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5 Tips to Secure Your Basement Egress Windows

Updated: Mar 17

how to secure your basement egress windows - egress window security

Basements, especially those built before WW II, were designed to only be used as storage areas. Nowadays, most homes use their basement as extra living space. When basements are used as more than just storage, an egress window is imperative to let people escape in case of fire or other incidents. 

These windows add a touch of natural light and provide ventilation to an otherwise dark and dingy basement. If your house doesn’t have a window in your basement, you might want to consider a basement egress window after finding out the installation cost in your area. 

Most current building codes require egress windows to be large enough to allow full-grown adults to escape in case of fire. If your windows are big enough to be climbed out of, they are big enough for someone to enter. 

While there are some definite advantages that an egress window offers, there can also be some security risks that come along with it if they are not properly secured.   

If you want to ensure the safety of your house, it is a good idea to consider the following points:

Use Plenty of Lights

Light can be a great deterrent to criminals from attacking your home. You can add lights near the basement window or get bright lights set up in your yard to make sure the outside is always lit.

Research has consistently shown that lights discourage criminal activity. Burglars or thieves will often prefer a dark area to break into rather than a place that has proper lighting.

Consider exploring these effective lighting tips:

Strategic Placement

Think like a burglar for a moment—where would you attempt to enter? Common areas include the sides and back of your house, where darkness provides cover. So start by assessing your home during the night. Identify dark spots and even those potential hiding places (like your basement!). These are perfect spots for installing lights.

Adequate Illumination

Opt for LED lights that offer bright, energy-efficient illumination, and make sure that these lights cover a wide area of your yard and don't just spotlight a small section. The idea here is to create an environment where shadows are minimal, and visibility is maximized.

Motion-Sensor Lights

Particularly effective because they can startle and disorient intruders, making them second-guess their decision to approach your home. Imagine a burglar creeping up to your window, only to be suddenly bathed in light—it's enough to send most running!

So place them around the perimeter of your home, especially near entry points, like your egress windows and pathways, too.

Egress Window Safety Through Reinforced Glass

Criminals won’t hesitate to break glass to enter your home. The solution is to install reinforced windows that are difficult to break.  You can also consider putting window films on your windows for added privacy. 

While some provide an additional layer of strength to your glass, their true purpose is to hold the shattered pieces together and make it difficult for an intruder to enter. Depending on the materials you use, your basement egress window installation cost might increase. But you can’t put a price on security.

That's also why we chose Bilco and Rockwell for our projects. These brands are synonymous with quality and durability, ensuring that your basement isn't just another entry point but a fortified part of your home's defense system.

Add Egress Window Locks

One of the simpler solutions you should consider is locking your windows using locks that can’t be unlocked from the outside. Depending on the kind of window you have, you may find this solution a great option.  Fortunately, these locks are inexpensive compared to other measures.

Various kinds of locks are available depending on the type of window you have.

Hinged Wedge Lock

A great option if you have sliding or single-hung windows and is cheap and easy to install–meaning you don’t have to drill new holes into your window frame.

Keyed locks

Designed to be used on casement windows that open outwards. Plus, you can easily mount it onto the surface of the frame, making use of those pre-drilled holes and screws included in the lock kit.

Window alarms

Undoubtedly a great deterrent as it not only alerts you that someone is trying to break into your window but also startles intruders, too!

Upgrade Egress Window Security and Install Cameras

Having a security system in your house ensures that you and your loved ones are safe from any attack. Setting up a camera near your basement window as a part of a larger security system will help you monitor suspicious activity. The presence of visible cameras will also deter criminals from trying to break in.

Moreover, modern security cameras come with features like remote monitoring through smartphone apps, motion detection, and even night vision, providing you with round-the-clock security.

Don’t Grab Attention

Make sure that your basement windows are well hidden from outsiders. One quick way to ensure that is to arrange furniture around the egress window. Inside your basement, you can also use a tall cupboard to block the window. In short, do not make it easy for intruders to enter your house through your egress window.

Bonus Tip: Waterproof Your Basement!

Alright, we've talked about securing your basement egress windows, making them as impenetrable as Fort Knox while still keeping them functional and safe. But what about an often overlooked, yet equally menacing threat that doesn't care for locks or alarms?

Yes, we're talking about water.

Just imagine you've done everything right. Your egress windows are secured with the latest locks, alarms are set, and you feel like your basement is as safe as can be. But then, the unexpected happens. A heavy rainstorm hits, and water finds its way into your basement, not through the windows, but through cracks in the foundation or walls.

That's why basement waterproofing is an essential step in protecting your home from the ground up. It effectively complements your efforts to secure your egress windows by addressing a different, yet equally important, aspect of home safety.

Your safety is in your hands. To get quality and secure basement window installation and basement waterproofing–contact  Adam Basement and get a FREE evaluation.

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