Burglaries happen far more often than what most people perceive. According to data released by the FBI, a burglary occurs somewhere in the U.S. every 15.4 seconds. Homes with sliding doors are particularly vulnerable since sliding doors are notorious for being extremely easy to force open. The average dollar cost per burglary in the U.S. is approximately $2,185. This amount far exceeds the cost of making sure that all of the sliding doors of your home that offer access to the outdoors are secure. If you have sliding doors in your home, contact a locksmith to determine whether the doors are secure or whether they are vulnerable targets for burglars, and how you can further secure them, if necessary.
The Vulnerability of Sliding Doors
Although sliding doors are aesthetically pleasing and exquisite, they are not considered to be secure. Most burglars will target sliding doors because they are easy to break open. Most sliding doors have inadequate latching mechanisms in place that prevent them from being forcibly opened. In addition, sliding doors are secured with latches — not by locks. Wear and tear on the latches can cause them to quickly become loose and vulnerable.
Most burglars will gain access through sliding doors by forcing them open, which usually happens when the doors are in poor condition, by breaking the glass, by prying the door near the latch or by even lifting the door off of the track. Lifting the door off of the track is easy when the rollers are in poor condition and are not properly adjusted to the tracks.
Recommendations for Enhancing Security
If you know that the sliding doors make your home vulnerable to burglaries, familiarize yourselfwith some of the most common tips that are recommended by locksmiths to enhance overall security. They include:
- installing a secondary blocking mechanisms that will prevent the doors from moving or limit the amount of movement possible. Most locksmiths recommend installing metal fold-down blocking devices that are better known as "charley bars". Additional blocking devices that are screwed down onto the tracks may also be recommended.
- getting the rollers and the sliding doors inspected regularly in order to make sure that they still function properly, and that all of the parts are well-adjusted. This will prevent burglars from being able to lift the doors off of the track completely and gain access into your home with ease.
- installing anti-lift devices. These are generally pins that extend through the sliding and fixed portion of the door in order to secure it in place and limit motion.
- installing a tough window film onto the glass in order to prevent the burglars from being able to successfully break the glass and gain access into the home, as the glass will not shatter even under high impact situations. Some locksmiths may even recommend installing metal bars that will prevent burglars from being able to gain access into the home even if the glass is shattered. Keep in mind that metal bars are not as popular since they are not aesthetically pleasing.
- installing a locking mechanism by drilling a hole through one door and into the other, and inserting a bolt complete with a lock to prevent the doors from being pried open.
There are many additional locking mechanisms that can be installed to keep the sliding doors on the tracks and prevent burglars from being able to gain access into your home. Some locksmiths are also familiar with electronic locks, and can install security systems that will monitor the sliding doors in order to detect when they are being altered or forcibly opened. Speak with a locksmith to determine which security measures may be most effective for your situation. You can also go to websites of local locksmiths to learn more.