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.

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Lock your door
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.

Top home security systems with DIY entry sensors
ProviderEntry sensor imageEntry sensor priceLearn more
FrontpointFrontpoint sensor$19.99View Plans
Link InteractiveLink Interactive sensor$22.00View Plans
AbodeAbode sensor$32.00View Plans

Data effective 03/30/2020. 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.

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Privacy concerns
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.

Top window films
NameImagePriceLearn more
VViViD 12 Mil Clear Vinyl Shatterproof Safety Window Film$39.99View on Amazon
HOHOFILM Clear Safety and Security Window Films$15.90View on Amazon
Clear Window Security Film$10.99View on Amazon

Amazon.com List prices as of 03/30/2020 2:16 MST.

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.

If your door doesn’t have a rod, adding one is an inexpensive fix.
Top sliding door rods
NameImagePriceLearn more
International Closeouts Security Bar for Sliding Glass Doors $24.99View on Amazon
Securityman 2-in-1 Adjustable Door Knob Jammer & Sliding Patio Door Security Bar$39.99View on Amazon
Lock-it Block-it XL$23.99View on Amazon

Amazon.com List prices as of 03/30/2020 4:40MST.

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.

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Building a house?
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.

Top sliding door deadbolts
NameImagePriceLearn more
Prime-Line High Security Deadbolt Lock for Sliding Patio Doors$14.99View on Amazon
Armor Latch Sliding Glass Door Deadbolt$56.50View on Amazon
CAL Lock Smart Bolt Lock Sliding Door Latch$28.99View on Amazon

Amazon.com List prices as of 03/30/2020 4:45MST.

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.

Top home security systems with DIY entry sensors
ProviderEntry sensor imageEntry sensor priceLearn more
Vivint Smart HomeVivint security cameraCall for quoteView Plans
Frontpoint$167.50View Plans
Link InteractiveLink Interactive security camera$220.00View Plans

Data effective 03/30/2020. Offers subject to change.

Recap

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 early, here are individuals reviews for our top brands with DIY motion sensors:

Sliding door FAQ

How do I fix my sliding glass door?

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.

What about my pocket door?

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.

Sources:

  1. Wikipedia, “Window Film