Do Your Double-Hung Windows
Provide An Easy Entry To Your Home?
Window pinning can be an effective way of securing
double-hung windows (and some sliding windows). We run into a lot of double-hung windows, usually in older
homes, that could use this type of protection. Many have locks/latches that are broken or the two window
sections don’t line up preventing the window from being secured.
Best Application: On older double-hung windows that have wooden frames and
require extra protection. Not recommended for use on vinyl windows – it may even void their warranty.
NOTE: using this window pinning procedure still allows someone in the home
to escape through the window should that become necessary. Never use any method of securing windows that would
violate any codes or prevent someone from escaping in an emergency situation.
Tools Needed: Hand or electric drill; 5/32” drill bit; ruler or tape measure.
Each window will also require two 16-penny nails.
1. Close the window and, if possible, secure it using the existing lock/latch. If you
can't secure the window, make sure both the upper and lower sections are shut tight as they must overlap as much as
2. You will want to drill a hole through the inside sash and one-half to
three-quarters of the way through the outside sash. See figure A. Measure this distance(depth). Once you have
the depth to drill, you may want to place a piece of masking tape on the drill bit at the same distance. This
can be your guide for how deep to drill.
3. Starting on the left side, carefully drill the hole at a slightly downward
angle but no deeper than the depth you measured in step 2 (or the start of the masking tape on the drill
4. Repeat Step 3 on the right side and insert a 16-penny nail into each
Test the new security by unlocking the latch and trying to open the window with
just the nails in place.
NOTE: You may want to cut off the tips of the nails so that just the nail
heads are visible and sticking out. Use a bolt cutters or hack saw to shorten them.
If you want the option of leaving one or more windows open (4” to 6”) and still remain secure, you
may drill two additional holes as follows:
Open the window the desired height (but no more than 6”); Using the existing holes
on the inside sash, drill a second set of holes one-half to three-quarters of the way through the outside sash;
Insert the 16-penny nails through the inner sash and into these “ventilation” holes and test by trying to open the
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Disclaimer: I have made every reasonable effort to produce an informative and helpful article on How To
Pin Windows based on my research and experiences. However, I make no representation or warranties of any kind with
regard to its completeness, accuracy or suitability for any specific situation or purpose. See our Warranty Policy
for more info.
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