Patio Door Security Tips
There is little doubt that most homeowners take extra precautions when it comes to securing their front door. Some homeowners take the same extra measures with their windows. But what about patio doors?
Did you know that the way home burglars get into your home are often not through the front door, but rather through a more secluded side entrance such as your patio door?
As a result, it doesn’t hurt to utilize patio door security tips. These tips will keep you and your loved ones safe while you are at the house or gone.
Patio Doors – Security Threat
Patio doors, or sliding doors, often exist in the backyard or a side entrance. While they look beautiful, add a ton of natural light to your home, and provide a quick entrance or exit from your home or for your pets there are some security risks.
Sliding glass doors use latches instead of locks. The problem is that latches are not nearly as secure as locks (unless you have a patio door with installed locks). Burglars know this and thus tend to target patio doors over front doors. It also makes sense because patio doors are usually more concealed on the side or back of the house where neighbors aren’t likely to notice anyone trying to break-in.
So what do you do to resolve this issue? It’s not like you want to get rid of one of your most prized possessions on the exterior of the home.
Ways Patio Doors Get Exposed
It has been discovered through research that even inexperienced burglars are capable of overcoming most factory-installed latches. Simply put, standard latches lack quality and are easy to bypass. They are not nearly as precise and secure as locks.
Additionally, patio doors operate on tracks instead of hinges. If you open and close your patio door enough you have probably noticed that it’s easy to have the door slide off its tracks. Criminals also know this and can sometimes lift the door off its track without even needing to break through a latch.
The final way that burglars can access through a home is by tossing a heavy object, like a brick through the glass. Of course this final break-in strategy is nearly inevitable to avoid unless you install a quality home surveillance system with cameras and or alarms.
How to Improve Patio Door Security
There are many simple and easy ways that you can do to increase the security of your sliding door without much effort or money spent. Anyone that has a patio door on their home should follow these practical tips:
The number one thing to do with any patio door is to install a blocking bar if the track doesn’t already contain one. Like the name implies a blocking bar is essentially an object that you set in the bottom track and it prevents a door from opening.
Sliding door blocking bars are cheap to purchase and you can use wood or metal depending on personal preference. Metal is probably a little more secure, but wood blocking bars can get the job done as well.
It deters a burglar even after breaking through a latch as the person will not be able to move the sliding door, regardless.
It is literally impossible to push the door to a side with a proper blocking bar. The only thing you need to ensure is that the bar is long enough to allow only a very minimal opening. If the gap is too big, the criminal may find a way to squeeze through or reach something else in the house that could gain them entrance.
A “Charlie bar” is like a blocking bar only that it features a fold-down arm that blocks the door, usually at waist level. The benefit of having a Charlie bar or a regular blocking/stopping bar is you don’t have to bend over each time you want to open your doors.
And of course, that is the most important thing to remember about Charlie bars and blocking bars. They only work if you have them in place when you are gone or you go to sleep at night.
Often times homeowners have one of the two types of bars yet get complacent and don’t always put them in place. Therefore, make a regular habit of placing the bar before you go to bed, or anytime you leave the house.
What about security tips for patio doors that keep the burglar from removing the sliding door off the track?
Security pins are your best bet. When you slide the door closed, there is a way to drill a hole through the frame of the door that slides. This matches it with a hole drilled into the stationary. Once a hardened steel pin goes through the two matching holes it will keep the two doors together – like glue.
It may sound complicated but installing a patio door security pin into your current unit is not all that hard to do. Even people that don’t consider themselves handy can complete the project in a short time, with basic power tools.
Now that you have the tracking covered, you should also consider a shatterproof film. The name says it all as shatterproof film prevents burglars from making the quickest entrance possible by breaking through the glass.
What is cool about a shatterproof film is it will keep transparency so you don’t have to sacrifice your outdoor views in order to make the home more secure.
Security patio film is sold in a variety of different styles. Some shatterproof film is transparent while other types are tinted at varying levels.
Upgrade Your Latches
While more expensive, you can also consider upgrading the latch on the patio door to something that is not factory-line and thus considered more secure.
However, this is the most expensive option and definitely going a little overboard. The reality is that installing simple patio door security measures like blocking bars and security pins will take care of just about every type of security risk.
Home Security Alarm Systems
It never hurts to take all the necessary precautions. While some of the simple patio door security tips mentioned above are practical and cheap – you can take the ultimate measure by installing a monitored alarm system.
At the end of the day, no security measure is completely foolproof, yet simple additions like a blocking bar or Charlie bar, security pin, and shatterproof glass film will eliminate most safety concerns. It all depends on how much you’re willing to spend to ensure your family’s safety.
Patio Door Replacement and Security
Now’s the time to replace your patio door. At Feldco, we make sliding patio doors with a keyed lock or a foot lock for extra security. All of our sliding patio doors and French patio doors come with secure locks. We have installed over 100,000 doors thanks to our great products, service, and installation.
We serve the Midwest with excellent service and support. Feldco has great service and customer support staff that helps customers all year round. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.