When it comes to doors, then glass sliding doors make, perhaps, the loveliest addition to a home or office. With these installations, there is more natural light entering the indoors, and the aesthetics of these doors enhance the décor. The majority of the construction of these doors is made of glass, a material often known for its fragility. Burglars often target doors and windows when seeking to gain entry into a building, hence the need to improve the security monitoring in these areas, especially if they are made of glass.
Sliding glass doors may perhaps be considered an easy hurdle by burglars, and this highlights a need to understand the possible security vulnerabilities of installing such doors in your home and how to address them.
Sliding glass doors have three significant susceptibilities:
1. The lock is considered the weakest point of the doors especially the single locking system common in most sliding glass doors. It is possible to pry open such a locking mechanism using minimal effort. Cutting it with a hacksaw is also another option. Sliding doors with cheap construction can have the locks unlatched if shaken vigorously.
2. Door panels are held in place by brackets most of which are screwed in place and can be easily unscrewed if they are on the outside. A burglar will only need to open the screws and lift the entire door off the brackets and its tracks to gain entry into the house or office.
3. Glass is a brittle material and thieves will only need to break through it to enter. Most glass door manufacturers will try to address this weakness by opting to work with tempered or reinforced glass. However, the degree of toughness varies and thus the more hardened the glass, the better the security, but the higher the price.
Solutions – Securing Glass Sliding Doors
Experts recommend that you use the three-pronged approach when securing your sliding glass door; detect, deter, delay.
• Detect – involves installation of a security monitoring system with cameras and sensors that will help detect a break in.
• Deter – involves putting in place measures that discourage thieves from attempting to break into your home or office.
• Delay – involves having measures in place that make it impossible for burglars to break in.
With that in mind, the things you can do to secure your sliding glass doors will in line with these three approaches.
1. Extra Locks
The need for enhanced security has seen manufacturers put more effort into producing a better locking mechanism that goes on the inside of the doors and can be operated with ease if you have the necessary access authentication, be it keys or keycards. The best locks to use are the kind that will fasten the doors securely to the frame holding the door in place and keep it from moving. Also, consider installing an auxiliary locking system. Most importantly, the locks will only be useful if used as they are supposed to; always lock the doors.
2. Safety Bar
The installation of a safety bar will prevent burglars from pushing the doors horizontally to expose their tracks. It should be something strong enough to withstand nearly a thousand pounds of force. It is wise to get the safety bar from a leading home construction store. When installing the bar, you can attach it to the bracket and the doorjamb. Burglars can spot the safety bar and thus are less likely to try and break in. The bar can also be installed in a manner that allows the doors to be partially open while still restricting unauthorized entry.
3. Stronger Glass
It is better to invest in sliding glass doors that have tempered glass; the more robust the glass the better the security. If you wish to use clear glass, then consider tempered double-paned glass, and if this is not an essential preference, then work with glass with embedded wire. If you do not have the money for such glass panes, then you can still address the brittleness of the glass by installing a tempered glass film that renders the glass break-proof and will hold the pieces of glass together in the event it is shattered.
4. Installing Security Monitoring Devices
Introducing a home security system may not have any direct impact on the sliding glass doors, but it does play a significant role in addressing the vulnerabilities associated with these glass doors. The extra layer of security that comes with installing surveillance cameras and motion sensors is also deterrent besides being in place to detect potential breaches.
If you put these four measures into use, then you will not have to worry about the fragilities of glass sliding doors in your home or office.