It doesn't take long for an experienced burglar to break into a typical home. In most cases, they can be inside within a minute. That could be even faster if you have common weak points that are easy to exploit.
Today, we're specifically talking about sliding glass doors. They're a common feature on homes in Oklahoma, but they can create a significant vulnerability in your home's security. Here are a few reasons why burglars see sliding doors as an opportunity, and how you can make yours more secure.
Locks aren't strong
If you have sliding glass doors at your home, you've no doubt noticed that the locks that come standard on those doors aren't nearly as robust as you might find on your front door. But, that sliding door likely allows intruders to enter your home the same way the front door would. So, you need strong locks that can hold up to brute force attacks. There are multiple options for turning the locks on your sliding glass doors from weak to strong. First, consider adding an additional lock to the doors. There are many after-market locks sold for just this purpose available at your local hardware store. Second, consider adding a security bar to brace the door. These are simple tools that fit into the track of the door and simply brace it, preventing it from being opened. It's not a complex solution, but it is an effective one. The only downside is there are no keys for the bar, so if you lock yourself out, you won't be able to use the sliding glass doors with the bar in place.
Sliding glass doors aren't in plain sight
You might think the most important entry points at your home to secure are the ones that a burglar can see from the street. If they can see a weak entry point, chances are they'll try to break in. That may be true, but it doesn't mean you can forget about the entry points you can't see. An experienced burglar will prefer to break in through a back or hidden entry point because they'll have more time to get passed the locks with no one watching them. Most sliding glass doors are located ona back patio or around the side of your home where no neighbors can see. That means a burglar can take their time breaking through them. Unfortunately, there's not an easy fix for this. You can add motion sensing lights, so at least at night there will be some alert that there's an intruder lurking. The best way to improve this security flaw, however, is to add a home alarm system. This way, if your sliding glass doors, or any other entry point, is opened, your alarm will sound and let everyone in the area know something is wrong.
Glass isn't secure
Finally, the biggest weakness for sliding glass doors is the glass. First, it allows anyone near the door to look through and see what's inside. If you have valuables within sight, it could provide enough motivation for a burglar to break in. Blinds or curtains can help with this, but you should also practice keeping valuables away from windows and glass doors. That's not always possible with TVs and some other electronics, of course.
The other problem with glass is that it's easily broken. Even if locks hold up, a burglar who wants in bad enough can always just smash through the glass door. Sliding doors are also notoriously easy to dislodge from their tracks, which again makes them fail despite any other security measures taken. A security bar will help keep the doors on track, and there are even some ways to strengthen the glass itself. Films and other coatings will prevent glass from shattering. While it will still break, it will hold up enough to keep anyone from entering through it.
Just about every home has some type of weakness that threatens to cause home security to fail. An effective, custom home security system is your best defense against all manner of home break ins.
For an assessment of your home's needs, contact the security experts at PPSI: 800-283-6202.