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Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Talk about non-lethal self defense, personal safety, and home security.

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Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby Kimmer17 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:37 pm

On another thread Cin mentioned something that triggered the need for a new thread. She said: [quote="Cin"] I look at my piles of fabric from sewing, and am currently considering black-out curtains...unless I decide to make some plywood window covers with handles that can be lifted in and out of the windows...a little more protection.

Now just this weekend I was looking at my windows and trying to figure out different ways of securing them I only have what would be considered 4 normal size windows and the others are almost floor to ceiling and a couple as wide as the room. I absolutely fell in love with all of the light these windows let in during the day. Until I became a prepper that is!! Now I lay in bed at night trying to think of various method to quickly secure these windows.

I thought about cutting strong 1" dowel rods and wedging them in the top to prevent the window from being lifted open. Then I thought about nailing plywood across with a couple 2x4's to reinforce (hubby would rollover if he heard my thoughts). Then Cin brought up plywood covers. These would work great for my normal windows, but what about the ones you could drive a small suv through?

What security method could I store in my garage that could easily be put into place in under 30 minutes to help secure the house more? 10 windows, only 4 normal size, 30 minutes..GO!

Thanks,
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby dogboy » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:13 pm

There are window brackets used in hurricane country that accept pre-cut plywood. Fast and easy cover.

But that's on the outside.

Whatever you do on the inside, add a peephole with a cover to each window. The peephole should be big enough for a shotgun barrel to poke out.
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby Kimmer17 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:31 pm

dogboy wrote:There are window brackets used in hurricane country that accept pre-cut plywood. Fast and easy cover.

But that's on the outside.

Whatever you do on the inside, add a peephole with a cover to each window. The peephole should be big enough for a shotgun barrel to poke out.


Totally agree
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby IceFire » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:51 pm

at our first apartment in Germany, we had large windows enclosing our balcony. To secure these windows agains weather, or for privacy at night, the windows had large metal "shutters" that rolled down for security and/or privacy. THese shutters also kept light from getting in/out.They can be custom made to fit different sized windows. SOmething like that would be pre-installed, and in case of need, could be quickly lowered to secure the house. The ones we had could be operated either automatically or manually. They are NOT cheap, but they DO provide a measure of security that is more solid than curtains or plywood.
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby Cin » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:18 pm

The clips are called PlyLocks and HD and Lowe's should have them on hand. You cut the plywood to size of the OUTSIDE window well minus 1/4 of an inch, and then snap the clips on the plywood - which then clips onto the window well (outside). Amazingly effective. Ask me how I know? Lived in Corpus Christi a while back, and the new neighbors, concerned about us, spent all day helping my kid and I cut them before a hurricane was expected - husband was out of state.

The rolling shutters in Germany are called hurricane shutters here. There are several varieties - but how they attach is adhering them in some fashion to the outside top crossbeam of the window (which may be under siding or brick and may have to be removed). The auto ones are hideously expensive, but they have manual ones that can be lowered from inside the house via a cord, like a venetian blinds. My brother, who lives in Germany, has these on the outside of all his windows. They are not as expensive, but still pricy, but if you budget one window at a time, you might be able to slowly get all windows covered.

They are aluminum and give the illusion of safety. A bullet or a battering ram of some sort would go right through them. Flying debris from wind, whether it is hurricane or Santa Ana, or tornado, would probably not - unless it was a dead-on projectile.

I had initially wanted NO windows in my house at street level - I wanted to put a series of clerestory windows in the house we built, but Husband vetoed the idea - he wanted to be able to see out. I am very sorry now I did not insist. He did go with concrete siding, however. Won't stop a large caliber bullet, but it will slow them down. We also reinforced both bathrooms, all the way up the walls, with concrete board and tile. (Safe rooms for high winds/tornado).

What I am thinking, I read on here, I believe. Cut plywood to fit the inside of the window tightly, and add cupboard door handles on each side to lift them on and off, as needed. You could pretty up the inside face with glued on fabric, wallpaper, or paint. The outside face can be painted the same color as the house (but with the window between it and the glass, the glare of glass would still be seen) or black.Then, have U-hooks of some type on each side, large enough to drop a 2 X 4 across like a bar, to hold the plywood in place.

This, I believe, is the cheapest solution. It will stop the average zombie, one who won't want to work hard to get inside.

