Hand of homeowner opening a sliding glass door.

Types of Locks for Securing Sliding Glass Doors

While sliding glass doors can make a beautiful and functional design statement, they can also pose unique security risks. Sliders have weaknesses that are different from those associated with traditional wood or steel doors. Many homeowners are aware of the risks associated with sliding doors and may shy away from installing them on their property. Yet, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to ensure that your slider unit is secure. The first step is determining the weak points of a sliding glass door system.

The first step is determining the weak points of a sliding glass door system. Then we’ll look at the options for reinforcing a slider. We also provide information installing new or replacing the existing lock hardware and which types of locks are best for securing these doors.

How Intruders Gain Entry with Sliding Doors

When it comes to sliding glass doors, there are three primary ways a burglar can get in: forcing the thin locking mechanism, breaking the glass, or lifting the door out of its track, also known as “jimmying”. For most models, it’s easy to separate the door from the frame and release the bracket. The best way to prevent break-ins is by addressing all potential security issues using advanced locking technology developed specifically to reinforce sliding glass doors and to thwart intruders.

Can Sliding Doors Be Locked Securely?

The standard factory locks installed on sliding glass doors aren’t usually of the highest quality. On some door models with vinyl frames, the fastener and the bolt mechanism don’t even pass through the sturdier wood or metal frame to provide adequate security. A locksmith can help determine if it provides a sufficient level of security. The lock may need additional reinforcement or to be replaced.

Reinforcing the Sliding Glass Door

Some hardware can be added to a sliding door to make it more difficult to force open. A jimmy plate can be found at most hardware stores. It’s a flat, metal plate that is installed over the sliding door frame. The plate serves to block the door and keeping a burglar from prying and removing the door from its position on the frame.

Adding a Second Lock

When replacement isn’t possible or isn’t desired, you can still add additional security by having a secondary lock installed. Most auxiliary sliding glass door locks are installed on the back edge of the slider or along the top rail along the frame or track. Check with your local building code before having an extra lock installed. Some require sliding glass doors to be operable from the inside without keys.

Replacing the Original Lock

Many homeowners ultimately decide to replace the door’s original lock for better protection. Because of the unique way that sliding doors function, it’s best to ensure the lock works as it was intended by having it professionally installed. It’s also a good idea to consult with an experienced locksmith about the best type of residential locks for your specific style of sliding glass door.

Read the 6 Ways to Protect & Secure a Sliding Glass Door for more added security measures that you can apply to this type of door.

Types of Locks for Sliding Doors

If you are looking to protect your home, a good place to start is the sliding glass door. These entry points are considered a weak spot when it comes to residential break-ins. Consider replacing the standard lock on the door with a mechanism that provides a higher level of security. Here are a few options:

Two-Bolt Sliding Door Locks

One simple type designed to secure sliding doors is called a two-bolt locking system. You can find these locks online or in a reputable hardware store. They are simple to install and can be installed at any height on the door. A two-bolt lock works by sliding a strong steel bolt into the frame when switched into the locked position. This system adds an extra level of protection to the latch.

Smart Locks for Sliding Glass Doors

This new technology is revolutionizing how we secure our homes. Though few models are currently available, there are a few types of smart locks for sliding doors. For example, Padiolock is a keyless option that allows homeowners to lock and unlock a sliding glass door. It can be activated from inside or outside the house. Using this type of electronic lock usually boosts security as they are stronger and more tamper-resistant than standard slider door locks. Plus, homeowners report keeping the door locked more often because it’s so easy to unlock when needed. They are also easier to unlock than a traditional keyed lock mechanism in case of a fire or other type of emergency.

Like other residential smart electronic locks and smart garage locks, they are convenient, secure, and intuitive for users. Using a keypad, you and your family can simply enter a code to gain entry to the home. Then, you can provide temporary guest code access to friends, house sitters, dog walkers, cleaners or other authorized service providers. Smart locks for sliding doors offer the same convenient programming options to allow or cancel access for certain user codes or to change codes at any time.

Get more information about how to Protect and Secure Sliding Glass Doors.

Address Your Home Security Concerns

Sliding glass doors are beautiful and functional features of a home. But they don’t have to compromise your peace of mind. With a few simple preventative measures, your sliding glass door can be enjoyable and secure.

To ensure your residential property is as protected as possible, give Great Valley Lockshop a call at (610) 644-5334 or request a quote online. We’ll be happy to discuss all of your security options.

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