If you have double glazed windows or if you are just planning to switch to double glazing, you may be wondering how secure these kinds of windows are. Do they really reduce the risk of a burglary? Are they easy to break?
In this article, you will not only get exact answers to these questions but I will also give you my best tips on how you can get the most out of your double-paned windows and make them even more secure.
So is double glazing burglar-proof? If you are in a hurry, here is a quick answer:
A double glazed window is much harder to break than a normal one, however, that does not mean it is burglar-proof. While it is pretty hard to break with bare hands, intruders can definitely get through double glazing using the right tools. Fortunately, you can easily improve the security of a double glazed window by applying some simple methods (see below).
Let’s see the details:
What Is Exactly Double Glazing and Why Is It Getting So Popular?
Simply put, double glazing (or double-pane) means that the window consists of two panes of glass. The space between the panes is usually filled with a gas (such as argon, krypton, or xenon) that has low thermal conductivity or vacuum to reduce the energy loss (1).
Double glazed windows have many advantages:
- They conduct less heat, so they help keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Thus, they contribute to making your home energy efficient. This is why sometimes they are also called “insulated glass”.
- Some double-paned (or triple-paned) windows come with a so-called low-E coating that further improves window insulating.
- Double glazing effectively reduces noise (especially high-frequency).
- They reduce condensation, thus they help prevent the formation of mold.
- Double glazed windows improve security as they are much harder to break than single glazed ones, therefore many burglars avoid messing with them.
Is Double Glazing Burglar-Proof? Is It Really Hard to Break?
First of all, not all double glazed windows are created equal. Much depends on the type of glass used in the window. For instance, you can choose windows with self-cleaning glass, acoustic glass, or security glass, just to mention a few.
Of course, double pane windows with security glass (that is often laminated glass) are much closer to being burglar-proof than other solutions. Keep in mind, however, that most double glazed windows do not have security glass panes.
Let’s see why double glazing, in general, is more secure than single glazing:
- The gap between the panes effectively absorbs shocks.
- Unless an intruder uses the right tool and knows where to hit (hint: in the lower corner with a sharp and hard object), it takes significantly more time and effort to break a double glazed window.
- If a burglar wants to get through a double pane window, they have to break not one but two glass panes (more time, more noise, more effort).
So, while it is true that double glazed windows are much more resistant to impacts and breaking than single glazed ones, their main advantages are still low heat conductivity and sound insulation.
So Can Burglars Get Through Double Glazing? How Secure Is It?
Let’s get to the point: there is no doubt that criminals will find a way to get through a double-paned window if they really want to get into a home and they find no other viable option.
However, burglars don’t really like breaking glass, and they try to avoid doing so in most cases. Especially if it is hard to smash, such as double glazing. Most intruders would rather go and find a weaker point of the home instead.
It is useful to know that burglars typically enter homes through a door by simply kicking it open (2). This is why it is so important to secure your doors in the first place.
If you haven’t done that yet, it is much more probable that burglars will get into your home through the front or the back door rather than a double glazed window.
Watch the video below to have an idea about how hard it is to break a double-paned window without any special tool:
How Can You Make Your Double Glazed Windows Really Burglar-Proof?
- Window beading. Make sure your window has both internal and external beading. This makes it much harder for burglars to remove the glass panes.
- Use window security film. You can protect your window glass from powerful attacks by installing a security film. It is a great way to secure windows without using bars. I recommend that you buy from a reliable manufacturer, such as 3M.
- Install a sturdy window lock. The only way you can prevent your windows from opening (besides using bars) is by installing a reliable window lock. You can use a vinyl lock, pin lock, or keyed lock, just to mention a few inexpensive options. If you have uPVC windows, consider installing sash jammers.
- Use a window alarm. There are many types of window alarms on the market: if you are on a budget, consider getting a magnetic security sensor (such as this one), otherwise, you may want to invest in an all-in-one security system, such as this one from Ring.
- Install window security bars or screens. This is the ultimate solution to burglar-proof your double glazed (or any other) windows. However, I know that most bars are unsightly (but not all!) and they are often a concern regarding fire safety (FYI: security bars with fire safety release pins also exist).
If you don’t like the idea of having bars, you can install security screens instead. Those are less obtrusive but still effective against burglars.
For more in-detail instructions and tips on improving window security check out our all-in-one guide here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between double and triple glazing?
A triple glazed window is similar to a double glazed window except that it has three panes of glass. Therefore, it has a higher R-value (insulating value) and can reduce external noise more effectively (but not in all cases). Also, it is somewhat harder to break but much depends on the quality of the glass.
What is the most cost-effective way to make a double glazed window more secure?
If you are on a budget, I suggest you get a window lock, a magnetic window alarm, and a glass-breaking sensor. These are all inexpensive units and will highly improve security on your windows.
How can you break a double glazed window in case of an emergency?
In case of an emergency, use a hard and sharp object (preferably a hammer or a window breaker tool) and strike the bottom corner of the glass with full force. After breaking the first pane, move on to the second one. Ideally, you should wear safety goggles and protective gloves while smashing the window, however, in an emergency, you might not have time to do so. Anyway, always try to protect your eyes, hands, and body somehow.
So, will double-glazed windows prevent burglars from breaking into your home? Often they will. However, I would not say they are burglar-proof as they are not so hard to get through if an intruder knows what to do.
Do I recommend them? Absolutely. They are a much better choice than single-glazed windows regarding both security and energy efficiency. And if you really want to make them burglar-proof, just apply some of the above-mentioned methods.