Securing windows. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Warp
08-24-2012, 01:22
I hate windows. They are thermally inefficient, they must be covered if you want privacy (at last in suburbia, here), and they are easily damaged.

We've got a nice, big window right up front right off the driveway that looks like a giant OPEN beacon to me these days. I'd like to toughen it up without changing it's appearance.

Window Film: How hard is it to install, properly, yourself if you have never really done it before? We put a frosted privacy window film over our very narrow front door sidelights after moving in, other than that...no film or tinting experience here, and no money to pay a professional to come out and do it.

Any recommendations on brand or source for security window film (sometimes called hurricane film)? All I ask for is something that will stop a stray baseball or a maliciously heaved brick or molotov cocktail from getting inside.

How about shutters? I know some of you guys in hurricane land have rigged up the hardware necessary to go out and cover your windows with plywood or whatever else, if the time comes...but I don't have a clue what's involved with that (haven't googled it yet, either). Any links or suggestions here?

We mostly have siding, BTW...not brick. :(

bdcochran
08-24-2012, 06:10
1. http://solarhurricanefilm.com/
2. google "hurricane film"

3. Best option. I have seen this in Europe and in the United States. Requires an installer. Rolling security shutters. Not unattractive.
In US - very wealthy woman who lives alone who has the rolling shutters that she puts down at night on her bedrooom.
In Europe - a resort development wherein people have second homes. You roll the shutters down at night and your unit is impregnable.

I look at "impregnable" homes in my area. The best is one with motion detectors and cameras on the outside, a blast wall of concrete like material in a wall on the street, card key entry, roll down door for each entrance. I even saw the area inside done by a Japanese architect. Pond and pool. Large ground to ceiling glass windows and roll down steel blast panels.

You can also redo your windows and put in near bullet resistant glass. Of course, my sister who redid all her windows on a conventional tract home and simply put in modern windows paid $14,000 for new windows. New windows are incredibly expensive. Such is why I leave in the glass that my kid holed with a bb gun 20 years ago.:crying:

John Rambo
08-24-2012, 06:45
I hate windows. They are thermally inefficient, they must be covered if you want privacy (at last in suburbia, here), and they are easily damaged.

We've got a nice, big window right up front right off the driveway that looks like a giant OPEN beacon to me these days. I'd like to toughen it up without changing it's appearance.

Window Film: How hard is it to install, properly, yourself if you have never really done it before? We put a frosted privacy window film over our very narrow front door sidelights after moving in, other than that...no film or tinting experience here, and no money to pay a professional to come out and do it.

Any recommendations on brand or source for security window film (sometimes called hurricane film)? All I ask for is something that will stop a stray baseball or a maliciously heaved brick or molotov cocktail from getting inside.

How about shutters? I know some of you guys in hurricane land have rigged up the hardware necessary to go out and cover your windows with plywood or whatever else, if the time comes...but I don't have a clue what's involved with that (haven't googled it yet, either). Any links or suggestions here?

We mostly have siding, BTW...not brick. :(

3M makes fantastic window films. Security/Tint/UV Blocking. Whatever you want. I recommend them as a first step. Shutters are alright, but lets be honest, you're going to be nailing boards over them anyways if the **** hits the fan.

HAVE THE FILMS PROFESSIONALLY INSTALLED. DO NOT INSTALL IT YOURSELF.

IvanVic
08-24-2012, 07:32
We are going to have 3M installed on our first floor windows. To give you an idea, a friend said he had his house done for $1500 dollars, and I believe it's around 2,500 sq ft. I will update this once our house is built and we have the installation done, but that will be several months from now.

