A broken window isn’t always a sign of criminal activity. However, even if it was the result of a stray golf ball or a game of fetch gone wrong, a broken window presents a safety and security hazard that must be immediately addressed. The issue is this – your initial instincts don’t always steer you in the right direction when faced with a broken house window. So, to ensure you take the right steps in the right order, we’ve laid them out sequentially below:
What do you do with a broken house window?
1. Understand the cause
Sometimes the cause of the damage is immediately obvious (say if the kids are playing footy in the backyard). Other times, you’ll need to determine whether there’s a threat that needs to be dealt with. If you’ve woken up to the sound of shattering glass or have come home to discover a broken house window, you must have sturdy shoes on before you even think about examining the area.
In the case of damage caused by storms or wild weather, you may need to take immediate steps to protect your property. If you’re concerned that there may be someone attempting to break in, then it’s best to avoid the area altogether, lock yourself in a room or head to a neighbour’s house, and contact the police.
Important Note: If you have window sensors and a monitored alarm system fitted to your home, the sensor for that window will already have been triggered, and the control room will have taken immediate action. This takes most of the pressure off your shoulders. You can simply liase with your security company who will ensure your safety, continue monitoring your system, and reinstall your sensor once the window has been repaired.
2. Block off the area and call a glass repair professional
Once you understand the cause of the damage and have taken appropriate steps to ensure there’s no ongoing hazard or threat, it’s time to cordon off the area and call a local glass repairer. A broken house window can be an entry point for rodents and other pests and presents a major security risk, so you want to get someone out to repair it as soon as possible. This is why we recommend calling someone in before you get involved in the clean-up process.
You may need to make a few calls before you find someone available to give you same-day service. If you have insurance, now is also a good time to call your insurance company. In addition to getting the claim process started, they may be able to help you arrange a repair service.
3. Carefully clean up the mess
There’s an art to cleaning up broken glass safely, and it starts with preparation. Sturdy shoes and gloves are essential. Long pants are a good idea in case you drop any of the glass. Before you start cleaning, you should also gather paper towels to wrap the larger shards of glass in and a bin bag to collect all the mess. Wrapping the shards may seem like overkill, but it’s a vital safety step as it reduces the chances that you or anyone else who handles the rubbish will be injured.
To clean the area, follow these steps:
- Pick up the biggest shards of glass, wrap them, and place them in the bin bag. Be sure to check the entire room as you’d be surprised how far glass can skittle across the floor after a breakage.
- If there’s glass left in the frame, carefully test whether you can pull the pieces on top out as these are at risk of falling and injuring you if they are loose. If they come away easily, dispose of them as you did with the larger shards on the floor. If not, leave them for the professionals.
- Use a broom to sweep the smaller pieces together and a dustpan and brush to collect them. This step is essential, even with carpeted floors, as it will ensure you’re only dealing with tiny particles in the next step.
- If you have a vacuum cleaner, vacuum the area thoroughly.
- To ensure you’ve collected all the tiny particles and slivers of glass, systematically press a damp paper towel around. This should collect all the finer particles. This is also the best way to clean the window sill and any furniture that may have collected fine pieces of glass.
4. Cover the window until the professionals arrive
If you have a glass repairer coming immediately, you don’t really need to worry about how to cover a broken house window. You should be able to simply cover the area with a towel. However, if there’s inclement weather, if you’ll have to wait for a while before the repair person arrives, or even if you just want to keep the air-conditioning in, you’ll need to install a temporary window covering.
Depending on the size of your window and level of damage, you can consider bin bags, plastic sheeting, or a tarp to cover the hole. Depending on the size and weight of the covering you choose, you can use packing tape, masking tape, or staples to hold it in place.
If you have a home alarm system with sensors on the windows, keep your security company updated on the repairs. They will send out technicians to reconnect or reinstall the sensor once the glass has been repaired.
5. Handle the relevant admin
With the window covered, the area clean, and the glass repairer on their way, you’re ready to move on to the admin side of things. If you’ve filed an insurance claim, follow up with them to ensure you’re taking all the required steps.
If you’ve been the victim of a break-in, you’ll need to take care of the police report. If you don’t have a home alarm system, it would also be wise to contact a local security company and discuss your options for improving your home security. Most reputable security companies provide free consultations, so you can have peace of mind that they’re the right people to protect you and your home going forward.
The fastest and most efficient way to find out you have a broken window is to have sensors connected to a monitored home alarm system. This is also the best way to ensure your safety as it means a team of security professionals are alerted to the breach and able to take action the moment it happens. If this sounds like something you need for your home, contact BPoint Security today for a home security assessment and quote.