I can’t count the number of homes that I have visited where the front doors were protected by the latest in high security locks but the sliding patio doors were left neglected. This is pretty ridiculous when you consider that burglars are far more likely to attempt entry through a rear entrance than they are through the front.
I’m not saying that I’m against high security locks on your front door, the opposite is the case. What I am saying that your rear patio doors should enjoy at least as much of your attention as your front door. It would be a shame to spend hundreds of dollars on high security locks for your front door only to have a burglar go around to the rear of your home and effortlessly lift your sliding patio doors off of their tracks and enter that way.
The majority of sliding patio doors are equipped with a very basic locking system that can be found halfway up the outside edge of the sliding door. These locks are generally weak and ineffective. The majority of the generic locks that come with sliding patio doors can be very easily pried open with a tool, sawed off or just disengaged by doing no more than wiggling the panel. Of course, burglars can just smash the glass; however, this is fairly uncommon. Most burglars will gain entrance through sliding doors by either forcing the door or breaking the lock.
In an effort to combat the inherent weaknesses in sliding patio doors, manufacturers have developed a number of very effective devices; including, auxiliary locks, jimmy plates and safety bars.
There is no shortage of auxiliary locking systems available on the market for sliding patio doors. Most of these locks are designed to be mounted on the inside edge of the door or the track and utilize a deadbolt of hardened steel. According to the Canadian General Standards Board, auxiliary locks on sliding patio doors must be accessible from the inside, require no keys to open and require no special knowledge in order to open.
Jimmy plates are installed in the upper channel of the door and will not allow the door to be lifted out of the track. While I would recommend that your purchase I tried and true Jimmy Plate from a known manufacturer, it is possible to make one yourself. A strip of metal or wood can be installed through the entire length of the upper track of the door or even a couple of large pan-head screws. The important thing is to make sure that there is still enough vertical space between the door and frame to allow the door to slide freely.
Where jimmy plates will prevent any vertical motion in your doors, security bars prevent any horizontal motion. Security bars are mounted on the door jamb opposite of the sliding panel and brace the door against any horizontal motion.
Don’t make the same mistake as your neighbors. Give us a call and we’ll get your sliding patio doors up to speed with your front door in no time.