders from opening or breaking through glass windows or doors. These low-tech home security tools, also commonly known as security or burglar bars, consist of welded pieces of iron or steel. Bars bolt to the exterior or interior wall and resist attempts at yanking them out. Install them properly, or you put yourself in more danger if a fire starts in your home.
You don't want a burglar to have an easy way to open the burglar bars from the outside of the home, but you must have some kind of easy escape mechanism that is accessible from the inside. If you bolt a set of bars into the exterior of your home but don't add a quick release mechanism, you can't get out of the windows in case of a fire. Many states require these quick release mechanisms on all homes equipped with security bars.
Install Them Inside
The crucial safety release mechanism installs between the bar and the anchor point in the wall. When you install the bars on the exterior of your home, it puts the safety mechanism in reach of anyone passing by. Install the bars on the inside instead, and choose a release latch that doesn't require a key or special tool. Wasting time trying to find a small item required to open the window may lead to serious injury or death in case of a fire.
Choose Windows to Secure
Large homes with multiple stories don't necessarily need burglar bars on all of the windows. Securing only the ground floor windows should be enough, provided there is no way to access the upper level windows by way of a nearby tree or convenient fire escape. Jalouise windows that tilt open rather than sliding up offer less security than double-paned windows, according to the University of Maryland Off-Campus Housing Services. Identify the windows that provide the easiest access to the home, and install burglar bars there first.
Installing burglar bars helps you protect yourself if you live in an unsafe neighborhood. However, black metal bars over all of your windows lowers the aesthetics of the home considerably. Paint them white or a complementary color to blend them in with the rest of the home. A set of opaque curtains hides bars installed on the interior side of the wall, and sheers offer some disguise while allowing light to enter the room.
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