Want to boost the security of your home windows? We discuss tips for choosing window security bars, the difference between security window screens and window bars, and share some recommended interior security window bars suitable for homes.
Among the factors we consider when installing windows on our house or apartment are the size, shape, location, trim and style. We will put on a lock, but beyond that, we seldom consider window security. However, if your window overlooks a busy road or you live in a rough neighborhood, your need for privacy and security will likely trump your aesthetic concern. Unwelcome guests like thieves (or wild animals) often use windows to enter. Interior security window bars are excellent for keeping all these uninvited guests out. They also prevent young children from falling out of windows, which is especially important if you live on an upper level.
Before going shopping, it is worth understanding what essential features to look for when selecting window bars, and learn the difference between window bars and security window screens to find out which is best for your needs. We’ll cover this, plus share some popular and well-rated security window bar products you can order online and install yourself.
Features to Look For When Buying Interior Window Security Bars
First and foremost, it is important for you to be clear on what your primary motivation for the window security bars is. There are two main reasons you might want to install window bars, with products specially designed for each purpose:
- Window bars for child safety
- Window bars for home security
Window bars for child safety
Window bars for child safety are designed to prevent children from accidentally falling from windows, especially if you live in an upper story apartment or have a multi-story house.
They are not designed to keep burglars out, instead they are intended to keep your children safe. Having said that, they may make it difficult for thieves to enter by obstructing their way, but if you are looking for window bars for home security purposes this is not the best product.
Window bars for home security
These window bars are designed specifically to enhance the security of your home, by preventing burglars from entering. You can get two different styles:
Full coverage window bars
These window bars cover the entire window. Brands include Grisham, Defender Security and Knape & Vogt. Even if someone breaks the window, they will not be able to get in. They prevent any access through the window, not only burglars, but also children, objects or large animals.
Single window bars
These feature one bar that prevents the window from sliding open. Brands include Wedgit and Jeacent. If someone smashes the window, they will still be able to enter. For basic security they are ok, preventing thieves from sliding open the window to get inside, but that’s about it. Some people use a simple piece of wooden dowl cut to the right length for this purpose, although you can buy somewhat more sophisticated versions.
If you need proper security on your windows, then we would lean towards the full coverage window bars, especially if you know there is a risk or history of people breaking windows to enter homes in your neighborhood. Another style to consider is window security screens – we cover pros and cons of each style in more detail, a little further down.
Essential Features – Window Security Bars Interior & Exterior
Here are some essential features to consider while looking for interior security window bars for your home.
- Check the style, make sure it is what you want, either full coverage window bars or a single window bar. This depends on your personal requirements, but is worth mentioning so you don’t accidentally buy a product that is different from what you expected.
- Choose security window bars that open from the inside for the best chance of keeping intruders out.
- Ensure the security window bars enable users to escape the window in an emergency swiftly. In an emergency, like a fire, you need to make sure the window bars allow emergency escape.
- It goes without saying that the window bars should be sturdy. Avoid any flimsy models that feel like they could be easily broken, cut or bent. Sturdy window bars ensure that intruders are unable to get indoors.
If you decide to go for external window security instead, then consider this:
- For exterior security window bars… check for tamper-proof screws. Security windows come with these screws, suitable for outside window bars. These screws make entering the house difficult.
- For exterior security window bars… check for spears. The majority of them have spears around the perimeter for extra protection.
AVOID FIXED GUARDS. While here, we just want to highlight the dangers of fixed window security bars and screens. Fixed window bars and screens mean there is no way of easily opening it, in the case of an emergency. Using fixed windows bars and screen in bedrooms or other sleeping places where there is no way out of the room is not recommended. It’s for your safety. This goes for security bars to prevent intruders, as well as child safety window guards.
Window Security Bars vs Window Security Screens
Burglar bars and security screens are good choices for protecting your home’s windows. The first option resembles the bars of a jail cell, which is not at all appealing. On the other hand, security screens look excellent and can’t be simply cut since they’re constructed of a durable substance. Additionally, they may feature a sliding deadbolt and even an actual lock.
