I thought that once we analyzed security doors last week, this week we could examine the different protection aspects for windows, as windows are more vulnerable than doors and often we have to add extra elements of security to the window itself to make them a little safer against uninvited friends.
In general, windows are equipped with pivoted shatters to prevent the passage of light and noise and these elements are less vulnerable to attacks by robbers than window with roller shutters, either in PVC or wood.
However, one of the most usual solutions to enhance security is external fixed steel grids. They are common in cottages or terraced ground floors houses. In addition, some steel grids can be fixed like hanged shutters with locks and several anchor points allowing you to open or close the leaves from inside the house, as if it were a terrace or balcony door. It is likely that the daily use of these mechanisms could make you feel uncomfortable, but they are a good recommended systems, in particular, if you are absent from the house for long periods of time.
If windows are not protected with shutters and are on low floors or have easy access, permanent bars are a protective and deterrent element. They must be sturdy and secure in a robust fashion to the jamb and headers. Here in Spain you can find very aesthetically designs but you will have to perform a comprehensive search for a good ironmonger. If grills make you feel uncomfortable then perhaps you can turn to security glass.
They have to be very thick to do the job, since they require a number of glass layers, to provide them strength. Armour glass can even resist hammers blows, axes and other blunt object. However, so that they are effective, the window frame should be made of a robust material and have an anti-lever systems.
Another method to maintain the appearance of your house is to use interior window bars. Fitted behind the windows internally usually require more exact window sizing, as they often will fit inside your window sill. These models are only noticeable from the outside when you get up close, and can be barely noticeable at all if equipped with steel mesh instead of vertical bars. They will stop intruders like any other window guard, but it is important to note they will not stop vandals from breaking the windows themselves.
To figure out what your specific needs are, you will need to assess the purpose of the window safety, whether they should be easily seen, whether you need to protect from broken windows, and which windows need to have steel bars that can open from the inside or outside. Once you know which windows need to be secured, each of them needs to be measured separately, as all windows, even on the same house, are sized slightly differently.
To measure them properly, the height and width must be taken, from the outside of the window frame surrounding the glass. Most window bars will be mounted directly on top of the sill. Finally, if the window metal frame included extrudes out at all from the outer wall that measurement should be taken down as well. I personally recommend that the window bars should be fitted directly to the window jambs and headers and if possible at least 10cm inside the edge.