How to Secure Sliding Glass Doors

When it comes to securing the sliding glass doors of ones’ home from potential break-in, there are a number of myths as to what works best. The most prevailing: prevent the doors from sliding open and they are secured.

In the tracks at the base of the doors, people use all kinds of devices: two-by-fours, old broom handles, and even plastic PVC tubing. Others will tell you that the device has to be wedged higher – at the top of the door opening. Some purchase the hinged bars that attach at eye-level.

Not only are all these practices an eye sore, they will not prevent someone from burglarizing a home.

Consider for a moment how the rollers on the bottom of your sliding doors are repaired or replaced? A service technician simply lifts the door off the lower track to access the rollers. Burglars use the same method. They simply lift the door off the tracks. No broom handle will prevent this.

A best practice to securing your home’s sliding doors is to use a “pin lock”. A pin lock prevents the door from being lifted off the tracks. It also prevents the door from sliding open – a second benefit should you forget to lock the sliders before going to bed.

Pin locks typically cost less than $10 and can be purchased at any local hardware store. They are also avail from a number of online merchants. In addition, they can be installed in less than 30 minutes with only a drill and screwdriver. The National Crime Prevention Council, as well as a number of other nationally recognized crime prevention authorities, recommend pin locks as the best approach to securing sliding doors.

While the installation of pin locks is straight forward if one is handy with power tools, the biggest caution comes when drilling into the doorframes. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with the locks. Better yet, have your trusted handyman perform the installation. A handyman will typically charge or estimate by the hour (with a one hour minimum). You might as well do all the sliders in your home, thus get the most out of his or her visit.

Of course, an old adage says, “If a thief rally wants what you have, they’ll steal it.” It is, however, common knowledge that thieves look for easy targets – one of opportunity. The easy target is the home without pin locks on the sliders.