You've heard all about investing in sturdy doors and quality deadbolts to up your front door security. But how about the sliding glass doors from your patio? The techniques certainly aren't as well-known, but there are measures you can take. They are somewhat similar to those of securing sliding windows. Keep the sliding doors from opening, prevent them from being lifted off of their frame, and strengthen the glass.

STOP FROM OPENING

Just like you would with a regular window, insert something into the back track. It should be easily removable so that you can get in and out without too much hassle. The ease with which it can be removed from the inside won't make any difference to people trying to break in from the outside—if there is something in the way of horizontal sliding, there is not much that they can do.

There are several options of materials you can use. Choose rods made of wood, aluminum, or PVC. For example, a broomstick handle or two-by-four works great. Whatever you choose, it should fit snugly between the sliding door and the doorframe. Avoid choosing steel rods, because strong magnets can be used to lift them out of place.

STOP FROM LIFTING

A sliding door can be lifted out of its tracks and swung out of place. To prevent this, install a bolt:

With the sliding door in its closed position, it should overlap slightly with the fixed door. Drill one hole through them both. Slip a nail or pin into that hole when you lock up for the night. It will prevent the moving door from being lifted enough that it can be popped out.

STRENGTHEN GLASS

The following replacements and additions can strengthen the glass in your sliding doors. You can even use them all.

  • Double-pane windows.
  • Clear, unbreakable polycarbonate panels. Place them on the inside of the glass.
  • Window film. This keeps shattered glass in place and will serve as a barrier from outside intruders. It can be broken, but it will be a hassle.
  • Laminated glass storm doors. They function like a front windshield. Because the glass is tempered, it will stay in place when broken.
  • Grille or security gate. This may not align with your preferred aesthetics, but if crime is a real concern in your neighborhood, this ups your security immensely.
  • Motion sensors or glass-break alarms. A door-frame alarm won't respond to a smashed-in window, so these alternatives are helpful.

A door or window that looks like too much work will deter intruders; their chances of being caught increase dramatically when the job is not a quick one. So even if these measures are not complete burglar-proof, they will likely be enough to scare many burglars away.

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