Sliding glass doors can be an attractive component of your home’s design, allowing plenty of natural light to flow into interior rooms and connecting your living area to a patio, deck or sunroom. Unfortunately, they are much easier for an intruder to breach than a traditional wood door, either by shattering the glass or taking the door off the track to remove it, and the locks on sliding doors aren’t as sturdy as deadbolts. Knowing how to secure sliding glass doors is ideal.
How to Secure Sliding Glass Doors?
If you have sliding glass doors in your home, you can continue to enjoy their beauty and convenience as long as you take one or several of the following extra precautions to secure them.
Security bars are metal (or sometimes wooden) bars that can be wedged between the door frame and the sliding door to physically prevent the door from being opened, even if the lock is disengaged or damaged. Most bars are adjustable to fit a wide range of door sizes and are strong enough to withstand several hundred pounds of force. They are often fitted with rubber caps on either end to prevent scratching or other damage to your door frame.
The locks included on most standard sliding glass doors are simply a hook-shaped latch that connects to the door frame, and they do little to prevent an intruder intent on getting inside from pulling the door open. To decrease the likelihood of someone forcing your door open, you can install higher-grade locks created specifically for sliding glass doors. These enhanced locks use a double-bolt design to make it much more difficult for bad actors to get inside your home.
A shatter alarm is designed specifically to alert you to someone attempting to tamper with your door. The alarm is sensitive to shattering glass as well as the vibrations created when the door is struck, and while they won’t actually secure the door itself, they can warn you if a break-in is imminent. Additionally, some models give off a red warning signal that indicates the door is being monitored, which can help deter intruders looking for an easy target.
Security sensors sound when your sliding glass door opens, which can alert you or your alarm company that a door has been opened by an unknown party (or when you’re not expecting it). These sensors can also come in handy for parents of small children, who can often slip out of a sliding door and into a yard, pool area or street before anyone realizes they’re gone. Sensors can be disabled when the door is in heavy use and reactivated at night or when no one is home.
Looking for the next step up from security sensors and how to secure sliding glass doors? Check out our guide to Choosing the Best Security Camera System: 4 Great Options. We have incredible reviews of products from Arlo, Nest and more.
Metal Screws or Washers
An inexpensive, low-tech trick to keep a sliding glass door from being removed from the track is to place a metal washer or screw into the top of the frame or inside the track. The screw or washer will make it impossible for the door to be lifted off-track and removed by a home invader.
Ensuring Your Sliding Glass Doors Are Properly Secured
No matter what security features you add to your doors, the most important step you can take is making sure they are engaged at the appropriate times, including at night and while you’re away. Check them regularly to ensure that they’re tracking smoothly and all locks are working, and always promptly address any damage to components. This ensures that your method for how to secure sliding glass doors is foolproof.