Sliding glass doors are a popular choice. They create a seamless transition between the indoors and the outdoors and create a nice exit right to your patio. Sliding doors will also make a room significantly larger, and they provide us with plenty of light. For example, sliding doors in San Diego or others parts of their world where the sun shines bright year-round, are very valuable to homeowners.
But sliding glass doors still have some downsides. The biggest one is sliding glass door security. This is still pretty much in development, but there are many things that you can do on your own to improve it. Glass can easily be broken, and the locking systems are still not as sophisticated as they should be to make us feel safe.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how to improve your sliding glass door security.
What Makes Sliding Doors Vulnerable?
Image source: Milgard Windows & Doors
The biggest downside of sliding doors is that they use latches instead of locks, making it easy even for the more inexperienced and unskilled burglars to enter. Or, they can just simply lift the door slightly off its track to open it. In extreme cases, they resort to the good old brick, which always seems to work for sliding glass doors.
These are the main weak areas of glass doors.
- Locking systems are still very much not secure enough. In most cases, they are just simple latches that will hook onto a metal piece on the frame.
- The problem also comes when glass doors are placed in a backyard, which seems to be the case most commonly. That makes them even more inviting for burglars, as they’ll be away from the scrutiny of the public eye.
Image source: Pella Windows and Doors
- Sliding doors are placed on tracks instead of hinges, making them easier to break down.
- The glass is arguably the biggest weakness – even though the materials are getting more durable, they are still vulnerable to harder materials.
- The view from the inside is great, but also from the outside. The burglar will have every chance to observe what’s going on indoors and make their plan well before they actually break-in.
Sliding glass door security tips
Let’s dive right into the solutions of improving your sliding glass door security. Here are some tips and tricks to improve your glass door security to the next level.
Physical barriers will help you kick the security to the next level. It might seem crude, but it’s often the most effective way to protect your sliding doors against potential burglars.
Possibly the best way to do that is to buy some metal bars and place them next to the sliding doors. So in the event that a potential robber will be able to break the latches of the doors, they will still have to deal with the blocking bars. It would make the doors impossible to be opened and moved aside.
Another great option when it comes to bars is the Charlie bar, a locking arm that will fold down and block the door. It’s an even more convenient choice, as you won’t have to bend down to the ground every time you want to open the door.
So when you’re headed out, simply use these bars to secure your doors and make yourself sure that your home is safe.
Blocking the Tracks
We know that sliding doors employ the sliding mechanism and they use tracks to do that. And possibly one of the best ways to secure your doors is to secure this sliding mechanism and prevent it from moving on with the help of a metal rod, for example.
Some sliding doors already come with this feature built-in. However, in other cases, you’ll have to invest in a metal rod to improve sliding door security. But it’s an inexpensive fix that you can install in a matter of minutes.
So the next time a burglar would try to slide the doors to the side, they would be blocked by this mechanism and disable the burglar from entering your home. In addition, it can help you control your toddler or an elderly person that likes to wander around and outside the home. This feature is helpful for many reasons, and you can enhance it by drilling a hole through one door into another.
Lock it Tight
Sliding doors, as we have already written, do not have a conventional locking mechanism that front doors have, for example. Instead, they have this latching mechanism that can be simply removed with a pry bar or a screwdriver. Instead, you can prevent this from happening by buying or employing a tighter and more secure lock.
Buying a secondary locking system is the choice you should go with here. For most doors, a loop lock will be more than enough to secure your sliding doors and make you more secure. It’s an inexpensive and highly effective option.
To make matters even more secure, you can buy yourself a good double-bolt lock and amp up your sliding glass door security to another level. This will make your doors even more secure, and you can easily employ this tip.
If you’re worried about intruders peeping into your living room or your house, then there is a great solution for that: a one-way film. Instead of them looking straight into your home, all they will be able to see is a mirror reflection.
This vinyl film is very thin and it will add another layer of protection to your home. It will make it harder to break through the glass, but it will also deter burglars that want to take a look inside your home. Additionally, it can provide good protection against wind, and it will also protect your glass in an event of your kids unintentionally breaking the glass.
Take note that this type of film is only effective during the day, and you’ll still need to use curtains during the night. You can buy a tough window film to take this type of protection to the next level.
Monitored Alarm System
The best technical way to secure your home is with an alarm system. Getting a professionally installed monitored alarm system is arguably your best bet, in addition to the above-given tips, of course.
This, in combination with the tips and the physical barriers named above, you’ll be able to max out your security and take it a step further. You’ll have a monitoring center where you will be able to detect if the glass breaks, or it will also help you detect any suspicious sound around your home. When this mechanism is triggered, the system will start recording and send the recording straight to the monitoring center.
This is a great way to protect your home and your sliding doors. But also, adding the “Protected by CPSS” sticker to your doors will do a lot of good to your security. That sticker alone can deter some potential burglars.
Use Laminated or Impact Glass
The standard glass that most sliding doors use is not enough to withstand the pressure that can happen if the burglar uses a rock to break it. That’s why you should use another type of glass – namely, laminated or impact glass is possibly the best option for you here.
The way laminated glassworks is that it uses a special PVB sheet that will protect the glass from breaking completely; while the glass will break, there will still be the PVB sheet intact that will protect your home from burglars.
What’s better, impact glass will protect you from burglars but also from adverse weather conditions: strong winds, hurricanes, and other weather occurrences can easily shatter the glass and do even more damage. Not with impact glass.
Metal Screws or Washers
Another simple tip that you can incorporate to improve your sliding glass door security is to add a metal screw to the tracks. This will stop the doors from getting open in the case if someone unwarranted tries to do just that.
Replace Your Slider
If all else fails, you can always replace your slider with something more substantial and secure. Sometimes, this is the best answer, although it should be considered along with other tips on this list.
Heavy-duty, metal tracks are the best for security. Make sure you buy the more modern tracks, and that they fit your door.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you with these tips for improving your sliding glass door security. In the future, try to incorporate all of these tips to kick on your security to the next level.
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