Security or burglar bars are beneficial, but it’s not ideal for homes if you have children or your house is prone to risks, like flood and fire. You need to find the easiest way out possible if that happens. Unfortunately, that will likely never happen with permanently installed security bars, although some DIY interior window security bars allow for opening. Check out below to learn more about their pros and cons.
Security Window Bars (Pros and Cons)
- Prevent criminals from breaking in and getting in via the windows.
- Deter burglars from breaking into your house by providing them a psychological shock.
- Give a sense of safety and security.
- Increase your home’s worth by keeping it secure.
- Difficult to install/remove
- Can trap you inside if there’s a fire or flood (unless it is openable)
- You feel like a prisoner in your own home
- It ruins the view
Window Security Screens (Pros and Cons)
- Resilient and long-lasting
- Ensure the safety of your pets and children
- It gives you a clear view of the outside, and you’re invisible to outsiders.
- It can be quickly accessed in a fire or other emergency.
- Low maintenance
- Requires professional help with installation
RECOMMEDATIONS FOR BEST SECURITY WINDOW BARS (INTERIOR)
In this section, we share a few recommendations of security window bars (interior) that you can easily order online and install yourself. For many styles of window bars and screens, a professional installation is required, which can cost significantly in both product and labor. The professionally installed option is great if you need long-lasting security which is a permanent fixture to your house or apartment, but as mentioned above you need to be careful as they may not allow easy escape form the house in case of fire (however, check your local regulations, as some jurisdictions may have requirements that they be openable from the inside). If you need this level of installation, you will need to find a local business and book them in for a custom measure and quote.
If on the other hand, you are looking for moderately good security but don’t need the permanence of professionally installed interior or exterior windows security bars or screens, then a DIY order and install yourself option is fine – and there are many to choose from. Below are some recommended brands and models below to help you narrow down your search. Please note, most of the links are affiliate links to Amazon, so if you click them we will earn a small commission, which helps to pay for this website and professional writers to create the great content you read here (you can read more about our financial transparency here).
Grisham Window Guards – Best Overall Security Window Bar
If you are looking for aesthetic window bars that are also very secure, one brand worth looking at is Grisham who specialize in home security, and have several options available. Grisham window guards are stylish and functional, while also being waterproof and rustproof. While they have a large range of window guard options, you might need professional help installing as several of them are a permanent fixture. For an easier home DIY option from their range, check out their adjustable Grisham 6-Bar Window Guard here.
All in all, they offer a large range of window security bar options, ranging from DIY through to professional install, from a very well reputed company. For more permanent fixtures, unfortunately it seems like you can’t order through their website directly, and you will need to find a distributor/installer in your local area to order through instead.
Primary Purpose: Home security – full window coverage
Knape & Vogt John Sterling Swing Window Guard – Best Security Bar for Basement Window
These burglar bars from Knape & Vogt are a suitable choice for your windows – including your basement window – offering a swing open function that allows escape in the case of emergency. There is a range of options available, from 3-bar units to 8-bar units. You may mount these burglar bars inside or outside the window frame. For the range of sizes available and ability to open, we consider this the best DIY security bar for basement window.
Primary Purpose: Home security – full window coverage
- Good basement window security bar option
- 5 different sizes available
- Poor quality screws
Defender Security Openable Window Guard
Protect your house or workplace from attackers with this durable window guard. It’s an excellent barrier for kids, as well as preventing intruders from entry. These Defender Security window bars are made of carbon steel tubing disguised with a white powder coat finish, and will last a long time if properly cared for. They are a must-have for any house or apartment in need of window security and aesthetic both, due to their durable structure and pleasant appearance. In an emergency, such as a fire, the bars may be quickly removed from the wall using tamper-resistant screws. Plus, they can be used on basement windows, as well other areas of your home.
Primary Purpose: Home security and child safety – full window coverage
- Strong and long-lasting
- Screws that are resistant to tampering
- In an emergency, the quick-release mechanism allows for quick removal.
