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Sliding Door Locks and Other Safety Measures

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Sliding door locks are a great way to make it much more difficult for someone to break into your home. Crime statistics from the FBI show that the majority of burglars choose a ground floor door to gain entrance. Rear doors are particularly vulnerable because they are often not as secure as front doors. Many sliding doors come with latches, as opposed to locks, which make them even more vulnerable. However, there are number of sliding door locks and other safety measures that can make your sliding door less likely to be victimized by a burglar.

  • Install sliding door locks. If your door did not come with a lock, there are a number of products available that can offer locking protection for your sliding door. Many offer easy installation that many homeowners can handle. There is the foot pedal lock, which installs on the bottom of the door with the help of a drill, lock rod and screws. Another example is the clamp lock that is fitted to the top and bottom tracks and can be adjusted to allow the door to open only slightly to allow for ventilation.
  • Charley bars. This is a bar that is removable and is pushed into place to provide resistance against opening the door. Be sure to use something stronger than a broom, for example. A metal bar cut to specifications is the best idea, and to make it easier, you can build and screw in an anchor spot to make it easier to put the bar in each night.
  • Secure the roller tracks. According to security experts, one common way for burglars to defeat a sliding door is to life the door slightly from its tracks. Open the sliding door and put in three screws along the track. The screws go through the track but do not extend enough above the track to prevent the door from closing.
  • Warning signs or decals. The idea is to present a picture to a potential burglar of a sliding door that will be too difficult to defeat quickly. An alarm is great, if you can afford one. But even if you can't, an alarm sign may come in handy. Signs or decals that warn of guard dogs also aren't a bad idea. Make sure if you use a charley bar to make it clearly visible to anyone who approaches the door. A burglar can defeat a charley bar, but likely won't want to risk the extra time and potential noise involved.

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