Carry16
08-24-2012, 13:55
I looked at various films at a survival expo a few years ago. The film is best at minimizing smash and grabs from places like jewelry stores. If you want to use it to harden your glass windows it needs to cover the window PLUS a good bit of your frame. If it is only applied to the window there is nothing to prevent someone from kicking the entire window into your home leaving a broken frame as the result. I have always figured it I needed to protect my windows in a SHTF scenario I would screw boards across the ground floor windows. I have a brick home and feel the walls offer a lot of protection, unless someone decided to drive a pickup through one. Siding homes can be entered with a battery operated sawzall in 2-5 minutes....and your neighbors probably won't even notice. Same with virtually everyones roof, if the bad guys can set up a ladder and use a sawzall to cut out a small section they can drop into your home in minutes as well. Best defense is not to let anyone get that close.

Warp
08-24-2012, 14:14
I looked at various films at a survival expo a few years ago. The film is best at minimizing smash and grabs from places like jewelry stores. If you want to use it to harden your glass windows it needs to cover the window PLUS a good bit of your frame. If it is only applied to the window there is nothing to prevent someone from kicking the entire window into your home leaving a broken frame as the result. I have always figured it I needed to protect my windows in a SHTF scenario I would screw boards across the ground floor windows. I have a brick home and feel the walls offer a lot of protection, unless someone decided to drive a pickup through one. Siding homes can be entered with a battery operated sawzall in 2-5 minutes....and your neighbors probably won't even notice. Same with virtually everyones roof, if the bad guys can set up a ladder and use a sawzall to cut out a small section they can drop into your home in minutes as well. Best defense is not to let anyone get that close.

As I stated I would intend to cover the windows up in a SHTF, but I want something to stop baseballs, bricks, molotov cocktails, etc, from going through the window and into the house during the rest of the times.

People breaking into homes with a sawzall through the wall is so exceptionally rare I've never even actually heard of it happening, and 2-5 minutes is a LONG time. I hope that if somebody tries to break into my home that is how they do it...seems like one of the slowest ways imagineable to get into my house.

It is quite literally impossible to not ever physically allow people to approach my house.

Carry16
08-24-2012, 18:02
My impression after listening to the salesman and watching various videos is that the films sort of make auto safety glass from your window. By that I mean that they prevent the glass from shattering and crumbling in a million tiny pieces. They hold all those pieces of glass together kind of like you would expect if you covered your window with clear packing tape and then smashed it with a hammer. There may be better products, but from my observations the film and or your window would not stand up to repeated rocks. These films would be great inside a jewelry store on display counters because by the time the surprised smash and grabber figures out that it ain't gonna' be as easy as he thought he may turn around and leave.

I'm not being a smart ass, just passing along what I saw a few years back. Our ex-sheriff was promoting the stuff and it didn't take long for him to move on to other ways to make a living.

For stopping some flying debris during a violent storm these films may also afford some protection.

I have never read of a home invasion using a sawzall, it was all in my head. That said, I'm guessing on a vinyl sided home that a bad guy with a drywall knife could cut and remove a nice section of siding, and cut through the celotex or whatever insulating board is on many homes, rip out the insulation and get through the drywall in near silence. Kind of like what they used to do on Mission Impossible when they would drill through concrete walls without making a sound :rofl: Food for thought only.

The TV show "Storage Wars" makes it painfully obvious how little security even the best padlocks offer today when put up against a battery powered cuttoff tool.

Well I've strayed far enough away from your original thread, so I'll shut up now.

Warp
08-24-2012, 19:13
My impression after listening to the salesman and watching various videos is that the films sort of make auto safety glass from your window. By that I mean that they prevent the glass from shattering and crumbling in a million tiny pieces. They hold all those pieces of glass together kind of like you would expect if you covered your window with clear packing tape and then smashed it with a hammer. There may be better products, but from my observations the film and or your window would not stand up to repeated rocks.

Nowhere did I ask or expect window film to stand up to repeated attacks and actually keep a determined attacker out.



These films would be great inside a jewelry store on display counters because by the time the surprised smash and grabber figures out that it ain't gonna' be as easy as he thought he may turn around and leave.

I think it would be great for the house because if I am here then by the time they realize they can't just throw a rock/brick and then waltz through the opening I will have retrieved a firearm and prepared for them...and/or the dogs will be all over their ****.



