Sidelights - Are they secure?

liptonjlSeptember 16, 2007

I assumed we'd get them on our entry for sure, and DH said "well what if someone wants to break in, they can just smash the glass and unlock the door"...


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We had them in our last house. We installed a dead bolt when DD2 was 3yo and let someone in the front door while I was in the shower. Luckily, it was my sister. We kept the key on the desk near the door....Yes, someone will say that's against the law, fire code or better judgement but everyone knew where it was and in the 18yrs we had the deadbolt it wasn't an issue.

I felt more secure at home or away on vacation knowing someone couldn't just break the window and unlock the front door.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 10:51PM
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I've never really understood this distinction between sidelights and all the other windows on the ground floor of a home. Someone could just as easily break a window to reach the latch and open it as they could break a sidelight to reach in and open the front door. Allison's dead bolt idea may keep them from taking the piano out the front door, but even with the front door deadbolted- the electronics, jewelry, guns, or petty cash (things that thieves are more often going after)would almost all fit just as well through an open window as through an open door.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 11:09PM
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My sister and I laughed about this when I ordered a door with sidelights...I had made sure to get one with only a light at the top, because of the years of warnings our parents gave us about sidelights. But just like my parents with their sliding glass door in the back of the house, I had also ordered a glass 'store door' style for the back deck! So I'm with dixiedoodle. If they want in, they have plenty of glass to choose from.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 1:55AM
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We had a break in at our first house. They broke the side window to get in. That window was more secluded than the front door.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:12AM
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Ours was a house built in 1956, with wooden true divided windows. One of the first things we did after purchasing was to put on storm windows. Only theft we ever had was a temp garbage man stealing our chainsaw.

My sister has sidelights and hates them. When she's sitting on her LR sofa at night, people can see her. She about to have something put on them so no one can see inside.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:43AM
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ever watch the show on discovery, 'takes a thief'. Like the old Robert wagner show. LOL. It shows how easy it is to break into someones home and how to secure it. they rarely go in through the front door.But they WILL go out through a door cause once they are in, they have no problem opening the door.
There goes the piano Dixie!! LOL
here are some quizzes to take to see how much you know about securing your house.

Here is a link that might be useful: it takes a thief

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 10:52AM
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I don't think they make your home any less secure (see dixie's post above). Whether or not to have them would be based on privacy/light needs.

We have them and like them. But we are in a remote area and privacy isn't a concern. Our entry faces north, so I like the added light.

If security is a major concern, then an alarm system would make sense.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 10:57AM
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If someone wants in your home bad enough, it's going to happen no matter what measures are taken.The harder you make it, the more likely a thief will seek out an easier target.I just cant subscribe to making a home look like a prison with wrought iron over all doors and windows with daggered 6'wrought iron fencing enveloping the property, but i guess in certain areas that is necessary and whatever it takes. Even at that, if they want in bad enough, it's going to happen.Wrought iron works is expensive and in one case the homeowners layed out big bucks to have that prison look, the theif(s) simply broke and dropped in through one of their skylights!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 11:20AM
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I'm a little slow sometimes, so run it by me one more time, nice and slow: How do I go about getting someone to steal that stupid piano so I don't have to move it again?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 2:23PM
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Put a "free" sign on it!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 2:57PM
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If it was "free" everyone would think that it isn't worth anything - much better to put a "for sale: $100" sign on it, then someone is sure to steal it. Assuming, of course, that you have managed to move it out the front door for them first.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 5:23PM
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We have sidelights on our house and it never even crossed my mind. It is really no different then any other window. I agree with the others, if someone wants to break in bad enough and they are able to, they will. That show "It takes a thief" is great to watch. I wish they would come to our house when it is said and done :-)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 6:00PM
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Aren't sidelights supposed to be tempered glass? I don't know if that helps make it harder to get through it or not.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:12AM
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Amy, recently had some dual paned panels installed on a project, tempered glass, and was suprised to find out how much stronger it is than non tempered.The edging of any glass is fragile, but the facing on tempered is strong enough that the installers explained that when they have tempered panels that are going to be broke up and recycled,they have fun throwing various objects such as wrenches,etc and they too are amazed at the effort it takes to break it.It appearently is pliable as well as they explaind on certain installs they have to cut the panels a little bigger and actually bow the glass into the opening.Scary business. The bottom line however is that it will break.Sidelights,french doors,patio doors,etc. are all required to be tempered in most if not all areas of the country.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:43AM
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