Sliding Glass Door Security

sliding glass doors

Sliding glass doors are a beautiful addition to any home. They allow a good deal of natural light to enter the house, and when open, a flow of fresh air. However, as beautiful as sliding glass doors may be, they are a potential pitfall to your home’s security. Read on to learn how to prevent burglaries by taking sliding glass door security measures.

Why Are Glass Sliding Doors Potentially Dangerous?

Glass sliding doors are pretty, but they are not very practical with their original security systems. Most glass sliding doors are secured by latches, not locks. Latches are made of soft aluminum or cast metal and provide little resistance to physical attack. They get weaker with time and with wear and tear, and thus are a prime spot for a thief to attempt to break into your home.

Fixes for Your Sliding Glass Door Security Problem

  1. Functional lock. Ensure that the existing latch mechanism is in good working order. If your slider latch has worn out with use, hire a professional handyman to replace it. At the same time, you might want to have a supplementary lock installed. A key lock, button lock, or steel bolt are all potential choices to make your door more burglar-proof. 

  2. Barrier. Strengthen your sliding glass door’s security by creating a barrier that prevents the door’s movement. Find or cut a wood dowel to fill the length of the glass sliding door’s indoor track. If someone attempts to open your door from the outside, the door will hit the wooden stick on the inside track and be blocked from movement. When cutting, only leave as much space in between the end of the stick and the door as you need to fit your fingers around the stick, so you can remove it when desired.

  3. Self-tapping screws. Add self-tapping screws (which create their own holes as you insert them) to the upper frame along the length of the sliding door in its closed position. These screws ensure that the door can only be moved sideways and not upward. This will prevent a would-be thief from lifting your sliding glass door off its track from the outside.

  4. Alarm system. Set up an alarm for your slider. You might want to beef up security by installing an individual alarm for the sliding door alone, or connecting it to your home's master alarm system. A glass-break sensor will warn you if an intruder tries to come in by breaking the glass pane, rather than by opening the door.

Updated December 2, 2018.

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