In 2015, the San Diego Sheriffs Department reported that over 1,400 residential burglaries took place in our local communities, and most home security experts agree that the majority of home break-ins occur at the front and rear entrances of homes. For a large majority of San Diego homes, that rear entrance is typically a sliding patio door which poses no real deterrent for experienced criminals to force open.
Sliding patio doors are great for visibility to outdoor spaces—they maximize natural light, and they are so easy to operate in high traffic areas of homes with pool decks and patios. Yet, sliding patio doors are easy targets for forced entry into San Diego homes unless they are secured.
Most sliding patio doors are locked by a simple latching mechanism located in the handle, which thieves usually bypass by simple breakage or by tearing the door frame apart and prying the door off its track.
The following are some more effective ways to secure your sliding door against potential break-ins:
Dowels are a simple and cheap way to secure a sliding door. A San Diego homeowner can cut a wood dowel or even a broom handle to create a dowel and insert it into the inside track of the sliding door. This prevents anyone from sliding the door open from the outside, even if the lock is broken or compromised. Of course, if the door frame is broken and the entire door is removed from the tracks, a dowel would be of no help.
- Reinforced Locks
Some homeowners have found reinforced locks to be the most effective way to secure a sliding door. Auxiliary locks for sliding doors can be found where any door locks are sold. They can feature sliding bolts, pins and even chains to provide an additional layer of security to standard sliding door handle locks.
- Manufacturer Secure Doors
Most of the large sliding patio door manufacturers offer extra security features like bolting doors, which fix the door to the door frame, making the frame more secure from breakage. For example: Milgard Windows & Doors offers a feature on its Tuscany Series of sliding patio doors called “SmartTouch Bolt” which locks the door to the top frame using a touch-style button to operate a bolt.
You can also look for patio doors with security laminated glass, which makes it more difficult to break the glass from the outside. To secure the glass on your existing patio doors, you can add security film. Competent do-it-yourselfers can purchase the film at any home improvement store and install it themselves, or you can hire a company to install it for you.
If you feel your San Diego home could be a break-in risk, don’t ignore the most common vulnerability — the sliding patio door. Take action and keep your home secure.