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5 Ways to Protect Your Sliding Door
We talk a lot about securing regular doors, but what about sliding doors?
You’ve got a few options to protect your exterior sliding door. You can let your deck or patio fall into such complete disrepair that it becomes a death trap for any would-be intruder. Or you can take more a socially acceptable action by using one of our tips below, such as adding an alarm sensor, window film, or a security bar to your sliding glass door; changing the lock for a deadbolt, or installing a security camera.
Keep your sliding door closed and locked. A lock is the first line of defense. And while the average sliding door lock isn’t terribly strong or secure, it’s better than nothing. If you don’t lock the door in the first place, our other tips probably won’t keep you safe.
1. Add alarm sensor
Using alarm sensors tied to a home security system is an easy way to protect your sliding door.
Most alarm systems come with door/window sensors (also commonly called entry sensors). When attached to a door frame, these sensors monitor open/close motions. If someone forces the door, the alarm sounds and calls for help.
Some alarm systems also include glass break sensors. These sensors detect the sound glass makes when breaking. When the system senses breaking glass, it will send an alert to either you or your monitoring center, depending on your provider and settings.
Data effective 8/10/2022. Offers subject to change.
2. Add window film
Sliding glass doors are super smashable. To deter intruders, we suggest applying a window film. This polyethylene coating keeps a shattered sliding glass door from completely falling apart, making it more difficult for an unwelcome visitor to enter.¹
Just to be clear, burglars aren’t our main concern with sliding glass doors. We’ve read multiple interviews with former thieves, and most say they liked to enter a home in the least obtrusive way possible. So thieves aren’t likely to smash your sliding door, but vandals and other types of intruders might.
If you don’t want people watching you through your sliding glass door but don’t have curtains or blinds, window film can help you out there too. Some window films have designs on them that let you see out but don’t let others see in. Just pay attention to the specs; we don’t see many window films that have both shatterproof and privacy properties.
Here are a few top-rated shatterproof window films we recommend.
VViViD 12 Mil Clear Vinyl Shatterproof Safety Window Film
|View on Amazon|
Nidojp 4 Mil Clear Security and Safety Window Shatterproof Film
|View on Amazon|
Clear Window Security Film
|View on Amazon|
3. Add a rod in the tracks
Some sliding doors come with a metal rod for added security. If your door already has this feature, use it. It helps reinforce the door against unwanted entry.
4. Get a deadbolt lock
We’ve noticed that, generally speaking, sliding door locks aren’t very secure. It’s best to get a door with a lock that isn’t accessible from the outside.
If you’re choosing a patio door for a home you’re building, then we suggest looking at something more secure—for instance, French doors with a more traditional, mortise lock. It’s safer.
But we get that when you move into a preexisting home, you aren’t given a choice in sliding door locks. Instead, if you’re able, add a deadbolt to the sliding door setup.
5. Install a security camera
Security cameras aren’t our go-to solution. They tend to be expensive, can be difficult to install, and usually require ongoing subscriptions. But for a vulnerable spot like a sliding glass door, a security camera is a top-notch solution.
If you keep an obvious camera trained on your sliding glass door, burglars and other intruders are less likely to mess with it. They don’t want their mischief caught on film.
Data effective 08/10/2022. Offers subject to change.
Link Interactive and Frontpoint sell the same Alarm.com outdoor camera hardware.
If you need to secure your sliding glass door, try any or all of these tips. Afterward, if you’re still feeling skittish, we also recommend other ways to secure your home.
Or, if you’re interested in any of the home security systems we mentioned earlier, here are individual reviews for our top brands with DIY motion sensors:
Sliding door FAQ
There are expert resources to help you if your sliding glass door is damaged. Some window and door services offer sliding door repair. Also, if the lock is broken or stuck, you might have to call a good old-fashioned locksmith.
A word of caution, though: if an intrusion attempt damaged your door, that tells you that your sliding door looks vulnerable to burglars. You should increase the existing security on the door as further deterrence.
If you have an interior pocket door, not all of these safety tips will apply. Since your pocket door’s on the inside, it doesn’t pose the same security risk. But if your pocket door is glass for natural light purposes, we still suggest some window film for reinforcement. Accidents happen.
Replacing a sliding door lock is pretty simple. After you unscrew the handle/lock from the door, note the measurements of the lock to make sure you purchase a new, compatible lock. From there, simply screw on the new lock with mounting screws.
There are a few ways you can strengthen the safety of your sliding door. Common ways include putting a rod in the door's track or applying shatter-proof film to the glass.