It's an image we're all familiar with: a burglar dressed in black breaking a glass window to enter a home.Windows are often the most vulnerable entrance points in a home-but they don't have to be.

Follow these five steps to fortify your windows against intruders.

1. Choose Strong Glass

The most important step to secure your windows is to choose the right kind of glass. If you're looking for strong, fortified window glass, you have several options.

An excellent safety glass choice is plexiglass. Plexiglass is much thicker than regular glass and can beas thick as thirteen inches. This makes it extremely difficult to break on impact. Polycarbonate windows areeven stronger and more resistant to impact than plexiglass.

You could also choose tempered glass. Tempered glass has four times the strength of traditional glass. An added benefit to tempered glass is that in the unlikely event that it breaks, it breaks into small pieces.These pieces aren't jagged and won't cut you or your children.

Additional layers can also fortify and strengthen your window. Laminated glass is an excellent choice tokeep burglars away. It has two layers of glass with a vinyl layer in between, making it very difficult tobreak.

Similarly, insulated glass consists of two layers of glass sealed with air. This leads to energy efficiency as well as safety benefits.

Tinted glass can be a good choice if you want to stop burglars from looking into your home. If they can see your valuables through the window, they may be more likely to break in.

2. Install Bars

Once you've had new, powerful windows installed, there are a few other ways to add extra protection to your windows. One of the most effective is to add bars to your window. These structures block thieves from entering through your window, even if they manage to smash the glass.

Some people avoid buying bars because they don't like the look. Fortunately, there are decorative bars available that can add both style and protection to your windows.

3. Install Security Alarms

Don't forget to have your windows connected to your alarm system. That way, when a burglar breaks through your window, the alarm immediately alerts the police.

Another option is a window sensor that alerts you when your window gets broken or opened. Or, you could install a motion detector, which senses a burglar's presence near your window before he or she even opens the window. Placing flood lights near your windows is another option to keep burglars away from your home.

4. Add Locks

One lock may not be enough to deter thieves from attempting to enter through your window. You may want to have an additional lock or two installed on your windows, especially the windows closer to the ground.

Was there already a lock on your window before it was installed? If so, it's a good idea to get the lock changed. Some burglars could use master keys to open these generic locks.

5. Get Repairs Immediately

Any weaknesses in your window can make them more vulnerable, sending an invitation to thieves. Call a specialist for window repair as soon as you notice any of the following:

  • Chips and cracks in the glass
  • Rotting frames and sashes
  • Drafty windows
  • Cracked or peeling caulking or weather stripping
  • Condensation (which is a sign of a broken seal)
A window specialist can examine these problems and determine the best course of action. Depending on the circumstances, he or she may need to replace the glass, the frame, or other parts of the window.

Follow these steps to maintain strong windows that keep intruders away. If you need to repair or replace your window glass, count on Becky's Glass Works.