One of the easiest ways to get into someone’s home is through the sliding glass door. It’s a lot easier to get into your home this way than people realize. By educating yourself on how to secure a sliding glass door, you will make your home a safer place for your family.
There have been times that I have locked myself out of the house. How did I get in? The sliding glass door. It took me about 15 seconds too. It is soo easy. All you have to do is grab the handle and lift up so the latch isn’t latched anymore. If you’re strong enough, it can also be lifted off the track.
The easy and lazy way
One of the easiest and laziest ways to “protect your sliding glass door” from unwanted entry is to put an alarm sticker on it. This may make a would-be burglar think you have an alarm system. However, someone experienced in breaking in through the slider can spot this in an instant.
The more amateur criminals will probably take a look at the sticker and move on.
Close those blinds
If you want to keep someone from breaking into your home, don’t let them see what you have. Close those blinds. Leaving the blinds open at night is like putting a sign over the door that says, “look what I have that you may want to steal”.
Keep the blinds closed when you away too. It won’t be hard for them to figure out that your lights are on a timer if they can see in. Lights go one, but there is no one there.
You also don’t want to leave valuables out what they can be seen through the sliding glass door. Don’t leave your laptop on the counter or on an end table in view from the slider. If they never move, it’s a sign that there is nobody home.
A locked screen is useless
People go out to run errands and leave the sliding screen closed, but the actual door open. A screen is not a deterrent. I don’t know about you, but someone in my house has walked right through the screen of the slider. It doesn’t take much effort to knock it off the track.
The easier it looks to get in, the more inviting it is to a criminal or drug attic.
Keep the sliding glass door shut and locked.
Replace the lock that came with the sliding glass door
Just about all sliders come with a latch lock. This will keep out the honest people, not the dishonest ones.
It is relatively easy to get through this type of lock. All you have to do is lift the door up by the handle. This will raise the latch so its not hooked anymore.
Replacing the latch and hook lock with a keyed lock will make it more difficult to get in through that door.
All you need is a few tools that every homeowner has and be able to follow directions.
The old wooden dowel in the track
What does just about everyone do that wants to secure a sliding glass door? They put a wooden dowel in the track so it can’t be slid open. This will deter the impatient person. A more experienced individual will just lift the door, especially if it has the latch and hook lock.
You can make the dowel yourself, or you can buy an adjustable bar.
The advantage of the adjustable bar is that you can expand it once it is in the track and make it tight.
DIY dowels do work. You have to wedge them in there. Most people make them and they have too much play. This makes it easier to break in.
What you can do is paint the adjustable bar or the homemade dowel the same color as the door trim. It will blend in and the personn trying to break in won’t immediately be able to figure out what is going on. They will most likely give up and move on.
How to secure a sliding glass door where both sides slide
Most homes come with sliders where one side slides and the other is stationary. Some people opt to have both halves of the door slide. Usually, the handles are in the middle of the door for both sides.
To make harder to break in, securing the 2 handles together is a good idea.
A chain link lock is perfect for this. It may be a little pricey since it is probably a specialty item.
A DIY solution? Use a bike lock that has a solid U shaped piece of metal. Just slide through or over both handles and lock.
I’m not a big fan of doing this. You need to be able to get out if there is a fire.
Install an anti-jimmy door plate
You may able to find one that is for a regular door but will work with your sliding glass door. It needs to into the top track of the slider so the door can’t be lifted.
Your DIY solution?
Make one out of a strip of wood or metal. Fill the track, but make sure the door still slides. Now the door can’t be lifted to unlatch it. Use self-tapping metal screws. Allow for the screw heads to clear the slider too. You can always countersink them too.
You could also do it the lazy way and just put some self-tapping metal screws in there. Just wind them enough where the door still slides. I’m now to thrilled with doing it that way. Eventually, someone will put their fingers in there for some reason and get hurt.
As with a standard window, you can put a vibration alarm on the window. It can be seen and serve as a deterrent.
If you have a home alarm system and the sliding glass door isn’t attached to it, hook it up.
My least favorite idea
To really keep people out, you can always install metal bars. You would need to install ones that are hinged and can swing away from the half of the slider that opens.
Personally, I think its ugly. It also is a barrier to escaping a house fire.
You can use regular tinted window film to keep people from seeing inside. It blocks their view and may keep the room cooler in the summer by blocking out direct sunlight.
You can also install window security film. The glass may break but won’t fall out. The film will hold it. This makes it a lot harder to break in. It also makes the person trying to get in make a lot of noise, which they don’t want to do.
You never know when the homeowner is going to show up at the door armed.
I hope you got something out of this article and learned how to secure a sliding glass door in a couple different ways. It’s not hard. You just have to do it.