How To Lock A Sliding Door - 4 Unique Ways
Sliding doors do make a wonderful and functional design statement. They're a good addition to any home and give homeowners the satisfaction of experiencing the outdoors while staying indoors. But, they pose some security risks to your home, especially if it increases the possibility of a burglary. You want to make sure that your home is secured from prying eyes, and adding alarm systems may not be enough. Owners tend to get caught up in doing upgrades that they forget simple things like fortifying their sliding doors. Thus, you must know some unique tips on how to lock a sliding door to enhance your security measures.
Blocking the Tracks
Sliding doors operate effortlessly. They move on a set of tracks that are made of metal, vinyl, or wood. To ease their movement, rollers are usually fitted on the side, top, or bottom. The latch that locks on the door can be compromised easily, so you need to ensure that the doors have an additional security level to prevent burglars from breaking in. One of the best ways on how to lock a sliding door is to block the tracks by inserting a bar to deter movement and stop the door from being opened.
This method works best for doors that move horizontally along the tracks. The bar can be made of wood, metal, or any high dense plastic. This is a simple and inexpensive way to enhance the secondary security of your sliding door. Bear in mind that not all of these home-made measures are worthwhile. You can find these materials easily at local hardware stores, and store employees will be more than happy to assist you and cut materials to their proper size. Just make sure that your material is not too short. One best way to measure the amount of space you allow between the bar and the door is to determine how far the door fits into its adjacent frame. That should provide you a margin of error to work with. Consider also painting the material to match the door frame so burglars will be confused when they learn that something is blocking the door.
Another alternative on how to lock a sliding door is to install a small chain with a fastener. This usually works best with double sliding doors, but it can be retrofitted to work with single sliding doors that move from side to side. Buy a small chain with fasteners. For double sliding doors, it would be best to run a tight and short chain link to each handle and lock them together. This will prevent anyone from attempting to get in by parting the doors completely.
For single sliding doors that have one handle, it's best to do a DIY project and add another handle to the side of the wall beside the door, so you can apply the same method with the double sliding doors. If you don't have chain links, you can also use a smaller version like those bike locks that are readily available around your house. Just be careful of the material and choose the one that's least resistant to being cut.
Add Window Security Film
A good number of homeowners overlook this next method even though it's one of the most effective ways. Adding a window security film is a simple and easy solution in preventing burglars from breaking your glass doors and walking right in. Using security films is simply reinforcing the glass of your sliding doors. Some of these films come with tints to prevent anyone from seeing the insides of your home. However, this would also restrict you from enjoying the outside view.
These protective films are fabricated to endure high pressure and are used to deter break-ins and minimize damage from strong winds and storms. This method also works well with any method listed above. Impatient burglars will probably attempt to break the glass door, but this scenario can be negated with this protective film.
Installing an Extra Plate
Sliding doors can also be jeopardized when the door itself is lifted off from their tracks and moved in whatever way. To counter this situation, another method on how to lock a sliding door is to install an anti-jimmy door plate. These are readily available in most local hardware, but you can also make one yourself. All you have to do is to screw a fair-sized strip of metal or wood into the cavity of the upper door tracks. Just like using a bar to block the lower tracks, make sure that the size of the plate you're installing is large enough to bar the door from being lifted out of its tracks, but small enough to enable the door to move easily when needed.
Your sliding doors must have additional security to prevent break-ins from unwanted guests. Though the methods listed above may not be 100% burglar-proof, they will at least give you another layer of security. Also, remember that you and your family should still have ease of access in case of emergency and work on a home safety plan, so everyone is on the same page. The goal is to keep burglars out, not you. If your home already has an alarm and security system, you can integrate these methods on how to lock a sliding door for added safety and protection for you, your family, and your property.