It might happen when you are away for the evening partying it up with some friends. Or maybe when you’re in bed for the evening trying to relax after a long night out on the town. Whether you live in the most common of apartment complexes or the most upscale of penthouses, in the middle of downtown or a gated community, break-ins can happen. They are one of the great existential threats facing all renters and homeowners, which is why it should come as no surprise that home security one of the top things new renters/buyers worry about when they move into a new place.
One of the keys to any good home security setup is to shore up your weak points, with one of the weakest and most potentially vulnerable being your patio door. After all, not only do patio locks not typically feature a lock and key setup, they are also frequently made of glass and are, thus, easier to break than traditional doors. This leaves homeowners in something of a Catch-22. On the one hand, you don’t want to leave your home exposed to potential burglars, who can break into your home by shattering the glass, but on the other hand, you don’t want to shutter your sleek glass patio door behind ugly iron bars.
Ways To Secure Your Patio Doors
Securing your patio door, thus, requires a deft, delicate touch. Here are a few tips to help you secure your patio door without making your patio feel like a prison.
Buy a Blocking Bar
One of the most effective ways of keeping your patio door shut and locked is by making it impossible to open. That sounds simple enough, but patio doors are, by their very design, pretty easy to slide open. Naturally, this presents homeowners with a dilemma. On the one hand, you could do away with the sliding patio door design and embrace a more traditional door, complete with lock and key. On the other hand, do you really want to sacrifice your whole patio door décor setup and ease of use?
Probably not, and you shouldn’t have to, which is why blocking bars can be such a simple yet effective improvement. They take one of the things that’s nice, yet vulnerable about a patio door setup – the sliding design – and use it to bolster the security. Blocking bars do just that – block patio doors from moving along their track. If you’re looking for a recommendation, this is the one the Captain uses:
There are no frills here. This product is simply an easy way to strengthen your home security. By installing this burglar-proof steel security bar, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your sliding door is safe against forced entry. Additionally, it’s easy to install and requires no tools whatsoever. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Simply place the blocking or security bar in the outside track where the door normally slides back and forth. This will make it impossible for the door to slide open past the blocking bar, thereby keeping it firmly shut no matter how much brute force prospective burglars may apply.
Install Window Film
That said, these doors are still vulnerable due to the “glass” part of a sliding glass door. Glass can be a lot harder to upgrade from a security standpoint than other aspects of your patio door. But “harder” doesn’t mean impossible!
Your best bet here is window film. One of the best things about this type of protection is the fact that you can install it on your own. We don’t like to think about cost being a concern when it comes to protecting our homes, but that doesn’t mean that’s not the case. As such, window film that you can apply yourself can be a good cost-saving option.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind spending a little extra and want the security of knowing your window film has been installed by trained experts, you can do that as well.
So, whether you install it yourself or hire help, how can window film add to your patio door’s security? All that typically needs to be done is for the film to be peeled from its source and placed onto your window. You naturally want to make sure that you are applying the film evenly, and you need to make sure you smooth out any wrinkles before smoothing everything down.
One of the best things about this kind of protection is the fact that it can stop a burglar in their tracks. Even if they manage to shatter your patio door’s glass, they still have the film to contend with. All of this makes window film a great choice for protecting your glass doors without blocking them up. Looking for a recommendation? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered:
You can even choose tinted window film if you’d like to lessen the amount of sunlight peeking through your home. This can be a good way to keep cool during the long hot summer months.
Add an Electronic Pin System
This method is as straightforward as it is effective. By installing an electronic pin system, you make it so nobody can open the door while the system is armed without the pin number. While this may cost a little more than other options, there is no denying its efficacy.
Install an Armed Alarm System
In conjunction with an electronic pin system, you may want to consider getting a full-on alarm system. This can be useful in a number of ways, not the least of which being the superior protection these systems tend to offer. When triggered, a modern electronic alarm system will alert a loud sound. Many systems are also programmed to contact the police.
A burglar isn’t going to want to stand around while an alarm is wailing, people are alerted to the break-in, and the police may be on the way. These alarm systems are, thus, great for those who want to get rid of a burglar as soon as possible after a break-in.
Together with an electronic pin system, these measures offer one of the most comprehensive means of home security on the market.
Add Clasp Locks
Then again, maybe you’re looking for something more straightforward and simple than electronic locks, yet still more built-in than blocking bars. If so, you may want to consider clasp locks.
These work by attaching to the end of your glass patio doors where the door meets the end of the frame. A metal clasp, triggered by a lever, closes around the shaft. When the lever is pushed in the opposite direction, it releases.
These types of locks tend to be quite effective. It will be hard to impossible for any burglar to break the actual metal clasp lock themselves, keeping your home safe.
Install Foot Bolts
The same may be said for foot bolt options. These are relatively common as far as locks go, and they work as a sort of compromise between clasp locks and blocking bars.
On the one hand, like clasping locks, they fit at the bottom of your glass patio door. When triggered, a small metal bolt is released from a spring-loaded base. Once engaged, it lodges near the door in such a way as to make it impossible to open. To open it again, simply press the foot bolt once more, or manually lift up the bolt.
This is another good example of how old-fashioned security measures can still be of use in an electronic world. While it is true that neither this nor the clasp locks can automatically alert the police like electronic alarms can, they also present actual physical barriers for a burglar to overcome.
This is highly significant. After all, a burglar is typically looking to break into a home for quick gain. They aren’t interested in messing around with something that blocks their way. The harder it is for them to gain access to a home, the more likely they are to give up and go elsewhere.
Such as the case here. As long as your foot bolts and clasp locks can hold firm, you’ll have a strong means of protecting your home against a prospective burglar.
Consider Dual Lock Systems
As alluded to in that sentiment, two locks are better than one. With so much at stake, you want to make sure your patio is as secure as possible. Having a dual lock system can ensure that if one lock fails or is compromised, you still have locks guarding your home against a would-be burglar.
One of the most important things to keep in mind here is that mixing electronic and conventional locks is always a good idea, and it is the preferred method of keeping your patio door secure. As demonstrated here, there are distinct upsides to both ways of safeguarding your home. Physical locks such as clasp locks and foot bolts can create barriers, and electronic alarms can alert you and your neighbors as well as the police.
Taken together, these methods can all play a vital role in protecting your patio.
Vitally, all of these measures are able to do that without you having to attach prison bars or anything so extreme to your glass. All of these measures are practically invisible. The main exception is window film, which is only really visible if you choose to opt for a tinted version. No matter your choice, however, these are all great décor-friendly ways to secure your patio door.
Quick Security Tip
Not everything requires buying and installing costly hardware. If you want to protect your home from intruders, some basics can go a long way. For instance, make sure you can’t lift your door off the track. It sounds silly, but many locks will completely fail if the would-be intruder can simply lift the door off of its guide.