Securing Glass & Patio Doors

Patio doors and other forms of glass doors can be particularly tricky to secure against forced entry due to the reduced strength of glass.

However, there are many ways you can increase the security of your home even with glass doors, meaning you don’t have to compromise on the look you want while keeping your property safe.

We take a look at the vulnerabilities of different glass door types, and the safety measures available to resolve them.

Common Security Challenges of Glass Doors

Glass doors not only allow burglars to see inside your home, but are made of an easily breakable material in which to gain access to the property.

However, smashing glass is a noisy process and something burglars will try to avoid where possible. Targeting unlocked doors or windows, or weak locks and hinges, is a more convenient method of entry.

Sliding patio door with UPVC frame

Types of Glass Doors and Their Specific Vulnerabilities

Glass Doors

The main vulnerability of glass doors is that they can be smashed, meaning the burglar can reach in and unlock the door to access the property. Burglars can also see if there is anything of value in the home, as well as any risk to entering – such as the presence of people or dogs.

Sliding Glass Doors

A sliding door often features a simplistic lock which can be easily broken, and are typically installed on the side or back of a property, where they are concealed from view. This allows a burglar to survey and enter the property without raising alarm from people in the surrounding area. Operating on tracks, sliding doors can also be lifted from the tracks and removed entirely for entry.

French Doors

French doors are another vulnerable form of glass door. Most commonly a double door set, French doors do not lock into a solid frame, making the locking system easier to damage.

Features to Improve Glass Door Security

There are several safety features that can be incorporated to improve the security of your glass door.

High Security Door Locks/ Cylinders

Investing in a high-quality lock that offers protection against common methods of forced entry is a great way to enhance your safety.

Common methods of damaging locks include: lock snapping, picking, drilling, and bumping. These attacks are quick and easy – and can be undertaken with very little skill.

Some locks are made to withstand these methods of attack and are known as anti-snap or anti-bump locks; look for the TS007 security rating or Sold Secure rating, which indicate a lock’s level of security. Master Key Systems’ own Adapta Prime range is an example of door cylinders which are resistant lock snapping and a variety of other common ways to gain unauthorised access.

Security Bars

A security bar for a sliding door is a simple yet effective device that prevents forced entry by creating a physical barrier across the door opening. It consists of a sturdy metal or plastic rod that is inserted horizontally into mounting brackets on the door track, blocking the sliding door from being pried open from the outside.

One of the main advantages of a security bar is its ease of installation and use. It can be quickly secured in place or removed from the inside without any complex tools.

Toughened Glass

As the name suggests, toughened glass is stronger than ordinary glass, offering increased resistance to impact. This can slow or even completely stop the act of smashing glass, which is not just helpful in the scenario of a break in, but can offer peace of mind as to your safety in the event of an accident.

Multipoint Locking System

A multipoint locking system disperses a range of locking systems along the door’s edge, reinforcing the strength of the system and making it a more complicated configuration to manipulate.

These locking systems are more expensive than typical locks, so often don’t come as standard on doors.

Security Hinges

If your locking system cannot be manipulated by burglars, then your hinges may be targeted as a weak point on the door. Hinges can be removed from the frame or broken if they are not properly secured.

However, security hinges can be installed to overcome this. These hinges are more difficult to remove, helping to prevent forced entry.

Anti-Lift Devices

Anti-lift devices are designed to prevent patio doors from being removed by burglars as a means of entry.

Because patio doors operate on tracks rather than hinges, they can be lifted, which disengages the lock and enables the door to be removed completely. Anti-lift devices stop the door from being lifted.

Deterring Burglars from Patio Doors

Whether a sliding glass door, a French door, or a standard model, patio doors can be targeted by burglars due to their concealed location and glass content. They may also have a less secure locking system which can be easily manipulated.

Motion Activated Lights

This is an outdoor light which is triggered by motion, and is an effective deterrent since it makes the burglar visible as well as alerting the homeowner to their presence.

Surveillance Systems

Surveillance systems such as camera doorbells and security cameras can help deter a burglar from forcing entry into the home. And, if the worst happens, it’s also a useful tool to identify the criminal.

Burglar using a prybar to pry open a UPVC patio door

Ensuring Your Home or Property with a Glass Door is Secure

Anti-snap locks are specifically designed to thwart lock snapping attempts. Below, we will explore some of the unique mechanisms that make anti snap locks effective at preventing break-ins.

If you’re looking to install a glass door in your home, there are ways to ensure it is as safe as possible. Choosing an anti-snap or anti-bump lock is key to this, with many burglars targeting locks as a quick and simple way to enter the home.

Additional features such as security hinges, motion activated lights, and toughened glass, form the security setup for many homes and commercial buildings.

As euro cylinder and master key specialists, Master Key Systems can support you as you enhance your glass door security.

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