- Complies with the housing standards of New York City and New Jersey
- The directions for mounting could be more specific
Wedgit Sliding Window Security Bar – Best Choice for Rentals
What we love about this interior window security bar from Wedgit, is that it is so inconspicuous that you can hardly notice it from the outside while providing a lot of strength. If you think for such a small and simple product that the Wedgit window bars are tiny and flimsy, think again. They can support 450 lbs of pressure, making it very difficult for burglars to break through. They’re easy to put up even if you are brand-new to home DIY and have no experience with power tools. It requires absolutely no drilling or permanent installation, making it a fantastic choice for anyone living in a rental or even staying in a hotel. Placing and securing the bar takes just a few minutes. For these reasons, we consider this one of the best window security bars for rental properties.
Primary Purpose: Home security – single bar
- Small and compact
- Excellent choice for rentals
- Plastic pin in the bar is a potential weak point
Ideal Security Window Security Bar
This versatile window bar offering both child protection and burglar prevention, features a child-proof sliding window security bar and anti-lift lock to deter would-be burglars. This metal sliding window lock is adjustable, enabling the window to partially open while remaining locked – great if you want to allow some fresh air flow or want to install air conditioners in your windows. Saddles may be screwed into the window frame and profile, or attached using double-sided tape (included). Suitable for your child safety needs, this window lock may be put anywhere in the window profile to keep your kids safe, and comes in three colors to match your home decor. Unfortunately it is not the most durable option, so if you need seriously tough burglar prevention, then you’ll want to skip this one.
Primary Purpose: Home security – single bar
- It is entirely customizable.
- Mechanism to prevent access by children
- There are two installation techniques.
- There are three distinct sizes.
- There are three colors available.
- Not that durable.
Jeacent Adjustable Window Security Bar
Most people place “burglar bars” on their windows to dissuade would-be burglars. The mere sight of a window bar may prevent a would-be invader, and even if they prevail, these bars will make life challenging for them. This window bar is a simple choice that requires no drilling, making it perfect for renters who don’t have permission to drill into their walls/frames. This window bar is appropriate for small to medium window sizes, ranging from 15.5 to 29.5 inch openings. It’s easy to set up and can be opened to your desired height. It’s also suitable for use on your basement windows.
Primary Purpose: Home security – single bar
- Stainless and sturdy steel
- You have total control over how it looks and functions.
- It’s easy to set up.
- Renters will find this useful.
- It may be used on both sliding and non-sliding windows.
- The locking button may be difficult to adjust.
WINDOW GUARDS FOR CHILD SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
Depending on your needs, you may not require burglar prevention, but rather a solution for preventing your child or grandchild from falling out of windows. It is something that we’d rather not have to talk about, but children falling out of windows has happened and can be easily fatal, so as parents we need to think a step ahead and child-proof our environment before the worst happens. And as we parents all know, those little rascals are quick and curious, so you cannot always rely on your keen senses and awareness to prevent them from poking, chewing, cutting, falling or playing with something dangerous.
That’s where window guards for child safety can help – they don’t offer the full window security to prevent burglars, but they will prevent a child escaping or falling out. This is a great choice especially if you like to leave your windows open for fresh air, but don’t want to create a safety hazard.
RECOMMEND: We recommend the Fairy Baby Window Guard, because it supports a lot of weight, is washable and doesn’t require drilling meaning it is suitable for rentals. Having a non-permanent installation is good for any residence, in fact, as you usually only need this style of guard in place for a few years while your child is small.
AVOID: One model that has been quite popular is the Segal Child Safety Guard but we strongly recommend you steer clear of it, because it is a fixed window guard that cannot be opened in the case of emergency. In fact, we’ve decided to omit the link for this product from this article because we consider it too dangerous, despite its popularity. If you opt for this model, then choose the hinged opening version, if you can get it.
