Improve Your Sliding Glass Door Security.

Sliding Glass Door Security Helps Keep That Burglar Out.

Those
of us that enjoy the advantages of a patio door know what a boon they
can be. When open, these doors provide light and air as well as access
to the outside.

When closed they still provide that light and, if double
paned and well maintained, provide insulation from the cold and damp.

Sliding patio doors also have the advantage of not needing space for the swing of the doors.

As
much as we may enjoy the benefits of glass patio doors, most of us have
wondered at some time or other, about the security that they provide.

They
are a large wide entrance and usually at the rear or side of your
property, with only a couple of sheets of glass between the burglar and
the inside of your home.

Are sliding patio doors a home security risk?

They can be, especially if you rely too much on the locks fitted to older doors.

However,
the security of sliding glass doors can be improved by taking common sense
precautions, maintaining the doors and by using inexpensive security
devices.

Sliding Glass Door Security – The Glass.

Could the burglar simply smash the glass to get in through your patio
door?

Yes it’s possible, patio doors include a large glazed area and,
depending on the type of glass, it would not take much to smash it. But
it would mean a lot of noise and noise gets attention. Burglars do not
like attention.

patio doors

Sliding glass door security can be improved by taking
common sense precautions, maintaining the doors and by using inexpensive
security devices.

Your sliding glass doors are likely to be glazed with safety glass.
This glass does not break into shards, it shatters into small pieces
that are far less likely to cause injury, it’s tough but it can be
broken.

Some manufacturers advertise that their sliding doors are
glazed with unbreakable glass.

You would have to inquire as to exactly
what that particular manufacturer means by unbreakable, perhaps they
mean laminated glass that holds together if smashed.

If you live
somewhere remote where there is no-one around to hear a burglar breaking
the glass, you may want to consider fitting unbreakable glass.

Alternatively you can fit Security Film or polycarbonate sheeting to the
glazing.

Before You Start . . .

Before you start to tackle the job of making your sliding patio door
secure, check out its general condition.

If it has given you years of
good service, but is now way past its prime and in a really poor state,
it may be better to consider replacing it.

Yes, this option will be far more costly than improving your sliding
glass door security, but if the door is in that bad a condition, it may
be the sensible option.

Most new patio doors offered for sale
today have been designed with security in mind, at least to a greater
extent than in the past.

You should be able to find replacement
sliding doors that cannot be lifted out of their tracks and with
multiple locking. However you may still find some to be a little
lacking.

Most manufacturers tend to emphasize the heat insulation and thermal
efficiency of their doors, so you may need to do a little digging to
discover how burglar resistant the door is. Ask probing questions, inspect the door from a security angle.

The
good news is that, without incurring too much expense, you should be
able to beef up your existing sliding glass door security.

New doors
should only be necessary if your present set is beyond improvement.

Routine inspection and maintenance of your patio sliding doors is always
a good idea. This will help to ensure that they remain looking good,
and operate smoothly.

At the same time you can check that your sliding door security is still in good order, the locks and any extra
burglary deterrent devices are working correctly.

Sometimes it is possible for burglars to lift the sliding panel right
out from the track, giving them wide and easy access into the home.
This could be through wear and lack of maintenance, or simply because
the door was poorly made and designed in the first place.

There are two ways in which you can improve this situation.

First
make sure that the rollers are correctly adjusted so the door to runs
along the track at the right height.

Affix a thin strip of aluminum,
using screws or strong adhesive, along the length of the upper track.
Alternatively, screw in dome headed screws about every two feet along
the track, adjust as necessary to give the panel just enough room to run freely.

To
further reduce the possibility of the sliding panel being lifted out
from the frame; fit an auxiliary lock to the ‘free’ end, ( a spring bolt
lock would be suitable.) With the panel locked at both ends it would be
difficult for a thief to rock it enough to disengage the hooked catch
of the main lock.

Sliding Glass Door Security – Charley Bars.

The simplest way to prevent the door being slid open even if the main
lock is defeated, is to insert a length of broom handle, or suitable
timber, in the lower inside track. Cut the timber to make a snug fit.

Sliding door braces ( charley bars)
are available that also prevent the door being slid open when in the
‘lock down’ position, these devices provide a good degree of sliding
glass door security.

Although there are many differing designs, most of these braces are fixed to the opposite jamb from the sliding panel.

They are hinged to swing up or down to store out of the way when not in use.

Some
provide a extra simple pin lock that is used to secure the main push
down lock, when secured in this way the brace cannot be unlocked by a
burglar using a wire device inserted through any gap in the doors.

Installation is simple enough but some charley bars will need cutting to size.

Sliding Glass Door Security – Screws On The Outside!

Incredibly some patio doors are fixed in place with screws or bolts
on the outside. No thoughts about security could have been put into the
design, these screws can easily be removed by burglars and the frame either completely or partly detached.

Does
the framework of your sliding glass doors have screws or bolts on the
outside?

Replace them with headless screws or bolts and, if possible,
fix extra screws, top center and bottom through the jam of the frame, so
that when the door is closed the screw heads are inaccessible.

Ensure
that the screws go through the frame into brick, stone or timer and the
longer the screws, the better.

It’s Not Only Locks . . .

Don’t forget that it is not only the locks and security devices that
you fit that prevent an intruder breaking in through your sliding
glass doors. All that you do to protect your home contributes to your
sliding glass door security.

Motion senor lighting around your
home will deter a burglar from breaking through any entry point
including your patio doors. Likewise, a home surveillance camera system
will make a thief think twice about attempting to burglarize your home.

That
said, don’t rely solely on the lock fitted to your sliding patio door,
especially if it is a single point lock.

Auxiliary locks will make your
home more secure and a charley bar is always a good idea.



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Sliding Glass Door Security.

Related Information.

High Security Locks

Combination Door Locks

Lock Bumping

Fingerprint Door Locks For Extra Security.

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