I'm not being a smart ass, just passing along what I saw a few years back. Our ex-sheriff was promoting the stuff and it didn't take long for him to move on to other ways to make a living.

I understand. There's nothing wrong with telling people exactly what you think they can reasonably expect from something.




I have never read of a home invasion using a sawzall, it was all in my head.

I haven't either. People seem to mention it a lot for something that seems to never happen, though.


That said, I'm guessing on a vinyl sided home that a bad guy with a drywall knife could cut and remove a nice section of siding, and cut through the celotex or whatever insulating board is on many homes, rip out the insulation and get through the drywall in near silence. Kind of like what they used to do on Mission Impossible when they would drill through concrete walls without making a sound :rofl: Food for thought only.

Impenetrable, my house will never be.



The TV show "Storage Wars" makes it painfully obvious how little security even the best padlocks offer today when put up against a battery powered cuttoff tool.

Well I've strayed far enough away from your original thread, so I'll shut up now.

It's all about upping the level of the attack that is necessary to break into the premises and making it take longer/make more noise/attract more attention to do so.

+ not letting a molotov cocktail come through the window and onto the couch might be a big deal. Almost certainly not...but it could.

And like I said, a stray baseball. I'd hate to be gone and have a sports ball shatter the big front window and have an opening from my house to the outside world...or have pieces of broken glass lying around when my dogs go running up to it.

malleable
08-25-2012, 14:14
If you go with a security film make sure to apply adhesive around it or someone can just push it in.

FLA45fan
08-25-2012, 20:52
Window film = 3M. Great stuff when installed properly. We have had it on a condo that we own here in Fla. After I saw the video demonstration I was sold. It keeps the glass intact when objects hit it and they use some sort of sealing material to bond the whole thing tho the frames. We have two triple sliders and a double slider as well as two large windows and they survived the 3 hurricanes we had in 2004. We now live in a frame house :( that is protected by lexan panels that have to be put up before storms. Personally I felt safer in the CBC (concrete block construction) condo with all the windows. I think the windows would hold up to a great amount of abuse before entry could be gained, by either weather or foe.

By the way, I second the motion of getting the 3M stuff professionally installed.

ca survivor
08-26-2012, 09:57
I'm seen here in Florida now, like a screen but made of like 3/16" sheets with 1/4" holes covering the windows, seen it in business only, hospital mainly. but I would not mind it in my house, you can still see out, don't know if easily removed for cleaning windows etc.

BR549
08-27-2012, 09:27
3M Window Film - go ahead an try it yourself if you must.

Enviroblind or QMI or similar security shutters and sunscreens.

ray9898
08-27-2012, 19:03
We put a frosted privacy window film over our very narrow front door sidelights after moving in, other than that...no film or tinting experience here, and no money to pay a professional to come out and do it.


With that front door I don't think I would bother. There is just not enough solid material between the door latch and the side windows to allow any real security. No matter what you do you cannot eliminate that entry point.

Warp
08-27-2012, 19:06
With that front door I don't think I would bother. There is just not enough solid material between the door latch and the side windows to allow any real security. No matter what you do you cannot eliminate that entry point.

We put frosted film on the sidelights to block visibility, it had nothing to do with security.

No matter what kind of door was there I could never eliminate it as an entry point, sidelight or not.

It has a door club anyway. I figure that to get in the door will have to be broken or the top hinge will have to be ripped off. Both of those things are certainly possible for a strong and determined man to do, I think, but it would probably make a lot of noise and take a minute...or at least take measurably longer than if the club wasn't there. (it's anchored in the concrete slab)

ranger1968
08-27-2012, 19:14
Film to keep the odd flying object for shattering the glass;

For intrusion protection,

Steel bars, solid, at least 5/8 inch thick, welded at the junctions and to 1/4" flat bar at the edges, though-bolted to the other side of the wall with large backing plates.

Warp
08-27-2012, 19:19
Film to keep the odd flying object for shattering the glass;

For intrusion protection,

Steel bars, solid, at least 5/8 inch thick, welded at the junctions and to 1/4" flat bar at the edges, though-bolted to the other side of the wall with large backing plates.

