By Police Officer Larry Jacobs

Many burglaries occur by criminals simply breaking glass windows and entering houses.

Local police are advising that a good deterrent to potential break-ins is to install better glass at vulnerable spots at your home.

Several types of glass can deter criminals because they fear it could attract attention.

• Laminated glass contains a vinyl layer sandwiched between two layers of glass. It adds strength to the glass that a would-be burglar would have to repeatedly strike to make a small opening.

• Tempered glass can be another solution for security. High-quality tempered glass is four to five times stronger than regular glass.

• Wired glass is a visible deterrent to people attempting to burglarize a home. A criminal would have to cut through wire and glass in order to gain entry.

• Plastic windows that are made of acrylic and polycarbonate can be 10 times stronger than glass. Commonly called Plexiglas, these polycarbonate sheets are superior to acrylics and are advertised as 250 times more impact resistant than glass.

Sliding windows can also be an opportunity for criminals to enter your home. There are several products that can prevent sliding doors from being lifted out of their tracks, allowing people to break in.

• A product called a “pinned window anti-slide block side bolt” allows a bolt to secure both sides of a sliding glass door. The bolt can only be removed on the inside.

• Popular casement windows are simple to secure. Make sure that the latch works and that there is no looseness in the latch.

• Double hung window latches can be jimmied open relatively easily. If a window isn’t used, screw it shut. Unless it is a bedroom window. For windows that are used, drill a hole into the bottom of the window and insert a pin or nail that can be easily removed when necessary.

• A shutter-type window is a bad security risk. Remove and replace with another type of ventilating window.

As a warning, one window in every bedroom on the ground floor and second floor of a home should be available as a fire exit.

Due to fire danger, grilles are not recommended on bedroom windows without an emergency release.

Larry Jacobs is an officer in the crime prevention unit of the Sandy Springs Police Department. He can be reached at larry.jacobs@sandyspringsga.org .