Casement vs Double Hung Security review
It would seem to reason that one could also anticipate that a casement window would offer a higher degree of security. Unfortunately this isn’t so, even though it is more weather proof, casement windows offer little gain in security. In fact there are some features which may make them even a bigger security weakness when compared to double hung windows. Namely, the whole window is filled with with just one glass unit.
By comparison, if there is a 30” wide x 60” high double hung window and a casement of the same size, then a comparison of the glass units will offer an insight. In the double hung there will be two glass units 30” x 30”. This means that if the glass in the lower sash of the double hung gets smashed then the space to enter the home is 30” x 30”. Alternatively, if the glass in the casement window is smashed then the space to enter the house is 30” x 60”. So simply from a “entry hole” size comparison the casement window offers an easier passage into the home.
As mentioned elsewhere in this article, it is important to note that the hardware used in common windows is very light duty hardware and is only designed to keep out the breezes of the wind and the rain falling from the sky.
“COMMON WINDOW HARDWARE IS DESIGNED TO KEEP OUT WIND AND WATER NOT INTRUDERS”
So even though a casement window has a crank handle to open or close the window and there are sash locks on the frame of the window (maybe even multipoint hardware) it is not heavy duty hardware and does not represent a meaningful obstacle to an intruder. For example, it is very common for the hardware of casement windows to be attached to the frame and sash with screws which are less than 1/2” long. Pulling out a 1/2” screw from plastic or wood is a very easy feat.
Can casement windows be made more ‘burglar proof’?
The short answer is NO. It is not possible to take a standard casement window and try to dress it up with some after market parts to make it ‘burglar proof’ this is because the overall engineering of the window is based only on weather-tightness and ease of operation. It is essential to recognize that a true security window is a combination of materials and engineering which is designed to be secure from the start. Taking one type of window and trying to magically change it into a high security window is an impossible task. The best you can do with a common window is to add some type of after market enhancement in the hope it SLOWS DOWN the intruder.
To further the point, impact resistant glass which is required for a true ‘burglar proof’ product is much too heavy for regular casement hardware. Especially because the action of a casement window is to swing out from the house, where it will also be exposed to the additional stresses of wind and heat. As it stands right now, most window manufacturers will not create a casement window wider than 36” simply because regular glass is just too heavy, not to mention high security glass which is magnitudes heavier.