Steel bars violate the appearance requirements.

ranger1968
08-27-2012, 19:23
And shutters don't?

OK......

ray9898
08-27-2012, 19:24
We put frosted film on the sidelights to block visibility, it had nothing to do with security.

No matter what kind of door was there I could never eliminate it as an entry point, sidelight or not.

It has a door club anyway. I figure that to get in the door will have to be broken or the top hinge will have to be ripped off. Both of those things are certainly possible for a strong and determined man to do, I think, but it would probably make a lot of noise and take a minute...or at least take measurably longer than if the club wasn't there. (it's anchored in the concrete slab)

I understood that, I was just commenting on the normal weakness of the frame area of front doors with the viewing windows on each side. Hopefully the door club would slow them down enough to give you some time. I have seen burglaries where those windows were broken out and the door simply unlocked by reaching through.

Warp
08-27-2012, 19:48
And shutters don't?

OK......

From an appearance standpoint...shutters > iron bars.

I don't foresee installing either though.

I understood that, I was just commenting on the normal weakness of the frame area of front doors with the viewing windows on each side. Hopefully the door club would slow them down enough to give you some time. I have seen burglaries where those windows were broken out and the door simply unlocked by reaching through.

I hate the sidelights.

I used a double cylinder deadbolt. The key is not kept in the cylinder. For escape/fire purposes, however, there are currently only adults staying in the house (ever) and there are multiple keys located within reach of the door...if you are on the inside.

quake
08-27-2012, 19:53
...I have never read of a home invasion using a sawzall, it was all in my head. That said, I'm guessing on a vinyl sided home that a bad guy with a drywall knife could cut and remove a nice section of siding, and cut through the celotex or whatever insulating board is on many homes, rip out the insulation and get through the drywall in near silence...

...I haven't either. People seem to mention it a lot for something that seems to never happen, though...
Seen the sawzall thing in person, probably 1997 or so. Local Little Rock TV personality had goblins break in thru their crawlspace, and then came up thru the master bedroom floor with a saw. They had their way with the goodies in the master bedroom, but tripped a motion sensor when they went out into the hallway. They got away with most of the good stuff from the bedroom, but nothing from the rest of the house. (For whatever reason, many people decline a security contact on their crawlspace door. Never understood that, as the crawlspace is usually the only easily-accessible area that provides a completely concealed access to most, if not all, of many houses... :dunno: )

Also seen the "butcher knife thru the vinyl siding" thing. Only once, and more than ten years ago as well. Houses in the neighborhood apparently had OSB for sheathing only at the corners; rest of the wall spans had "blackboard" (or "tarboard"); so the interior sheetrock was literally (imo, anyway) the toughest thing to break thru in the wall. Guy(s) ripped off several pieces of vinyl siding in the back and then literally cut thru the tarboard with a knife; we assumed a butcher knife from the looks, but don't really know for sure.

One other off-kilter entry point is simply to break one of the small garage-door window panes & pull the opener-release rope; seen that twice.

Only once seen someone break a window and crawl through, and that was just last year.

All that said, most residential break-in points I've seen, and I see a fair number, are a kicked-in door; usually the back, side, or garage-entry door (the door separating an attached garage from the house proper). I'd say literally more than 90 percent of residential break-ins I've seen have been just that; a kicked-in door.


...It's all about upping the level of the attack that is necessary to break into the premises and making it take longer/make more noise/attract more attention to do so.
On this - major +1. Home security systems are a big part of what we do, and after near 20 years of security & law enforcement involvement, it seems that "the answer" almost always boils down to three things; time, attention, and difficulty. Whatever you can do to make breaking into your home more time-consuming, more attention-drawing, and more difficult to break into, is usually the 'right' thing to do. Whether that's window film, tougher construction, better locks & doors, sensor lights, alarms with sirens, dogs, or whatever, the goal usually should be simply to make it slower, more attention-getting (noise, light, etc), and more difficult.

ranger1968
08-27-2012, 19:55
Just one lock on the door? what's the frame made of? what's holding the frame to the doorway? what's the door made from?

