I have noticed that I cannot activate my home security system when a window(s) is/are open without bypassing the window(s) which is/are open. If I keep the window open and bypass it, how can I better secure that or those window(s)?

  • They make secured window screens that interface to alarm systems. These will trigger on either removing the screen or the screen being cut.
    – DoxyLover
    Dec 28, 2015 at 0:19
  • Or motion drtectors, or a weight switch unfer the window threshold, or a lightbeam detector...
    – keshlam
    Dec 28, 2015 at 0:55
  • 2
    Depending on the type of window sensor, possibly an additional magnet offset by the amount you'd like to leave it open (if it's reed switch in the frame sensing magnet in the window sash - and is a double-hung window.) A motion sensor pointed right at it might work (even for casement/awning) if it's not set off by moving curtains from a breeze.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 28, 2015 at 1:11

2 Answers 2


If the existing sensor is a surface mounted magnet / reed type, it's very easy to add a magnet. You want the sensor about halfway up the window, and two magnets on the window: one down at the bottom corner, and one halfway up, same spot where the sensor is. This way the magnet will operate the sensor in two positions.

I say half way up just because that's usually a spot where it will be hard to crawl through the window but you still get some air. That may or may not work out for you depending on the position of the window etc. You could set up the sensor and the magnets so you can open the window just a few inches or open wide, and still arm the system. You get the idea.

Alarmed screens are more expensive but let you do whatever you want with the window - it no longer matters whether the windows are open or closed. You can send the screen you have out to a shop that adds a wire trace to the screen. The sensor has to be changed as well, which can be some work with a hardwired system, depending.


In addition to the "add a magnet" approach described by another person, if you want to keep the window open a little to get some fresh air, but you want to keep your home secure, you can put in a physical block that prevents the window from opening more than 4 inches. (It is impossible to crawl through an opening of 4 inches.) The block could be permanent, like a piece of metal screwed into the window, or one that you can open and close (like a length of broomstick to act like a door stop for a sliding glass door). Of course, both the permanent and openable approaches have pros and cons. For example, with the permanent, you can never open the window more than 4 inches.

  • 1
    This low tech idea is great. I'm sure many lazy intruders have been prevented entry by the right length 2x4 or broom stick in a sliding glass door, window, etc. Dec 28, 2015 at 17:19
  • 1
    Is that a fire hazard? Perhaps you they can put in something that is easily removable?
    – milesmeow
    Jan 23, 2017 at 9:22

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