LaCantina sliding doors and multi slide systems have excellent security built into their designs, including a multi-point locking system and panels and tracks engineered for strength and integrity. However, you may desire the peace of mind that an additional sliding glass door security measure can bring or want a solution that keeps small children safely inside your home. Here are some ideas for how to secure exterior sliding glass doors of all sizes. The good news is that there are many glass door security options available, both temporary and permanent (installed), and most are relatively inexpensive.
A security bar sits between the active sliding panel and the door frame on the inside of the home, bracing against the active panel so that it opens only a specific amount or not at all. Today’s sliding door security bars are made of strong, heavy-duty metal and are available in portable and installed designs. Portable designs sit in the track and can be removed instantly. Installed designs are secured to the door frame and stay out of sight until lowered into place against the active panel (once in place, they’re also a visual deterrent against would-be burglars).
A sliding patio door security bar works well with a two-panel door system. If your sliding glass door system has more than two panels or is a multi slide system, you likely need a different solution. (Pro tip: The horizontal distance between the active panel and the door frame will determine which security bar is right for your situation. Measure this distance and read the product descriptions carefully before you buy.)
Installing a bolt lock is a great way to boost the security of your sliding patio door. You have multiple options here: There are sliding glass door security locks that attach to the active panel and push a heavy-duty bolt into a pre-drilled hole in the top or bottom of the system frame with the turn of a key. There are also bolt locks for sliding doors that connect the active panel with a brace on the door frame and simply slide open or closed to unlock or lock.
The installation is a little more complicated than some of the other methods shared here (you’ll likely need a drill, for instance), but the level of security is excellent. Installed locks also give you flexibility to place the locks where small hands can’t reach and unlatch them. An alternate use for some bolt lock devices is to secure the active panel to stay open partially to allow fresh air to enter but not open wide enough to allow a small child to get through (great for a sliding glass door that opens onto a balcony, for instance).
There are several temporary lock options that offer the same basic construction (heavy-duty metal and rubber) and work in a similar manner: A metal stop with a rubber inside lining fits over the bottom track of the door system and can be tightened with one or more thumbscrews. Once in place, the lock prevents the active panel from moving. Ready to open your sliding glass doors again? Simply unscrew the stop and remove for use again later.
Inexpensive, quick to install, and easy to use, these temporary locks are often sold in multi-packs. They can keep intruders from opening up your door system from the outside but may be easily disengaged and removed by young children on the inside.
An inside floor-mounted brace can be an inexpensive and unobtrusive way to keep your active sliding glass door panels from moving, adding extra protection to your patio door area. Simply screw the base of the device into your floor next to where the active sliding panel sits when it’s closed, then slide the brace all the way into the base so that it prevents the active panel from operating. A variety of colors and metallic finishes helps you match the brace to your existing system hardware.
For the most inconspicuous results, choose a brace that fully pulls out of the base, leaving only the flat base plate attached to the floor. If you know you’ll likely end up misplacing the removeable brace part, go for a brace that pulls back from the sliding glass door panel but does not leave the base that’s attached to the floor. (Pro tip: This sort of brace only works with a sliding glass door active panel mounted on a track closest to the inside of the home.)
Although a professionally installed metal security gate isn’t a direct security option for your sliding doors, it’s another way to signal security to anyone approaching your home. Metal gates come in a wide range of designs, so it’s possible to choose a look that complements your home design rather than simply adds “bars” to your exterior sliding doors.
Metal security gates are made to last and include durable lock assemblies, so you can feel confident that they will help resist entry. Their open design also lets you keep them closed and secured while your sliding glass doors are open, allowing plenty of fresh air to flow into your space. Of course, if you invested in sliding glass doors for the incredible views they provide, you will need to open your gates fully to the outside in order to enjoy an unobstructed view. Also, be aware of the cost: Between the gate and the installation, this solution can easily run into the thousands of dollars.
One final tip: If strangers are able to look directly into the inside of your home through your exterior sliding glass doors, consider adding an interior window treatment and closing it at night or any time you’re not home. You’ll appreciate the privacy factor as well as discouraging potential thieves from knowing too much about your home.
LaCantina sliding glass door systems and multi slide doors open residential and commercial spaces to fresh air and abundant natural light, creating seamless indoor outdoor experiences. Learn more about our modern sliding doors here and find inspiration for your home or project here.