These are all things to consider.

As far as shutters, choose VERY carefully; many roll down shutter designed for storm use are made of vinyl and other light materials that would not stand up to tampering, or even Bic lighter, very well.

You can get good steel shutters that are tamper resistant, but they are pretty pricey.

Warp
08-27-2012, 19:59
Just one lock on the door? what's the frame made of? what's holding the frame to the doorway? what's the door made from?

These are all things to consider.

As far as shutters, choose VERY carefully; many roll down shutter designed for storm use are made of vinyl and other light materials that would not stand up to tampering, or even Bic lighter, very well.

You can get good steel shutters that are tamper resistant, but they are pretty pricey.

The knob/lock + the deadbolt. Frame is weak. Door is weak. They are what the builder of the neighborhood used. Screws are short because there's very little room with the sidelights there. The sidelights suck. At least they are only on the front door, and not the back.

ranger1968
08-27-2012, 20:09
If I were in your postion (actually, I was once) , I would consider replacing the door and the frame with a steel fram and door, and at least two good deadbolts with reinforcement plates; maybe even a Fox cross-bolt lock.

As for the sidelights, that can be remedied pretty easily by getting some expanded metal and cutting it to fit the inside of the window frame, and attaching it there; it can be painted to match the frame and trim, and with it's diamond pattern, it would actually look very decorative on the verticle narrow opening of the side lights.

Warp
08-27-2012, 21:00
If I were in your postion (actually, I was once) , I would consider replacing the door and the frame with a steel fram and door, and at least two good deadbolts with reinforcement plates; maybe even a Fox cross-bolt lock.

Too expensive. Looked into it. Doors are not cheap! We have a new back door that is a little sturdier than what was there (and has only a small window at the top vs being 1/2 glass like the old one) but that was expensive enough.


As for the sidelights, that can be remedied pretty easily by getting some expanded metal and cutting it to fit the inside of the window frame, and attaching it there; it can be painted to match the frame and trim, and with it's diamond pattern, it would actually look very decorative on the verticle narrow opening of the side lights.

The sidelights are too small for anything or anyone to get through and the is a double cylinder deadbolt, so I'm not worried enough about them being broken to go through the trouble.

ranger1968
08-27-2012, 21:17
Don't take this the wrong way, but if the cost of a door/frame replacement is too high for you, then shutters are going to be out of the question, price-wise, for anything that has any real security to it.

Bottom line, safety/security costs money, and the front and back doors are, hands down , the most common entry point; if your door system is poor, you are vulnerable, and if you are serious about beefing up your residence, it's something that needs to be addressed;

Impact windows are very expensive; good shutters are very expensive; window bars are cheaper, but they aren't cheap either, even if you have your own welder and make them yourself ; Security doors, steel frames, and GOOD deadbolts that cannot be easily bump locked, channelk locked, or pried are expensive;

But if you really want to be secure, that's waht you need to do;

If you aren't really serious, and don't mind the fact that any 13 year old or meth head with a $5 flat prybar can defeat your door while you are away at work or home asleep and be inside of your house and standing over you as you sleep in about a minute, and all you really want is some privacy from people walking by on the street and the Jehova's Witnesses when they come by, then get some cheap blinds and you are good to go with your current set up.

Warp
08-27-2012, 21:31
Don't take this the wrong way, but if the cost of a door/frame replacement is too high for you, then shutters are going to be out of the question, price-wise, for anything that has any real security to it.

Shutters aren't a legitimate option at this point either. :(

Self installing some window film on the higher risk windows and getting some boards ready to put up if a SHTF is imminent/already happened will probably be it.


