Sliding patio doors and French windows are a striking addition to any home, letting in light and bringing a wonderful view into your room. Due to their delicacy in comparison to traditional wooden or metal doors, they can be an easy target for burglars if not secured properly.

The risks inherent in the design of sliding patio doors can leave you wondering how to make sure you have extra security for sliding patio doors. Thankfully there are several means by which you can ensure the safety of your house.

How to choose a patio door security lock

Finding locks for French doors that open out can be a difficult task. If your house features a pair of sliding patio doors that lock in the centre rather than at one end, the gap between the two is an obvious weakness and should be secured with a robust patio door security lock, ideally with a three-point mechanism.

It is also worth considering if one patio door can be locked so that it is permanently secured in position. Having only one movable sliding patio door will greatly increase the security of any house as it eliminates the risk of doors being forced off their tracks.

Placing bolts between the two doors at the top and bottom will also strengthen the overall structure of the doors whether one is secured or not.

french window style minimalist sliding patio doors

french window style minimalist sliding patio doors

Extra security for sliding patio doors

When planning extra security for French doors, bear in mind that burglars often attempt to break sliding patio doors by forcing them off their tracks. If you are concerned about this,  consider investing in a patio door lock bar. A well-built and properly installed bar will make it almost impossible for intruders to force sliding patio doors in this way.

Likewise, a burglar may try to lift your sliding patio doors up and out of their frames, so it is a good idea to install an anti-lift device. This decreases the space between the top of the door and its frame, preventing burglars from lifting  the door far enough to remove it from the runners.

Double glazed sliding patio doors are far from easy to smash, all the more so if fibreglass coastal or hurricane windows with an internal sheet of plastic are used. A burglar trying to force entry by this means will have to break at least two layers of strong glass – and the gas or plastic in between acts as a buffer that will make the task even more difficult.

Even so, it is possible to provide extra security for sliding patio doors by reinforcing them further with glass protection film. A burglar will still be able to smash their way inside, particularly if they are using a tool, but this will be noisy and time-consuming and, as such, likely to deter opportunistic intruders.

Sliding patio doors also present another problem, one that no amount of locks or bars will fix. They act as giant windows into a house, putting valuables left inside on display to thieves. They also make it much easier for an intruder to tell if the house is unoccupied. For this reason, installing a set of patio door shutters can help camouflage your property to avoid it catching a burglar’s eye.

Patio door shutters have myriad benefits. Not only are they an attractive safety precaution, they also help block out light – an ideal means of keeping the room cool on hot summer days when uncovered French windows would turn your home into a greenhouse. Studies have shown that they also retain heat in winter.

Sliding patio doors or bifold doors?

Bifold doors have many of the same advantages of sliding patio doors with higher security due to their multi-point locking systems. Each individual door can be locked to their base, creating a robust structure that is extremely difficult to force. They are also equipped with high security hinges.

When choosing bifold doors, ensure they are security-tested to the ‘Secured By Design’ standards set out by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and that they have secure shoot bolts and built-in anti-lift devices.

At SDM Doors we sell a range of highly secure bifold doors that provide all of the benefits of a classic sliding patio door design while guaranteeing the security of your home. Get in touch to discover how our expert team can help provide the ideal solution for your home.