Feeling safe in your own home can sometimes feel like a utopian ideal.
Home invasions are a reality worldwide, and here at home, the statistics paint a grim picture.
The good news is that you needn't despair. If you have been pondering the question do burglar bars work, the simple answer is yes.
We will take you through everything you need to know before installing burglar bars on your windows, as well as cover a few great alternatives you can consider.
What Are Burglar Bars?
Burglar bars are metal grills installed over windows and sometimes doors to create barriers to prevent entry by unauthorized persons.
These bars are typically 5-7 mm thick. As you will soon discover, these bars come in different materials and designs.
Burglar bars are also called security bars.
What Are Burglar Bars Made Of?
Most burglar bars are made of metal, usually steel, aluminium, or iron. Some designers also use wrought iron which they prefer for its strength, thickness, and durability.
Some modern security bars are made from polycarbonates, although these are less common than metal bars.
Types Of Burglar Bars & Which Would Suit You
Fortunately for homeowners, you do not have to throw your interior design aspirations out of the window when installing security bars.
These installations come in a wide variety of designs and types.
You can easily find the ideal option for your home if you know what to look for.
Metal Burglar Bars
Metal burglar bars are the most common, with steel and aluminium making up the majority of installations.
Wrought iron bars are a little more expensive but offer added strength and security compared to the traditional steel and aluminium bars. It is also much easier to customize wrought iron, making it a perfect option for homeowners who are particular about design.
Metal burglar bars are ideal for people who are looking for a quick, no-frills, and inexpensive way to secure their windows.
Transparent Burglar Bars
Security bars can easily make your home feel like a maximum-security prison or obstruct beautiful views of the landscape.
Transparent bars are made from polycarbonates. This material is also used for helmet visors, riot shields, and aeroplane windows.
Transparent burglar bars can be expensive, but the cost is worth it.
Aside from allowing a clear view of the outside, the bars are bulletproof strength. They also don't rust, are easy to clean, and very difficult to compromise without specialized tools.
This option is perfect for homeowners who live on the coast or other areas with beautiful or sweeping views.
Interior & Exterior Burglar Bars
Both types of bars cost about the same but are installed differently.
Interior bars are mounted on the inside of the house while exterior bars are installed on the outside.
Interior bars are the better option in this case. They are harder to compromise since the burglar has first to pry open or break the window.
Any extra difficulty the burglar has to go through means better security for you.
Decorative Burglar Bars
These bars are made from the standard steel, aluminium, or wrought iron but are built with aesthetics in mind.
You can find them in many designs, including flowers and scrolls, or customized with your unique design.
You will shell out a little more money than the standard alternatives, but you can get the colour and design that suits your house.
Decorative bars are a great choice for people who want to maintain aesthetic appeal while enhancing their home security.
Retractable Burglar Bars
You may already be familiar with retractable security gates for doors. You can have this same design fitted on your window.
You can open and close the security door as you like.
This design makes cleaning windows easier and can offer an alternative exit should you ever need to go through your window.
Do Burglar Bars Work: Advantage & Disadvantages
Psychological Barrier – Intruders are always looking for easy targets. The sight of window bars alone might be enough to deter a would-be intruder.
Physical Barrier – Window bars make life harder for burglars. They can prevent or slow down an invader, giving you time to raise the alarm.
Early Warning System – You can add an extra layer of security by hooking up your window bars to an alarm system. The alarm can alert you and your security company of a burglary in progress. Additionally, the perp will probably have to break a window to get to interior window bars. The noise can alert you of a potential home invasion.
Interior Protection – Security bars aren't just for burglars. They can prevent adventurous children or pets from falling out of an open window, especially in a storied building.
Eye Sore – Burglar bars can easily become an eyesore on an otherwise pristine home. Additionally, the bars can obstruct outside views. You can get around these problems by installing retractable bars.
Potential Hazard – Windows can provide essential exit points in case of a fire or other emergency. They can also offer an escape in case burglars find their way in through some other entry. Retractable window bars can solve these problems.
Alternative Methods To Burglar Proofing
Burglar bars aren't everyone's cup of tea. Some people may even consider them outdated.
There are other security measures that you can take in place of burglar bars.
High-Quality Window Locks
There are many aftermarket window locks that act as secondary deterrents in case a perp compromises the main window lock.
This option is particularly good for low-crime areas and can be enough to deter opportunistic thieves who don't have the luxury of fiddling endlessly with your windows.
A high-security fence can be enough to prevent burglars from targeting your home.
You can secure the fence further by installing a wall-top electric fence.
Today's CCTVs are incredibly cheap. Most burglars will rather find another target if they spot visible security cameras.
This is also a good way of discouraging opportunistic thieves who aren't very sophisticated in their craft.
Otherwise, you may want to use security cameras combined with some of the other alternatives discussed here.
Motion Sensor Lights
Motion sensor lights are perfect for discouraging night-time robberies. Floodlights make intruders feel vulnerable and should be enough to send them on their heels.
Try to install the floodlight at least 3 meters high to make it harder for the intruders to disable.
Animal lovers can have their cake and eat it too with guard dogs. You can have a loyal companion and a fierce protector.
Ideally, the dogs should be trained for the job.
A good alarm system can be the last line of defence against intruders. The alarm can go off if it detects vibrations on the windows or doors (an intruder trying to force his way in) or require a code or other identification if they gain access.
Modern systems come with motion detectors and cameras in addition to the siren. Most will also alert your security company of a potential break-in.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can Burglar Bars Be Placed On Inside?
Ideally, the burglar bars should be on the inside. This makes it harder for would-be burglars to cut through the bar.
They might have to beak a window which will create noise, or at the very least, slow down their progress.
2. Should I Put Bars On My Windows?
This is a highly subjective scenario, but there are instances where bars on your windows is the best option.
If you live in a high-crime area and need an inexpensive security enhancement, the answer is yes.
Otherwise, there are many alternatives to security bars that might work just as well in low-crime areas.
3. Do Door Security Bars Or Burglar Bars Work?
Yes. Most burglars prefer to break in through the front door, given the option.
A solid security bar can prevent forced entry and can take many times its weight in brute force.
4. What Are Invisible Burglar Bars?
Contrary to their name, these bars aren't invisible but transparent. Invisible burglar bars are made from polycarbonates.
You can find this material in riot shields and aeroplane windows, among other applications.
Invisible burglar bars are incredibly strong and bulletproof and do not obstruct outside views.
Burglar bars may be low-tech, but it is hard to argue with their effectiveness in preventing break-ins.
Your house doesn't even need to look like Pollsmoor Prison for you to sleep soundly at night.
Modern technology has made transparent window bars possible.
Additionally, this is one of those home improvement projects that actually increase your home's value.
Security bars are inexpensive, and you only need to install them once and forget about it.