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If you have sliding glass doors, Here’s how to augment your home security

Obviously, everyone desires safety, privacy, and peace at home. Accordingly, if you want to maintain your peace of mind, it’s essential to be on the lookout for weaknesses at your points of entry, the state of your locks, and the general condition of your premises. A glass sliding door, although certainly a desirable addition to your house - often allowing sunlight in from your patio area - is also an unfortunate security risk, for numerous reasons. Here’s an overview:

Glass Door Disadvantages

Sliding glass doors are prime targets for intruders, due to these vulnerabilities:

The whole door can be lifted out of the tracks by an expert thief using basic tools.

The glass itself is susceptible. With enough force, any reckless crook can break through the glass.

The door’s location doesn’t help, since a potential robber knows they’re often found in the back of your house, where tampering can be done most likely without the neighbors knowing.

The brackets that hold the stationary panel in place have screws that theoretically could be unscrewed from the outside by a prowler.

The lock is in fact the weakest aspect to your sliding glass door. The single-locking mechanism isn’t very hard to breach. A burglar with knowhow can cut the lock with a hacksaw or pry it open. With some glass doors, if you just shake it hard enough, it can come unlatched.

How to Better Secure Your Sliding Glass Door

To deter a potential intruder and more effectively secure your patio glass door, first, keep a robber from even thinking about breaking in. Delay anyone who may have any success whatsoever, and detect that person immediately for a fast arrest.

Discourage & Postpone

Replace the glass with better glass, such as double-paned glass, premium-quality glass, or glass with embedded wire.

Put in an extra lock. There are outstanding locking devices that will complement a regular lock. Most you can easily operate from the inside. The best will fasten your sliding door to the frame. The advantage of these locks is that they keep the door from moving vertically or horizontally. Even if someone breaks the conventional lock, it will still be difficult to open the door. You can also install a battery-powered lock that has an audible alarm attached to it.

Install window film, which helps secure the glass door. You can do this yourself. The film holds the glass together even if shattered - making the door virtually shatter-proof, because the shards will be held in place - preventing, or at least delaying, trespass.

A safety bar makes it so that the door can’t be moved horizontally across the exposed track. Put in a dowel, a piece of wood, or a pipe of the right length. Some safety bars are extra strong, capable of withstanding up to 1,000 pounds of force. You can also put in a security bar attached to the doorjamb and the bracket at the edge of the door. This kind of bar will be instantly seen by a potential thief. This strategy also allows you to keep your door open slightly for ventilation, yet still preventing someone from getting in.

Put a decal on the glass door, near the latch to warn any potential prowler that there’s a Neighborhood Watch in place, or that you have an alarm system (even if it isn’t true).

Always keep your glass door locked! Criminals often look for this, because people often forget to lock the patio doors at night or when they’re out.


If you have an alarm system, wire it to a contact on your sliding glass door, so that if a break-in happens, it will alert you and the security company.

Use sensors or cameras to identify a breach the instant it arises. Surveillance cameras, glass-shatter sensors, and motion sensors will add an additional security layer. If you install a video surveillance system, you can choose cameras that record all activity, so you’ll retain video footage as evidence for the police.

Stay in touch with your neighbors and always be a good neighbor. Get in the habit of communicating to establish trust. A good neighbor watches out for your home while you’re away. It’s the right thing to do to look out for each other, and be aware of any suspicious activity. Let next-door neighbors know when you’ll be on vacation.

Preventive Maintenance

Keep door tracks and rollers in good condition. If they don’t move easily, the door might be able to be lifted right up from its tracks. Keep out dirt and debris, because they can cause eventual breakdown. If, even after cleaning, the door still doesn’t move properly, modify the size of the rollers. Some doors have tiny adjustment holes on the bottom, and top edges that fit a Phillips screwdriver, so that you can compress or expand the rollers.


In general, you can do a lot yourself to make your home more safe and secure. No property is totally impermeable, but there are many ways you can protect your residence and your loved ones from criminal trespass. The same strategies applying to your sliding glass doors go for your sliding glass windows. Place a wooden dowel on each of these windows, for example, to prevent a prowler from sliding it open from the outside. To follow your local fire code, be sure any window-blocking devices can be removed from the inside quickly. Also, install screws half-way into the upper track of a window’s movable glass panel, and this will keep it from being lifted out in the closed position.

Choose to Hire a Professional

If you want to install a sliding glass door, simply ask an expert to do it for you. Why take risks? Slipshod installation will cancel out all the security measures you intended.

When going over home security issues, it’s best to hire a reliable professional you can trust. If you observe any flaws in your home’s security, bring your concerns and questions to a reputable residential locksmith specialist to find out how to remedy each problem. If you reside in Durham, North Carolina, consider requesting a free consultation from a dependable local company such as Pro Durham Locksmith.