Make sure that every entry point, from front doors to back doors and windows, has the proper mechanisms to deter criminals to keep your home safe. Dead bolts are great for steel-coated front doors and locks are easily installed on windows, but, sliding doors are more difficult to secure. Here are five tips on how to choose sliding glass door locks:
1. Slide-locking Bar
Slide-locking bar might sounds a little complicated, while actually it’s just a metal bar or thick wood dowel, cut to fit in the bottom track of your door. When locking up your home for the night or going out, simply fit the dowel or metal bar into the track. This keeps the door from being opened, even if the latching lock is damaged or removed.
2. Maintain the Tracks and Roller
Almost every sliding door moves back and forth on plastic rollers, but if they are damaged, they won’t move smoothly and the door can be easily lifted from its tracks. If your door is not rolling properly, start by lifting it out of the track and cleaning any dirt and debris, because both can cause the track and the roller to degrade.
3. Commercial Locking Product
Perhaps you also want to consider a commercial lock available from a local hardware store or online retailer. These locks feature one or two-bolt locking systems that attach to the closure point on your door and have steel bolts that drop into place. Most can be installed at any height on your door and are adjustable. It’s mean that they can either supplement or replace an existing latch lock. Key and lock options are also available, as are products with battery-powered audible alarms.
4. Home Alarm System
If you have an in-home alarm system, make sure it’s wired to a contact on your sliding door. This is easily done at the time of installation by alarm technicians and means that if your sliding door is opened after you’ve set the alarm, a warning will sound. You can also install glass-break sensors on your door or the wall nearby in case a thief tries to smash the glass instead of opening the door.
5. Failed, Replace Your Slider
A new sliding door that fits tightly in the frame sometimes is the best answer, offering the best protection as well as a higher level of energy efficiency. Another good idea is to replace the door frame with one that features heavy-duty metal tracks properly secured along their length — many older models are only secure at the corners.
Consider hiring a door professional if you choose to install a new sliding glass door, since improper installation will defeat any security upgrades you hope to make.