It’s late. You’ve been working all hours to complete a project for work and coffee seems to be your best friend. Unbeknownst to you, there’s a short in your coffee pot and a small fire is ignited in the kitchen. Since you’re preoccupied, the fire grows until your smoke alarm signals the threat. As you rush to wake your family and spring to action, you find your primary exit blocked by fire and, when you go to the windows, the burglar bars trap you from making your escape safely.
Pros and Cons
This scenario might sound like a set up for an action and suspense thriller, but this very scene has played out one too many times in homes all across America. Older burglar bars, not installed with an inside quick release mechanism, can be just as adept at keeping residents in as they are at keeping criminals out. Still, they are a reasonable security measure which, when modernized with safety latches for letting residents out, are excellent for deterring intruders. As is life, the necessity of such a device, depends on the individual’s specific home set up. Let’s examine when it may be a wise idea to remove the bars and what security measures are available to replace them.
To Bar Or Not To Bar
If you still have older, unmovable burglar bars on your home, but like the protection they provide, you should strongly consider upgrading to newer bars, which have quick-release safety latches. These added functions are vital for protecting residents from being trapped inside their own homes, especially in fires. Older bars “can also be dangerous, preventing residents and other occupants from escaping in the event of a fire and leading to fatalities.” The older bars will be out of code for most building code departments anyway and aren’t your best options anymore.
Additionally, you may want to consider removing burglar bars if;
- Children or elderly relatives live in the house. These two groups can have difficulty operating the quick latch mechanisms and may become confused about alternative exits in moments of crisis or panic.
- You have bars on a second story or above. Firemen will have particular difficulty prying open security bars on a non-ground floor.
- Your home is in a flood zone or an area prone to wildfires. Although security is important, always consider all of the potential problems which may arise and how such security devices would operate, especially under adverse conditions.
It is advisable to consider removing or upgrading burglar bars whenever these or other relatable scenarios are in play.
So, what other options are available for home security? Have you considered a monitored home security network? Well maybe you should. You might be thinking “that’s too expensive.” This can be true. Fortunately, Protect America offers free quotes to individuals looking to add to their piece of mind. And, because the salesman in the middle has been eliminated from their pricing, comparable savings can be passed on to the customer. Savings which put Protect America in a category of their own. Award winning service and protection and a price which won’t break your bank.