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6 Ways to Improve the Security of your Sliding Glass Door

Don’t Let Your Sliding Glass Door be an Easy Target for Thieves!

When you think of your sliding glass door, you likely view it solely as a functional and practical way to access your outdoor patio or backyard. But a would-be thief is viewing your patio door as one of the easiest ways to access your home and snatch your stuff.

Fortunately, there are ways to strengthen the security of your sliding glass door. Let’s take a look at what makes sliding glass doors so vulnerable, and what you can do to improve the security of your sliding glass door.

Security Challenges of Sliding Glass Doors

There are 4 main ways a regular sliding glass door without any added safety features leaves your home open to a potential break and enter:

  1. Sliding glass doors are easy to unlatch with some determined jiggling.
  2. Sliding glass doors are usually on the sides or the back of the house, meaning they are hidden from high-traffic areas.
  3. Sliding glass doors provide a large view inside your home, providing thieves with a big picture of anything valuable inside.
  4. Sliding glass doors can easily be broken or shaken or lifted off their tracks if they aren’t reinforced.  

Sliding Door Safety Tips

If your sliding glass door is older and doesn’t come with the following safety features, it could be vulnerable to break-ins. Consider taking one or more of these safety precautions:

1. Add a Heavy-Duty Lock

Your average sliding door has a simple latch that is intended to be a lock. Unfortunately, for a determined thief, this latching mechanism can come undone with a few simple shakes and rattles of the slider door. Consider installing a heavy-duty aftermarket dual- or single-pin locking device to the top or bottom of your slider door to reinforce the existing lock. Remember to engage both locks every time you leave your house and when you’re ready to retire for the evening.

To take your after-market locking mechanism a step further, there are after-market key locks available designed specifically for slider doors. After-market locks for slider doors are available at any home hardware store.

2. Block the Tracks

Many homeowners also add a wooden dowel or a store-bought security bar to the bottom of the door track when the door isn’t being used. The simple trick prevents the slider from being able to slide open if the door’s locks fail.

3. Block the Thief’s View

Always aim to obstruct the view into your home through the sliding glass doors when you are not around, and especially overnight. Installing basic curtains or vertical blinds over the door should do the trick. Another option for a completely different aesthetic is adding a barn door slider in front of the slider door in place of curtains or other window coverings.

You can also add privacy glass or window film to block a thief’s view inside your home. This option allows natural light to still come through but may distort your view outside considerably. Countless designs of privacy glass and window films are available at home improvement stores.

4. Protect Against Broken Glass

If a thief is determined enough, they may resort to breaking your sliding glass door – especially if they see something they like! Protect against this by installing a protective glass film, which is a transparent material that strengthens and reinforces the glass, essentially making it shatter-proof. After a few attempts, a determined thief will hopefully move on.

5. Add a Security Camera or Alarm

With home security cameras coming down in price, now is a great time to consider installing a security camera above your sliding glass door to help you keep an eye on things. The sight of the camera may deter a thief altogether. Some security cameras also send a warning signal to your phone, and some allow you to speak to the thief – likely giving them a little jolt of surprise!

There are also small stick-on security devices you can use that, much like a car’s alarm, will sound an alarm if they detect intense vibrations, such as when someone tries to break the glass or rattle the slider off its tracks. The sound of the alarm can alert you if you’re home, or ideally scare away a burglar.

6. Replace the Patio Door

Instead of buying and installing after-market safety features to an older slider door, consider upgrading to a slider patio door that comes with many built-in safety features already. For example, at Modern, our vinyl patio doors all come with a dual-pin locking system, an additional foot lock, and a keyed lock. That’s 3 sliding door security features pre-installed for you!

Our secure patio doors are NAFS and Energy Star certified, double glazed with soft coat low E and argon, and come with a sliding screen and stainless steel rollers to ensure smooth gliding and longevity. Choose from white, beige, or painted frames.

The glass specialists at Modern provide aluminum and vinyl patio doors and installation services anywhere on Vancouver Island, from Port Hardy to Victoria and anywhere in between. We offer patio doors in standard and custom sizes and transoms that offer the security, style at a great price. Contact us today to learn more, or request a free quote for your replacement patio or slider door.  

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