For those lucky enough to have a glass sliding door, you smile knowing that your house seamlessly connects the outside and inside. As the door rollers slide along the track as you open the door, it creates an effortless space for you to enjoy your home in all its glory.
The key with sliding doors is to also make sure you have considered whether the security door rollers are performing at their best to protect your home and your loved ones. Below are some ways to improve your home’s security and some steps you can take to achieve the best, most secure results.
But first, how exactly do burglars bypass sliding doors and what are the most common reasons?
Common Ways Burglars Bypass Sliding Doors
Glass sliding doors allow you to view the beauty of the surrounding landscape without obstructing your view like a regular door would. However, they can also be a target for unwanted intruders without any security in place.
Sliding doors are often hidden from view and located around the back of the home, which can seem inviting for some intruders. Another security challenge is that it can be easy to forget to lock your sliding door before leaving, providing the perfect opportunity for a burglar to walk straight in.
Here are the most common ways a burglar can bypass a sliding door:
Lifting the door out of the track
Because sliding glass doors have heavy-duty rollers that glide along tracks and don’t have hinges, burglars can attempt to pry and lift the door out of its track when trying to enter.
Smashing the glass door
For a more direct approach, burglars can smash the tempered glass of the sliding door itself by throwing or striking it with a heavy object.
Bypassing the lock
Most sliding doors will typically have a locking device consisting of a simple latch. This presents a security challenge as intruders can easily break or bypass this lock by ‘jiggling’ the sliding door until the lock breaks.
How to Improve Your Sliding Door Security
But don’t let this scare you, as there are many ways you can improve the security of your sliding glass door and make it more secure to deter would-be intruders.
Use tracker blocks
Sliding screen door rollers open and close horizontally on both the upper and lower tracks. Naturally, one of the simplest ways to increase the security of your sliding door rollers is to put an obstacle, such as a tracker block, in the track to prevent movement.
You can make the tracker block by cutting a wooden broom handle down to size to fit the bottom track. This is a quick and easy way, and while it’s not secure proof, it definitely adds a level of security and prevention you didn’t have before. Also, it’s worth noting that this is nice to have for toddlers and the elderly, preventing them from opening the door.
Reinforce the glass
Your sliding glass door is made up of large sheets of glass. For a would-be burglar, this presents a nice, easy break-in (provided you haven’t reinforced the glass).
Simply applying security film to the inside of the glass can really improve the strength of the glass sliding door. This film makes it super tough to break through the glass. It can also protect against kids playing ball sports close to the window and prevent broken glass from an errant ball toss/kick.
You can buy rolls of security film for between $10 and $30 per roll, depending on the type, brand, and size. Though not difficult, successfully applying security film to a sliding door is a tedious task and we suggest that this be a two-person job, as it’s almost impossible to do on your own. We might suggest you consider looking to outsource this to a pro. AirTasker anybody?
Add a secondary lock
Locking your sliding door might be an obvious solution, but more often than not, the reality is that your sliding glass door won’t have a deadbolt. In most cases, it will use a simple latch that is clamped onto the door. To give your locks more power, we suggest installing a steel secondary lock system such as a deadbolt.
To install it, you can either contact a handy person or do this yourself. If you want to roll up your sleeves, here’s what you need to do: drill the screws holes into both door jambs and the sliding frame door. Then simply screw the loop lock into place.
To stop burglars from lifting your sliding glass door out of the track, you have the option of mounting the sliding door to the floor. This can be done by simply installing a heavy-duty floor latch that hooks onto the bottom of the door that you can easily attach/detach using your foot.
Install alarms & sensors
Sometimes the most effective way to stop unwanted intruders is to deter them, and nothing deters burglars more than an alarm blaring in their ears. You can install door sensors that will go off once they detect the sliding door being smashed or someone trying to pry it open. You can also install additional home security cameras for maximum security and to record the intruder.
Close the blinds/curtains
Another simple yet effective way to deter burglars is to close your blinds or curtains before leaving. An open view of your entire living room allows the intruder to easily scope your home and identify any valuables they can steal. With an obstructed view, the burglar won’t be able to see your valuables and will think twice before going to the effort of breaking in.
The Advantages of Installing a Security Screen
Security screens, not to be confused with fly screens, are an excellent choice for improving the security of your sliding glass door. If you’re concerned about the visual aesthetic of an ugly and bulky screen door, then you can put your mind to rest.
Modern security screens are designed to be super strong, super durable and not stick out like a sore thumb. Being engineered to keep unwanted intruders out, many security screens are created differently, so it’s best to consult with a professional to find out which one is best suited to your needs.
Materials can range from aluminium sheeting and high tensile stainless steel to PVC coating for protecting the wire from rusting. Many security screens are also designed to offer superior durability from harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, strong winds, hail, corrosion from harsh UV and more.
Apart from providing additional security, installing a security screen is also perfect for summer as it allows for natural ventilation to pass through the home while keeping bugs and flies, and intruders, at bay.
With the right security upgrades, a sliding door can provide efficient protection from would-be burglars while continuing to seamlessly connect the inside of your house to the outside.
Now that you’re on top of the security, make sure you’re on top of the cleaning and maintenance by reading our complete guide to cleaning glass sliding doors.