This is your mini-encyclopedia covering everything there is to know about sliding glass door locks. Read on to learn the mechanism of sliding glass door locks and the popular types you can choose from to fortify your home security.
Sliding doors are a statement of modern architecture and interior design. They give a feeling of more space and light in the house. When you are in a pinch due to a lack of space, sliding doors can be your savior.
Sliding doors offer ample utilitarian benefits; however, the security aspect of these doors is questionable. But you can resolve it by getting the right locks for your glass doors. This article will take you through the popular types of sliding glass door locks and their functionalities.
But, before moving to the lock types, let's understand their fundamental mechanism.
How Do Sliding Glass Door Locks Work?
Sliding glass doors are different from traditional locking mechanisms that use a deadbolt to slide into the doorjamb. They come with a latch that can be locked from the inside with a key or from the outside with a turn button. Most of these locks can also be locked from the outside with a key.
There are different kinds of locks for sliding doors with different locking mechanisms, and we'll go over these locks in a bit. Generally, sliding door locks are operated by a spring located within the bolts. The spring automatically engages and locks the doors as you close them. On the contrary, the spring contracts when you open the door, allowing the door to open.
Types of Sliding Glass Door Locks
Depending on the level of security you are looking for, various types of locks are available in the market for sliding glass doors. Here we have compiled a list of some of the most common locks used for sliding glass doors:
Keyed is one of the most common types of locks that you will find in residences. These locks can be operated from the inside and outside with a key. They are mounted into the knock-out hole of the door, and several sliding doors have them as the default locking mechanisms.
These locks come in various styles, such as thumb set or mortise set. Keyed locks are easy to operate and offer a moderate level of security, as bypassing them isn't that hard. However, it's convenient, and the installation is pretty simple.
Double Bolt Lock
A double bolt lock is an effective way to secure your sliding glass door. It comes with two horizontal locks that you can engage to ensure safety. These are an inexpensive and prevalent aftermarket option for sliding doors. Double bolt locks are installed in the door jamb and held tightly with interlocking bolts.
To lock the double-bolt lock from the inside, you must push the upper and lower bolts simultaneously. The great thing about this lock is that it can be easily installed and does not require any modification to your door. This door has some plastic parts that can lose their efficiency over time; however, the replacement is easy and low cost.
This lock is also known as a foot lock and is often used in combination with another type of lock. It's a great way to add an extra layer of security to your sliding glass door. These are usually installed inside and at the top of the glass door. The mounting plate is attached to the door jamb, while the keeper is mounted on the glass door. And if you have double doors, it can connect them both.
The loop lock involved no key; therefore only works from the inside. There's a U-shaped locking bar attached to the mounting plate, and it rests in the keeper. You have to lift the loop, slide it, and then pull it out to unlock it. The loop lock is an effective and affordable way to add additional security to your sliding doors.
Window locks are the simplest and cheapest locking system for sliding doors. These locks slide onto the aluminum tracks of the door and clamp down, securing the door. They work like a security bar, acting as a doorstep, stopping thieves from prying the door open. Window locks can be easily installed and do not require any drilling.
However, window locks are not the most secure option as they can be easily pried open. Nevertheless, they are a good option if you are looking for a temporary solution or want to secure your sliding glass door on a budget. Parents primarily use them to childproof the home as they can be easily removed when not needed.
A mortise lock is one of the most effective and popular locks used for sliding glass doors. It comes with a horizontal deadbolt that slides into the receiving hole of the frame and a doorknob. These locks fit inside the door panel and can appear invisible if viewed from a distance. The Mortise locks are independent of the handle and are operated by a thumb latch.
Mortise locks offer a higher level of security and can be seen in commercial spaces. However, given their nature, they are most commonly used in patio sliding doors. Moreover, these can only be locked from the inside, and it can be a hassle if you are locked outside.
Offset Thumb Turn Lock
This lock is a great way to add an extra level of security to your sliding glass door. They are similar to mortise and hook-style locks in their look and function. The only difference is that the latch is integrated into the door's handle. This offers a great advantage as the latch is easier to reach when locking the door.
They come with a thumb turn that can be operated from the inside. To lock the door from the outside, you need to use a key. Offset thumb turn locks are solid and durable as they are made of steel. They offer a great level of security; however, they are a little difficult to install.
Installing a security bar is one of the simplest ways to secure your sliding glass door. It's a great option if you're looking for an affordable, easy-to-install solution. These are very versatile as they can be used for several doors and windows. The mechanism is simple: the security bar slides into the space at the bottom of the door jamb, between the slider and the wall.
It has a stopper that goes against the jamb creating a blockade. This way, the door cannot be opened from the outside. And if you want to open it, you just have to take out the security bar. These security bars are easy to mount and adjustable to fit different door sizes. It's a go-to option if your sliding glass door doesn't have a lock.
