There is a certain austere beauty to sash windows, a style and appearance that harkens back over 300 years to when this distinctive style was first developed. Throughout all this time, there's a reason these windows have remained the standard for homes, even with the growing development of security methods they've remained unchanged. When it comes down to making sure your home is safe, sash windows are an excellent choice for basic home security.
The most typical sash windows slide up and down within a frame. The top frame is typically oriented to the outside of the house, and will run down in front of the bottom sash. Older styles often involve cords and weights to help control the rise and fall of the upper sash. In many homes these styles of window are often painted shut, or only one of the two sashes are still in operation. In the latter case, they are often designed that way. All of them come with locking mechanisms, and we'll look at the vulnerabilities of each one.
In some cases sash windows are secured with a center catch, one that is located in the middle of the window, and latches the two windows together. These unfortunately are also the most vulnerable to invasion, as the catch has an accessible screw, or a thin object like a knife or lock-pick for a car door can be slipped between the windows to operate the catch. Needless to say these are secure against your basic burglar, but if instead you're dealing with someone who knows their way around breaking and entering, this won't hold up.
In those sashes that only have an operative bottom sash, there is often a latch that secures the bottom sash closed. These can be pretty secure as generally the bottom sash sets into a recessed trench in the frame that prevents the tricks from above from working. This can be one of the most secure of the basic locking options that are available with sash windows.
All in all, sash windows are excellent for basic home security, if you're looking to add a little more security to your sash windows, there are specialty locks that can be added. There are spring loaded locks that are set into the base, midsection, and top. There are also locks that are actually built into the windows themselves, typically a slide arrangement that can only be operated by someone inside the window.
Sash windows will provide your home with excellent security, and with the above options implemented you can take that security one step further. A few more basic steps you can take is to make sure that your paint job isn't leaving an opening underneath the bottom sash where a level can be inserted, and that your windows are set firmly and securely into the frame. When you're taking your families security into consideration, sash windows are an excellent choice to bring into your home!