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Sliding door security

Updated on June 19, 2013

Sliding door locks

Sliding doors in houses are an efficient way to have a large opening space while minimizing the door opening footprint. Al sliding door can either slide into a wall cavity or slide parallel to a fixed door panel. Glass sliding doors are a good way to extend the inside of a house with an outdoor patio or deck.

Most glass sliding doors come installed with a lockable catch in the centre of the door which hooks into a strike plate on the opposite door frame or opposite door in the case of twin sliding doors.

Sliding door latch

The standard lock supplied from most manufacturers is a very basic latch. These latches have some vulnerable weak spots which make them easy to force open or easy to manipulate from the outside of a door. Some latches are even made from plastic which can get brittle as it gets older. A better quality lock installed in the centre of the door is a good place to start when you are trying to make a glass sliding door harder to break into. There are locks available with much stronger bolts then the standard parrot hook design. Many locks will lock into the strike at the top and bottom to ensure the door can not be jiggled open or manipulated from the outside. The strikes should also be made of a steel construction to resist forces from jimmying. The strike should also be able to be screwed in securely using multiple screws.

Lockwood Patio Bolt
Lockwood Patio Bolt | Source

Lockable Bolts for slidng doors

Lockable bolts fitted to the inside of a sliding door add extra security and physical strength against a forced attack. A bolt with a key ensures the bolt will stay in the locked position if the door is shaken up and down or if the glass is broken to lift the bolt up. A locksmith should be consulted to the best placement of the lockable bolt. Bolts fitted to the back edge of the door are usually preferred as the screws are not taking as much of the force if the door has extreme pressure placed on it. A lockable bolt with large diameter bolt, a strong lock body and extra fixing points is a good place to start when choosing a patio bolt that will withstand an attack.

Comments on sliding doors

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    • Brisbanelocksmith profile image

      John Magee 5 years ago from Brisbane, Qld, Australia

      Thanks Peg. Yes the old Broom handle trick is worth mentioning. Good luck to anyone trying to force their way past that one!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      You're right about sliding glass doors being a vulnerable spot. My Dad was a locksmith and I also operated a locksmith shop years ago. The quickest and cheapest solution to protecting a sliding glass door is to cut a broom handle to the length of the track and put it in there when away from the house or at night for extra security.