Sliding glass doors are an attractive, functional asset to any home interior. They provide an easy way for homeowners to access their outdoor living spaces as well as have an excellent view of their back yards. However, sliding glass doors are also a welcome sight to home intruders. Most sliding glass doors offer burglars and other criminals with an easy way to gain access to the interior of your home. Following are five safety precautions that you should take if you have a sliding glass door.
Security bars offer a measure of protection from potential home intruders. However, many homeowners simply put the ends of broken broomsticks or other makeshift items into the bottom tracks of their sliding glass doors and call it good, but skilled burglars can usually get around these quite easily. Many items used as security bars are brittle and break easily, and can also be maneuvered off the track in many cases. Security bars specifically made for use on sliding glass doors are a much better option than discarded broom handles, but keep in mind that they should be used in tandem with other security measures. Although security bars will probably deter a many potential thieves, some of them are adept at removing sliding glass doors from their tracts simply by using a flat-headed screwdriver, rendering security bars useless.
Professionally Installed Locks
The biggest mistake that most homeowners make is depending solely on the standard factory lock on their sliding glass door for their security needs. Standard factory locks are weak and brittle, and should be replaced by stronger, sturdier locks by a professional locksmith. Double-bolted locks that are specifically designed for use in sliding glass doors are available that will provide you with a much higher degree of security than standard factory locks. You might also choose to have a second lock installed at the bottom track for added security. Another safety measure that a locksmith can provide is the installation of a sliding bolt on the frame of the door -- this will ensure that the door cannot be lifted off its tracks by any means. Commercial locksmiths will also be able to advise you on other security measures that will help keep your home safe from intruders.
Basic window films that are found in the aisles of home improvement retailers can provide somewhat of a barrier in the event that an intruder decides to break the glass in order to gain access to the home interior. Although this won't prevent the glass from being broken, it will stop the glass from shattering into the inside of your home and help deter forced entry. For best results, use the thickest available window glass and follow installation directions to the letter.
If your sliding glass door is made from single-paned glass, consider replacing it with one that has double panes. This will make it much less likely that household intruders will be able to gain access to your home's interior by breaking the glass. For even greater security, opt for wire-embedded glass -- this will also add extra visual appeal to your door. It's generally more cost effective to replace the sliding glass doors entirely rather than having them outfitted with new glass.
Sensors are available that can be programmed into your alarm system to send a silent signal informing you when your sliding glass doors begin to vibrate. You can also buy security devices for your sliding glass doors that don't need to be hooked up to existing alarm systems that emit a loud noise when the doors are tampered with.
Although a combination of the above strategies will help ensure maximum household safety, the most important element in preventing home intrusions via sliding glass doors is a good system of locks. If you don't already know a reputable and reliable locksmith, now is a great time to find one so that you can increase the overall security of your home.