Fairy Baby Window Guard for Children
This window guard for kids is an excellent option to consider if you want to make sure that you can open your windows securely. This Fairy baby kid window protection works with almost any style of window. This pressure-mounted window guard is simple to install and requires no drilling, so you can even use it in your rental. It is possible to install the system in various ways, including both horizontally and vertically. This window guard’s gleaming white steel frame is capable of supporting even an adult’s weight (up to 150lb), and can be removed in an emergency (by an adult, of course). It’s also washable, which as a parent, you will appreciate the need for! It is a great all round product that does the job it promises, but it does come with a higher price tag than some other options out there.
Primary Purpose: Child safety
- There is no need for drilling.
- Installation is simple.
- Steel structure for sturdiness
- The width may be adjusted.
- Consistently reliable and robust
What Windows Do You Need Security Bars On?
People may break into your house, workplace, or cabin via any window at any time. To safeguard them, a window bar should be placed up. Moreover, putting a security bar on the basement window is an absolute need that must not be overlooked.
Get a security bar for basement window
We cannot emphasize this enough! Installing a basement window security bar option is a must, especially if you don’t have any other security measures in place there. Some intruders are smart enough to think that the basement is the least protected part of the house, and they are probably right. Remember, your basement is still part of your home, and a bit of negligence may lead to unexpected break-ins. If not thieves, then wildlife looking for a warm place to live. Go for full coverage window bars (not single bar) that is openable (egress).
Windows exposed to public traffic
In addition to the basement, security bars can be added to any window in your house. Start with the most exposed windows, like your bedroom and living room. Any windows facing onto a public area should be prioritized for window bars or window security screens.
Child safety guards on high windows
If you are installing window bars for child safety reasons, then they will need to be installed on any windows that you deem to be high enough to cause injury if a child were to fall out of it. Even if they are not high, it is a good idea to install them on any windows facing the street, to avoid your child escaping and wandering out into traffic or getting otherwise lost.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do interior security window bars work?
Burglar bars are constructed from a metal frame reinforced with several strong metal rods. They cannot be removed because they have been screwed or secured too tightly. A simple DIY version requires three or four steel bars in a metal frame. They are available at your local hardware shop or online. It is common to include decorative flourishes and scrollwork into more complicated variants to boost their visual appeal. Wrought-iron bars that are produced to order might cost up to $1,000.
How effective are interior security window bars for keeping out burglars?
If you’re anxious about your home’s security, consider installing full coverage window security bars. Home security bars are a low-cost yet high-impact solution. They should be a part of your home’s security system design plan. The additional layer of deterrence they provide makes it more difficult for a burglar to enter a home.
As an alternative, they perform best when connected to a security system. You may add security bars to your house for a low price, but before purchasing and installing them, consider why you want them and how they might be harmful.
Choosing effective interior security window bars for your house or apartment doesn’t have to be complicated. Although there are a few styles available, to narrow down your choices we suggest that you look over the list of features to look for and make a note of your ‘needs’. Then, while searching, focus only on your ‘needs’ list and eliminate the products that aren’t a ‘need’. Doing this, you will be able to create a shortlist to fine tune the product that is most suitable.
Needs will vary from one person to the next, so it is not possible to definitively say one product is best for everyone. It will vary depending on your own circumstances, for example, if you live in a quiet friendly town then a single security window bar inside might be fine, but if you live in a city where crime is rampant then you might want to get window bars with full coverage and strength. If you have a child and live in a multi-story apartment building, then safety and security of your child comes first, in which case a child safety guard may be all you need.
Before buying anything, check that it complies with local regulations. In an emergency, such as a fire, most departments adhere to these guidelines to ensure that everyone residing in a building can quickly exit. This includes a house basement, where certain requirements with regard to egress windows may have to be met.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article, and that we’ve help you find a solution suited to your needs. Now that you have seen the options for reinforcing your window security, learn how to install a window screen for keeping out mini-intruders (that is, flies, insects and mosquitoes) or check out these window solar screen recommendations for blocking those harsh UV rays in summer.