How to Secure a Sliding Glass Door: 9 Ideas

More homes than ever are making use of sliding glass doors, allowing natural light to come into one’s home while making it easy to get access to one’s backyard or deck. Unfortunately, the biggest downside to a sliding door is that the panels of glass in the design allow intruders to see inside and the ease of access can also be a major concern.

Do you know how to secure a sliding glass door? Here are nine ideas on how to address design weaknesses, along with the best ways to secure a sliding glass door to protect against intruders:

1. Locking systems could fail

Acknowledge what could go wrong. Sliding doors have small latches that hook into metal. Latches like these are operated by moving a small lever. They’re very easy to open. They simply cannot be counted on to deliver the home security you deserve. A possible replacement is a deadbolt.

2. The tracks are easily removable

With any sort of sliding design, it slides through tracks. The tracks that the sliding door operates on typically are very easy to remove. If a thief really wants to get inside, they won’t need to apply much effort at getting rid of these. With just a crowbar, someone can lift the door off its track. Anyone can try it and see for themselves how easy it is to move the door.

3. Glass is easily broken

Sliding glass doors look gorgeous because of the glass but with that beauty comes the obvious weakness. Tempered glass is easily broken. Due to a door’s tempered glass being manufactured to shatter into tiny pieces as opposed to dangerous shards, it’s easy for anyone to break it and enter without injury. Unfortunately, we can’t replace the glass nor the view outside-inside. These are just some of the reasons why securing your glass doors is a must.

4. Install better locks and alarms

First things first, replace the door lock with something a little more heavy duty. This will be the absolute first thing that will be there as a barrier to entry. The ability to lock and unlock your glass doors with ease will ensure you have the security and functionality you desire.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to install a door alarm that alerts you of home intruders. In addition, installing better door locks combined with some of the other strategies on this list can secure a glass door and give you an excellent shot at maintaining the security of your home.

5. Install additional locks

In addition to replacing the door lock with something better, you may want to install other mechanisms. There are plenty of creative lock products available on the market, including anti-lift locks which will prevent the door from sliding open in a horizontal position; locks to attach to the top of the door; locks to attach to the bottom of the door; and double bolt locks.

It’s all dependent on what you feel is most appropriate for your home and how much work you desire to put in.

6. One-way film sheets

One-way film sheets applied to the glass of your sliding doors still give you the ability to look out however it won’t let outsiders be able to see in. This can help in ensuring a possible intruder does not identify the valuables in your home. These films are effective during the daytime however during night, you will still need to ensure curtains or blinds are put in to guard against sight.

7. Laminated or impact glass

Another way to maximize security on sliding glass doors is to use laminated glass which means upon breaking it, the glass will shatter however a PVB sheet inside will prevent it from falling outwards. Impact-resistant glass is another option, designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and is extremely difficult to break.

These sort of replacement glass sheets can provide peace of mind, although they can be expensive and/or affect the aesthetic of the door. That said, one should experiment and see if it’s something they believe is right for them.

8. Blocking bars

Take a metal bar or a wooden bar and insert it along the sliding door’s bottom track. Assuming some burglar is able to crack the latch, a bar is going to make it impossible to push the door. There’s also a Charlie bar, which is a fold-down arm which can block the door at waist-level. This may be more convenient for some in securing their sliding glass door at waist level as opposed to having to bend over each time to lay down a bar.

9. Installing a security pin

Adding a security pin is another way to prevent someone from removing the door from its track. While closed, drill a hole through the frame of the door that slides and into the frame of the stationary door. Don’t drill all the way through. After you have your hole, you can insert a hardened steel patio door pin to hold your two doors together. This will keep your track and door rollers in good condition while minimizing the risk of someone unauthorized entering.