French doors are a beautiful enhancement to a home. A French door isn’t an ordinary door. It’s an entryway full of possibilities that gives you a glimpse at the rest of the world around you.
French doors are a beautiful enhancement to a home. A French door isn’t an ordinary door. It’s an entryway full of possibilities that gives you a glimpse at the rest of the world around you. But if you aren’t security-minded, you could offer intruders an easy way into your property. French Patio doors can be highly vulnerable depending on the type of doors and security measures you have in place. Don’t fret just yet, though, because there are ways to secure them, as outlined in this article.
What are French doors?
When you hear the words “French door”, a particular image comes to mind. They’re characterized by two doors that open outward from the middle of the frame. Each door section is constructed with glass panes throughout the center of the door—either a single pane of glass or individual panes framed within muntins.
French doors today, like their original French window predecessors, are comprised of two panels made mostly of glass. It was created as a solution to dimly-lit homes. Therefore, the doors were designed in much the same way windows were. Homeowners value French doors because of their beautiful architectural styles and how they bring more light into the home. Installing French doors is an effective way to flood a room with natural light, and they commonly offer access to decks and patios.
How safe are French doors?
The main reason many homeowners prefer French doors is the light they bring into the house. But does that come at a price? Unfortunately, it does seem so, especially when it comes to French door security. In general, as long as your external French doors are correctly installed and well maintained, you have nothing to worry about in terms of French door safety and security. Unfortunately, the large glass areas in these doors can also provide easy access for thieves looking to break into your home.
Whether French doors are safe will depend on the build quality of the doors themselves, the quality of the glazing, and the French door security locks. A poorly installed French door will be a lot easier to break than a well-installed French door. So, your first defense line is ensuring the installation goes well.
How to improve French door security?
A high-quality set of French doors which are professionally installed will offer good French door safety and security for your home. Whether you install the French doors yourself or hire a professional to do the job, there are a few key things to consider. There are many ways to improve the security of your French doors, and below are some of the most critical steps that you should take.
Invest in impact-resistant glass
The most vulnerable part of your French doors is the glass panels themselves. This type of glass has been shown to even withstand blows from sledgehammers without breaking. Thieves or other unwelcome guests will quickly be deterred once they realize the effort. They’ll need to exhaust trying to get in through the door itself or the integrated glass. You don’t have to live in a hurricane-prone area to reap this benefit, which is terrible news for burglars but good news for you.
Add a glass security window film
Security films are usually the least expensive way to secure French door windows. Glass security film can reinforce your French door’s windows without diminishing the natural light shining through, greatly enhancing its security and durability. The film helps hold the glass in place if it shatters, making it more difficult for intruders to break through the glass. Security window films are available in various grades and finishes, with the standard security film virtually invisible in appearance.
Use a three-point locking system
A three-point locking system will make the joint between the two doors more secure and able to withstand an impact from somebody who tries to gain entry. Three-point locking systems are installed with metal rods that extend upwards from the door into the door frame and down into the floor. Those additional locking points will make it harder to force the door open.
Install a double-cylinder deadbolt
According to licensed locksmiths, sliding doors use latches instead of locks, a relatively weak locking mechanism that burglars can easily pry open. A double-cylinder deadbolt requires keys on both sides, meaning your unwanted guest won’t be able to unlock your door. Always store a key in an accessible location near the door so no one can be trapped inside during an emergency.
Place security hinges
One of the main reasons why an outward opening door is so vulnerable is the fact that it usually has its hinges on the outside. For added security, experts recommend placing the hinges face inward. Therefore, you need safety security hinges to prevent removing the pins and increase your home’s safety. Regarding other hardware, you want to ensure that at least 3-inch screws secure your doors.
Install an additional home security system
Security systems will help if someone successfully breaks the glass of your door and forces entry into your home. If you don’t have one already, invest in an alarm system specifically for your French doors or the entire house. This can be expensive and inconvenient, but it all depends on your own personal circumstances. Sensors and glass-break detectors are other excellent security measures that will alert you if the door is opened or glass is broken. Be sure to get a system with night vision so you can check at night if some things feel off. This way, when you have the system, you’ll still be able to show the authorities if there is someone that has trespassed and get their face.
It is always good to add extra security to any door in your home, specifically ones that are as tempting to burglars as French doors. There are ways to increase your French doors’ safety, including adding security bars, alarms, and impact-resistant glass, amongst other options. Also, occasionally check your French doors for signs of wear and tear. Consider setting certain lights on a timer if you leave for vacation to save energy and make it look like your house is still occupied. And consider installing blinds to block any prying eyes’ view.