In reality, windows are very vulnerable to attack. But they are also means of escape. Catch-22.
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby Kimmer17 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:33 pm

Cin wrote:The I had initially wanted NO windows in my house at street level - I wanted to put a series of clerestory windows in the house we built, but Husband vetoed the idea - he wanted to be able to see out. I am very sorry now I did not insist.

In reality, windows are very vulnerable to attack. But they are also means of escape. Catch-22.


As a kid I couldn't understand why all of the bedrooms in my grandparents house were so high. Neither Gma or I could see out them...What a genius my Gpa was!! I look back at everything both of those depression raised kids did and I really wish they had voiced everything they knew then. Everything we are trying to accomplish now, they already had in the bag.
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby Carbs » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:26 pm

What about Bullet Resistant Glass? Yes it will be expensive to install. But the plus side is that it should stop most things trying to come through it...
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby Silas Longshot » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:23 pm

Plywood with 'gun ports', cut to fit each window, is the best long term, "quick" security, screwing them to the frame using drywall screws. For large picture windows there are films which make the window considerably more difficult to get through. http://astore.amazon.com/survurbacris-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=7 This would slow them down so you could get there and defend with weapons. The windows could also be covered with plywood, but would probably need some sort of bracing across a huge window.
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby Das Sheep » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:44 pm

You could put a triangle brace on each side of the wood. I am not sure I would want to stand behind wood for cover, almost everything they would shoot back with would go through it, though I suppose having a peephole to look out of is advantageous, and concealment is still better then them being able to see you.

The plywood idea sounds the most practical.
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby Illini Warrior » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:55 pm

if you have any future landscaping projects in mind .... consider incorporating fencing or lattice type sections as window protection .....
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby dogboy » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:09 pm

Had an idea -- how about deep holes in front of each window? Make it impossible for someone to get in because the window would be too high for a casual intruder to climb in, but still possible for someone to jump out.
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby Blackthorn-USA » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:45 pm

You might want to consider stainless steel window screens. Made for hurricane protection and home security. About the same cost as wrought iron bars and you don’t have to clutter your view. Here’s a video of a crew trying to break through one.

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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby puddlejumper » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:37 pm

Kimmer17 wrote:
What security method could I store in my garage that could easily be put into place in under 30 minutes to help secure the house more? 10 windows, only 4 normal size, 30 minutes..GO!



I would use plywood cut to fit each window with about a 2 -3 " overlap. I would attach to it 1/2 steel plate (Carriage bolts work well). Both cut with arrow loops (a more fancy design includes oblique angles for ease of firing). Two very quick ways to attach this primitive system quickly. 1st method is to run a 2 X 4 along the top and bottom inside part of the window. Predrilled holes allow you to slide long carriage bolts through the outside plywood/steel combo into the window and through the predrilled 2 X 4. This would necessitate the window remaining open. 2nd method if you wanted to close the window you could use a 1/2 impact and run lag bolts through predrilled holes in the plate and into the framing around your window. This would destroy the beauty of your home but in a SHTF situation are you really looking for property values?
I bought a vacant house in Frogtown (Nasty crack neighborhood) 20 years ago and used the 1st method to secure (minus the plate) the windows and patio door for the 6 months I was remodeling. Even with the windows open the house was warm and secure. The RL zombies repeatedly tried hard to gain entry but couldn't.
Don't forget your prebuilt door screening that prevents views of your doors and is secured to the ground as well. Ideally this would prevent a straight on shot at your door and be reinforced.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself. ~Thomas Paine
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby HDMM » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:19 am

dogboy wrote:There are window brackets used in hurricane country that accept pre-cut plywood. Fast and easy cover.

But that's on the outside.

Whatever you do on the inside, add a peephole with a cover to each window. The peephole should be big enough for a shotgun barrel to poke out.


I agree with this and the "peepholes" are a must! :gunshooting:
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Re: Looking for ideas to secure very large windows

Postby deerlady1112 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:10 pm

Blackthorn-USA wrote:You might want to consider stainless steel window screens. Made for hurricane protection and home security. About the same cost as wrought iron bars and you don’t have to clutter your view. Here’s a video of a crew trying to break through one.



AWESOME! What about bullet proof? Our home was built in the late 1800's. It's 18" thick of brick. Only problem is it has 8' tall windows and lots of them. We have been trying to figure out a way to make them bullet proof on a tight budget.

Thanks for posting that video. :)
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