When selecting a new patio door, it’s important to find a product that not only looks good but also doesn’t compromise on security. After all, a patio door, like any exterior entrance, can be an attractive target for thieves. That’s why patio door security is such an important topic and should be a key consideration when buying or upgrading.

Kick Locks mount on the bottom and are secondary locks.

Decades ago, as patio doors started to become a standard feature in backyards everywhere, there were several issues with security. The glass and materials used to build doors were not as strong as today, and standard locking systems back then were less effective. As well, specialized security options were still being developed. Sliding patio door security, in particular, was a challenge in years gone by. The glass could often be easily and quickly broken. Armed with a crowbar, forced entry was possible by lifting the panels out of the door, or breaking the locking mechanism. However, things have changed drastically since then.

Over time, many enhancements have been made to deter would-be burglars from trying to break in through sliding patio doors. From kick locks that prevent panels from being lifted to security bars, to advanced multi-point locking systems, patio door manufacturers and their suppliers have figured out how to build rock-solid security into their products.

Another development has been the use of laminated glass. This approach not only makes breaking the glass panels more difficult but also provide higher levels of thermal efficiency, energy savings, and reduced sound transmissions.

According to law enforcement people we’ve spoken with, time and noise are two key factors that a would-be thief is highly aware of when looking to gain access to a property. It’s also important to keep unobstructed views of points-of-entry as much as possible since high-visibility is also a variable that thieves try to avoid.

Guardian Locks mount on the top and bolt into the frame.

Guardian Locks mount on the top and bolt into the frame.

Today’s sliding patio door security is orders of magnitude better than it was decades ago and there are often easier ways to break in. Spending 10 or 15 minutes trying to noisily smash through highly-resistant coated glass is not a choice most thieves make these days. Swing or French doors, for example, can be an easier target if they do not deploy advanced multi-point locking systems such as Sunview’s Essex series.

Folding Security Bars mount on the fixed side for added protection.

Folding Security Bars mount on the fixed side for added protection.

Unfortunately, home protection is a serious matter and if someone is determined enough, they will usually find a way to succeed. But, the risk increases based on the amount of time, noise and visibility involved. Although, an easy target decades ago, today’s sliding patio security now makes this entry-point more of a deterrent than a first choice.

Homeowners should assess all entry points on their properties and invest in some of the many modestly-priced safety features and accessories now available. Alarms and cameras can also help of course, but the idea is to discourage break-ins before they happen.

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