This is a very alarming statistic that the FBI recently revealed: House burglary has increased over the years and a home burglary occurs once every 26 seconds in the U.S. Every homeowner must stay vigilant and take preventive measures if they want to avoid being part of this statistic and seeing their house burglarized.

According to ADT, the five most common points of entry for home break-ins are front door, at 34%, first-floor windows, 23%, sliding back door, 22%, garage door, 9%, and basement, 4%. Surprisingly, most of the unwanted front door entries are made by simply turning the doorknob and walking right inside because people just forget to lock their front door. The same thing goes with first-floor windows. How many times do you open the window in the evening to let some fresh air inside and then retire for the evening forgetting to close the window or closing the window but forgetting to engage the window locks?

Windows are wonderful as they let us look out into the world around us. The downside to that wonderful view that windows provide is that windows can also represent a point of unwanted entryway into our homes and businesses when those with evil intentions are lurking outside. In addition to burglaries, there is also the threat of civil unrest on the commercial side. Over the past few years, business establishments across the country have seen a wave of violent protests which have resulted in thousands of many smashed windows and hundreds of looting incidents.

So, what are some things to look at that can help make your doors and windows more secure from burglary and civil unrest? Well, since in many instances burglars are gaining entry simply by turning a doorknob on an unlocked door, one thing that can help is doors that lock automatically each time one shuts them. On our front door we have a digital deadbolt lock that locks automatically when the door is shut. No key is required to lock it from the outside and no lever needs to be engaged to lock it from the inside. It simply locks by itself automatically every time. It has a keypad on the outside that is used to gain entry, but of course no code is required to open the door from the inside. It is simple, easy and secure, and there are no worries about losing one’s key. These so called “smart locks” are rapidly gaining favor among homeowners. The newest ones even offer Bluetooth connectivity to one’s phone so you can unlock the door with your cell phone upon approaching the house. No fumbling with keys at the front door!

So now how do we address the issue of the first-floor windows? Well, there are two technologies to consider. One is automatic window locks. These locks cost a bit more than the standard locks that come with most windows, but they lock themselves. Rockwell Security, Roto North America and Radisson Industries are examples of such companies that offer sash locks that engage automatically as the window is shut. However, what if you open the windows or patio door for fresh air, then fall half asleep on the couch, and then go upstairs to bed forgetting to shut the windows altogether? Sound familiar? Most screens are then easily defeated with a simple box cutter allowing a burglar easy and stealthy entry into your home. This is where security screens can come into play.

A company called Advanced Screen Systems Inc (ASSI) developed a high- performance screen system utilizing Meshtec technology. Meshtec is a high-tensile-strength stainless steel screen mesh which offers superior puncture and cut resistance to help prevent break-ins. During a recent product demonstration, I took out my super sharp Kershaw 1660 knife and tried to cut through the Meshtec, but it had absolutely no effect on the Meshtec screen. I simply managed to dull my knife blade to the point that it wouldn’t even cut paper and had to resharpen it. Quanex recently announced a partnership with Advanced Screen Systems Inc (ASSI), and the two companies have entered into an exclusive manufacturing agreement for the Meshtec technology. Under this partnership, Quanex will fabricate and distribute licensed products from ASSI and develop new applications to capitalize on the growing demand for high-performance door and window screens, which deter break-ins as well as resist pet damage.

So, there you have it. Technology is available to help make your doors and windows more secure from possible burglaries and other unwanted intrusions. Doors and windows are our gateways and portals to connect with and engage in the outside world. But one must never forget that our home is our castle, and a good castle must be designed to keep us safe!

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