Police say first-floor window air conditioning units can provide a not so cool way for a burglar to break into your house or apartment.
Often it’s a case of just pushing in a unit, especially if it’s not screwed in or reinforced with heavier material.
But, how many people do the extra work making sure the AC unit is secure?
In people’s haste to get the AC up and running, security is often forgotten.
Orange police recently posted on their Facebook page on ways people can help stop these AC burglars:
Screw it in
Install a screw through the air-conditioner’s top mounting rail into the window sash. Most window air conditioners include a drilled-out hole in the top center to accommodate this.
Consider drilling additional holes through the same top mounting rail to accommodate more screws into the lower window sash.
Window frame locks
To prevent the burglar from pushing and forcing up the window to reach in underneath and shove the air conditioner (even with the A/C unit attached and screwed to the sash – although difficult), install window frame locks which prevent this motion
The frame locks can be purchased at home improvement stores, or you can make your own.
A piece of wood
While the air conditioner is mounted in the window you can measure the distance from the top of the lower window frame to the very top of the double-hung frame itself, and then cut a wooden dowel to snugly fit – which can be wedged to prohibit the window from opening further.
There are commercial products available that will sound an alarm when the window is opened. Many of these are battery-powered and do not requiring wiring to be run.
On the window with the air conditioner, install a burglar alarm window decal on a window panel where it will be plainly visible. This alone may be enough to prevent a break-in as the burglar may move along to an easier target.
The weak points
The accordion side panels- these are a weak point in window unit installation. These can be bolstered by reinforcing the panels with heavier materials like wood or metal.
Most burglars are looking to get in quickly and will move on when presented with even a moderate level of difficulty.
Leaving home for a time?
If you will be away from your home for an extended period of time, please consider temporarily removing ground level air conditioner units.
As always, if you see anyone or anything of a suspicious nature around your home or in your neighborhood, please do not hesitate to call the police.