Track locks are a great way to secure your sliding glass door. These locks can be easily mounted on your door with a toolless installation. They tightly grip the rails and act as a blockade. This way, the door cannot be opened from the outside. And if you want to open it, you just have to release the lock. Additionally, they are adjustable to fit different door thicknesses and have a simple design.
The locking mechanism is located at the top of the door and can be operated with a key. To lock, simply insert the key and turn. The locking bolt will slide into the door track, securing the door. If you want a hassle-free installation that does not involve screws or drilling, track locks are your best bet. While they are not the most secure locks, they get their job done.
Spring-loaded Patio Locks
Patio locks are a great way to secure your sliding glass door. These are very versatile as they can be used on hinged and sliding doors. Patio locks can be mounted either at your sliding door's top or bottom parts. The larger part connects to the door while the plate is attached to the door frame.
The installation is relatively simple; all you need is a drill. You just have to insert the screws into the strike plate and door jambs. For the top lock, you need to secure it with screws and bolts. The spring action on these locks makes them unique. As soon as you close the door, it will automatically lock. You can also use a key to lock it from the outside for added security.
A smart lock is a great way to secure your sliding glass door. With this type of lock, you can use your smartphone to lock and unlock your door. You can also set up alerts to know when your door is locked or unlocked. Smart locks are very convenient as you can control them from anywhere. If you are looking for a high-tech solution to secure your sliding glass door, a smart lock is your best bet.
These smart locks offer ample security and convenience options. They come with a pin and fingerprint scanner unlock mechanism. You can add fingerprints of multiple people so that more than one person can have access to the lock. Plus, you can also set up an auto-lock feature. They can also be connected to your phone, giving you the details about log-ins, lockouts, and other activities.
An electromagnetic lock is a great way to secure your sliding glass door. This type of lock uses an electromagnet to lock the door. The electromagnet segment is attached to the door frame while the plate goes on the sliding door. When these two segments are brought together, they create a strong magnetic force that locks the door.
The magnet creates a strong hold when the current is turned on, locking the door. And when the current is turned off, the magnet is deactivated, and the door is unlocked. Electromagnetic locks are very secure as they are challenging to pick. Their installation can be tricky, but they are versatile and can work with glass, metal, fireproof, and wood doors. Thus, they are a reliable locking system for your sliding doors.
Can You Open a Sliding Glass Door from Outside?
Opening a sliding door can be tricky, but it can be done with the right tools. All you need is a screwdriver or some other type of prying tool. Insert the tool between the door and frame, about 15 cm (6") from the bottom corner and diagonal to the latch. Then try to pry it up and slowly tilt the sliding door to lower the latch. This will cause the door to release the lock and open.
If you have a security bar or lock, opening the door will be more difficult as the thief will need to pry both the lock and the door. This will take more time and make more noise, alerting you or your neighbors.
Now that you know how to open a sliding glass door from the outside, it is essential to take measures to prevent this from happening. So, let's look at some of the steps you can take.
How to Burglar Proof a Sliding Glass Door
Install a Security Bar
One of the simplest ways to protect your sliding glass door is to install a security bar. They're easy to use and very effective, so just slide the security bar in place whenever you are leaving your place. This will make it very difficult for burglars to pry open your door.
Install a Smart Lock
Smart locks are becoming increasingly popular for all the right reasons. These locks offer high-level security and are very convenient to use. You can connect your smartphone and unlock your door with just a few taps. You can also set up an auto-lock to automatically lock your door when you close it.
Get Door Sensors
Another security measure you can take is to get door sensors. These will detect when someone is trying to break into your home and send an alert to your phone. This way, you can take action immediately and call the police.
Glass Break Detectors
Glass break detectors are placed around the glass door. They work by detecting the sound of breaking glass. If someone tries to break your glass door, the alarm will alert you.
Add Window Film
Adding window film to your glass door will make it harder to break. The film will hold the glass together even if it's broken, making it more difficult for burglars to access your home.
Installing CCTV cameras is another excellent way to burglar-proof your home. These will deter burglars and help you catch them in the act. Moreover, you can monitor your home from anywhere in the world and see what's happening.
Add a Secondary Lock
Adding a secondary lock is an excellent way to increase security. This can be a simple padlock or a more sophisticated electronic lock. Whatever you choose, make sure it's properly installed and working.
Let Your Furry Friend Handle it
If you have a dog on your side, you're in luck. Dogs can make great security guards and will bark at intruders, alerting you to their presence.
By following these simple tips, you can burglar-proof your sliding glass door and deter would-be thieves. You can rest assured that your home is safe and secure by taking these precautions.