Sliding security doors are often used by patios and outside decks as they won't open into the living area inside or the seating area outside, but without the right locks and other security features they can actually make your home vulnerable to intruders. Many sliding doors you get from a factory have small, weak locks, and the pane of glass may be easy to break for access to your home. When you're ready to install sliding security doors or want to upgrade to something safer for your home, note a few things to look for you so know your home is secure.
1. Reinforced locks
The lock that may come with a standard door may work with a small latch that simply hooks onto a metal rod inside the doorframe. This can be very flimsy and easy to pry open, so look for a door with reinforced locks. This should be a deadbolt-style lock such as what you see on your home's main front door, and should also only lock and unlock from the inside. This will ensure that your sliding door is more secure when you do lock it.
2. Arm or rods
If someone was to pick the lock of your sliding door or you were to forget to lock it, the best backup you can have for your door is an arm or rod that sits in the track of the door and prevents it from being slid open. Trying to add a dowel you make yourself with an old broomstick can be clumsy and unsightly, so choose a sliding security door with a folding arm or rod. This arm can be folded down when the door is closed to keep it secure and then unfolded when you want to open and close the door. Choose one made of steel or another thick metal so it won't splinter or break if someone tries to force open the door.
3. Reinforced glass
Intruders might sometimes prefer to break the glass of a sliding door than a window because it's easier to climb through a broken sliding door than up and over a windowsill. Choose a sliding door with reinforced, tempered glass or with two panes or double glazing. This will make it more difficult to actually break the glass with a rock or swift kick. Opt for actual security glass or Plexiglas, often used on storefront windows, for maximum security with your sliding security door.
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