Bottom line, safety/security costs money, and the front and back doors are, hands down , the most common entry point; if your door system is poor, you are vulnerable, and if you are serious about beefing up your residence, it's something that needs to be addressed;

Impact windows are very expensive; good shutters are very expensive; window bars are cheaper, but they aren't cheap either, even if you have your own welder and make them yourself ; Security doors, steel frames, and GOOD deadbolts that cannot be easily bump locked, channelk locked, or pried are expensive;

But if you really want to be secure, that's waht you need to do;

If you aren't really serious, and don't mind the fact that any 13 year old or meth head with a $5 flat prybar can defeat your door while you are away at work or home asleep and be inside of your house and standing over you as you sleep in about a minute, and all you really want is some privacy from people walking by on the street and the Jehova's Witnesses when they come by, then get some cheap blinds and you are good to go with your current set up.

Almost surely the door/frame/locks will be defeated, and then the club will have to be defeated after that...taking more time and making more noise. As soon as that first step happens the locally monitored alarm is going to go off, and the dog will be really pissed off. Actually, he'll probably be pissed off before the pry bar finishes with its work. I certainly won't be asleep at that point, if I am home.

Almost everything is expensive. There's only so much money to go around. New doors/frames or shutters are simply not in the budget, nor will they be anytime soon.

BR549
08-28-2012, 09:54
OP, this thread is great and I'd really like to tell you about some of the things I do to various properties and encourage friends and family to do also. I think these would be beneficial to you, but your posts indicate you likely will not undertake such due to the expense.

The thread has evolved much since your OP.

How about you restate what you are trying to prevent (shattered glass from flying objects?) and what you are NOT trying to prevent (home invasion?) ?
------------------------------------------------------------
Go ahead with the 3M film and install it yourself. You can do it.

TheExplorer
08-28-2012, 10:02
I have also reinforced windows with plexi from HD. It is easy to cut and can simply be caulked in around the sides.

Warp
08-28-2012, 11:20
I have also reinforced windows with plexi from HD. It is easy to cut and can simply be caulked in around the sides.

How is the transparency?

TheExplorer
08-28-2012, 11:30
How is the transparency?
As long as you clean it thoroughly with something like "invisible glass" and use a cleaned microfiber towel (to reduce loose fibers) and use gloves it is extremely clear.

Warp
08-28-2012, 11:48
How do you cut it? Good utility knife do it?

TheExplorer
08-28-2012, 11:53
How do you cut it? Good utility knife do it?

They sell a plexi cutting tool at home stores. I forget the name of mine. You may need to score it more than once. Tape a straight edge to the plexi also before you cut.

gosnmic
08-29-2012, 21:40
I hate windows. ... they must be covered if you want privacy and are easily damaged. ... I'd like to toughen it up without changing it's appearance.


I hear you! I've been falling back on Linux for years now with all of the Windows "Blue Screens" I've experienced; still trying to find something secure to run off of to suit my house! Unfortunately it seems that even ... er, wait - you weren't talking operating systems, were you? :supergrin:

:rofl:

Actually a very interesting thread topic (been of interest for a long while) but doesn't suit me at the moment while I'm renting (don't think the landlord would spring for the costs nor want to reimburse me should I do it on my own ;))!!

IvanVic
08-29-2012, 21:55
From an appearance standpoint...shutters > iron bars.

I don't foresee installing either though.



I hate the sidelights.

I used a double cylinder deadbolt. The key is not kept in the cylinder. For escape/fire purposes, however, there are currently only adults staying in the house (ever) and there are multiple keys located within reach of the door...if you are on the inside.

Made especially for side light doors:

http://www.armorconcepts.com/Our-Solutions/Side-Light-Doors

glockinron
08-29-2012, 22:55
i just wanted to give some input on rolling shutters , i lived in a building ( condo ) in 06 with them on the windows , i was curious how secure they were , i went outside with a screw driver and jammed it under the bottom and lifted up , they went right up as easy as they come down , they were the type that you hand crank , i dont know the brand , i only lifted them up about 6 inches as i was a little afraid of breaking them ( not mine to break ) so at least look into that possibility before buying .

i think the window film is a great idea , and i would buy some cheap window tint and practice a little and then tackle it your self , ive done windows many times , car and home and it takes some patients , but can be done by a newbie .