Many homes have sliding glass doors as one way to get in and out of their homes. They are a wonderful asset to your living space because they bring more light into your home and open up the outdoor view more than your average window or door. Unfortunately, sliding glass doors can be a vulnerability, when it comes to home security and safety. These doors can easily be pulled open if you have only secured it using the factory provided latch. My wife pulled our sliding glass door open with her own strength, when she was forced to get into the home- due to our toddler locking it by accident when my wife stepped out on our deck. Burglars can also use a crowbar to knock the glass doors off track to get into the house. They can also just break the window and walk right through the gap created from shattering the large window. This type of break-in is much easier than breaking a window and trying to crawl through that smaller space without cutting themselves up.
I have a few rentals that I own. One home needed rehab work done before putting it on the market. I had put in a wireless alarm system to keep the home secure while the home was vacant. It just so happened that someone threw a rock through the sliding glass door to break in. The house was empty and the alarm was activated so the only damage was to the sliding glass door. These things happen, so if a burglar wants to get in, they will break the glass, knock the doors off the tracks, or use a crow bar to bust the factory lock. You need to look into ways to secure your sliding glass door because of this. There are several ways to secure the doors to prevent burglars from breaking into your home. There are also some safety practices you can begin immediately, to keep your home safe and secure.
You will need to make sure you actually follow through on several of the suggestions below to secure your sliding glass door and ultimately keep your home and family safe and protected from criminals breaking and entering your home.
We are going to take a look at each vulnerability they have and how you can better secure not only the sliding glass door, but also develop important safety practices you can do every day to keep you and your family safe in your home.
Factory Installed Latches
These latches will not keep out a burglar, so you will need to look at a better and more effective latch product for the door. You should purchase a stronger latch that will be more secure, making it harder for a thief to just pull the door open. Although the factory installed latch will be much more convenient for you if during the day you leave for a few hours and you just want to secure the latch quickly. However, when it comes to being away for long periods of time, you need something better to keep your home secure. You will also want to use a stronger latch during the night when you are sleeping. You can check out a stronger latch HERE.
Sliding Glass Doors are in Back of the Home
The number one reason the sliding glass doors are vulnerable is because they are in the back of the home. Their location is a prime spot for any criminal wanting to break in because they are hidden from a sidewalk, the road, or exposed areas where people in the community can see. This makes it the most ideal entry for thieves. Sometimes the back sliding glass doors are hidden beneath over grown bushes or trees, which makes it a better target entry for thieves due to the inconspicuous surroundings. Criminals are far more likely to find a point of entry that is hidden from view so they will not be seen. You need to make sure you clear the landscape around your door so it makes it more visible. You also want to make sure the back entrance is well lit, because that is another good deterrent to keep thieves away.
Film to Strengthen Glass
You can purchase a protective film to cover the glass of your sliding glass door. I highly recommend doing this. I wish I had put this film on my sliding glass door when a criminal threw a rock through it and shattered it to pieces. This would have prevented the window glass from shattering particles everywhere, which I had to clean up. I still would have had to replace the glass, but it just would have been easier clean up and it might have prevented the burglar from coming into the home. This film is not expensive and you can easily get it and install it yourself. This is just one more way to secure the glass in the sliding doors. You can purchase it HERE.
Alarm Device on Doors
This one is pretty easy to set up and do. You do not need a full home security alarm system to add a device that can emit a high decibel alarm if someone tries to mess with the door. There are devices like the Doberman Alarm Device that you can stick on the door and if anyone moves the door or breaks the glass the alarm goes off. The other security feature you can use is placing a security monitoring device on your door for your home security system. You obviously need some kind of security system to add a protection from thieves entering your home through the sliding glass door, so if you already have an alarm, hopefully the sliding glass door is already monitored.
Keep Things Hidden
The one great thing about the sliding glass doors is the sunlight and openness of them to expose the landscape outside. The bad part is someone else can look into your home to see what valuables you have. Make sure you have blinds up or curtains closed when you are not home or you are sleeping. That way a thief casing your home to see if you are a good prospect, doesn’t have a visual of what’s inside. Make it a daily habit to close the blinds or curtains before you leave your home and before you head upstairs to bed.
Secure Door Other Ways
There are several ways you can secure the door to prevent a break-in. One way a burglar can get in is by using a crowbar and knocking the door off the track. You can use a door protection device like Armor Latch to secure the door from someone trying to knock it off the tracks. This is just like a deadbolt and the installation is really straight forward. The dual locking system with hardened steel locking pins will hold the doors to the frame thus making it impossible for a thief to get into the home. This comes in many different colors, so you can find a good fit for the color of your door.
Dowel rods can be used to secure the doors making it impossible for someone to slide the door open. I used both the Armor Latch and the Dowel rod to secure my sliding glass door in my old home. They worked really well in keeping my home secure.
Don’t Forget to Lock Your Sliding Glass Door
We have all done it before and will do it again… Forget to lock our doors, and this includes our sliding glass doors as well. You need to make sure no matter how hectic or busy you are that you lock the doors when you leave your home or go to bed. Burglars look for this easy access. This is one of the top ways they break into homes and one of the easiest security strategies you can do to protect your home from break-ins.
In summary, sliding glass doors are wonderful to have in your home to brighten up your living space with natural exposure, while they also add the beautiful view outside as well. Unfortunately, they can be the most vulnerable entries a robber can access in targeting your home and breaking in. A homeowner who has a sliding glass door must seriously consider the security products and practices mentioned above. There are several options that are both affordable and efficient to secure your home and keep your family and valuables protected.