10 Types of Sliding Glass Door Locks to Add Security
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Who hasn’t been to a house where a piece of wood was the primary sliding glass door lock? We love sliding glass doors because it allows us to bring the outdoors inside during any season. But some sliding glass doors pose a safety risk. Enter the various types of sliding glass door locks.
However, there are many locks you can purchase to secure your sliding glass door. Having a secure locking system on all our doors is better regardless of where you live. As statistics suggest, summer is a lucrative season for home burglars.
Since summer is a prime target for burglars, we need to secure our sliding doors even when we’d rather leave them wide open and enjoy the breeze. Sliding doors make any space brighter but securing them has always been a problem.
10 Types of Sliding Glass Door Locks
Choosing the right lock is essential in securing a sliding glass door. It keeps the inside safe and intruders out. Most locks for sliding glass doors are available at home-building stores.
Barricade locks are a great option. They’re sleek, semi-secure, and work only on a sliding door with an inside track.
Barricade locks require some tools for installation. You mount the plate and locking mechanism on the door frame and track frame on top of each for closure. These locks prevent anyone from sliding the door outside or inside when in the lock position. It’s impossible to unlock or lock them from the outside.
Double Bolt Locks
There’s security in double bolt locks if the type of sliding door allows the installation. Using double bolt locks prevents anyone from lifting the door from the tracks; a method thieves use to enter uninvited.
These locks also work with factory-installed locks. Install the double bold lock bolt above the handle and the lock affixes to the door jamb. To operate and lock, you slide the bolt into place. Again, this type of lock only works from the inside.
There are two types of Guardian locks. Heavy-duty bolt locks made in Russia or guardian locks are childproofing methods for doors and windows. These typically bolt into place at the top of the frame so kids can't reach them. They'll have slots that allow you to partially open the door, too.
We’re talking about child-proofing aids that fit onto doors and locks to prevent children from fully opening doors and windows. They’re good features for inquisitive children and might even deter opportunist thieves.
These guardian locks for sliding doors and windows can leave a window or door in a partially open position to allow fresh air. They’re no match against seasoned burglars, though, and what is, really? This is all about deterrence.
Key locks are a convenient way to lock a door from the inside and outside. Providing that you don’t misplace the key. This is your standard type of lock with your standard types of keys that you've come to expect.
Using key locks makes us feel more secure. They’re also great for keeping the locking option under control. Locks require a bit of extra caution to prevent locking one’s self accidentally outside.
Key locks are common on doors. They don’t always work well with all sliding glass doors and depend on the sliding door material. Since sliding doors are made of metal, aluminum, stainless steel, or PVC plastic, adding a key lock isn’t always possible.
Professional burglars can also jimmy key locks easily, but they can do so even more easily to some other locking mechanisms for sliding doors on this list.
Anyone looking for durability and easy installation is looking for a loop lock. Loop locks use a mounting plate and sit on the inside of the door jamb and a keeper mount on the sliding part of the door.
This is a security feature as the locking bar joins the mounting plate with the keeper. It prevents anyone from the outside from getting inside. There are more secure and practical locking systems.
Loop locks work well in safe environments with added security and in safe communities. Again, this type of lock only locks or unlocks from the inside.
Most sliding doors come with industry-standard locks and come preinstalled. Mortise locks are on the inside frame and lock from the inside with a familiar locking mechanism. This type of lock is often partnered with the stick for extra security.
Mortise deadlocks have a keyhole and locking bolt mechanism. The mortise sash lock relies on a latch mechanism operated through a handle feature. It doesn’t require a key.
The downside is that you can’t lock or unlock the door from the outside. They are an affordable option as far as types of sliding glass door locks go, but durability and safety are sometimes questionable.
There are two kinds of security bars: the type you see that cover the entire door or window and the wooden dowel rods you see laying in the tracks of sliding doors.
These security bar sticks are often wood and provide most people with a sense of added security. It prevents burglars who can pick a lock from sliding a door open. It doesn’t stop them from smashing the glass but having to do that is a great deterrence.
The stick method has evolved from wood to adjustable metal bars that fit perfectly within the track. You can also jam them into the top of the door frame.
Although security bars are to prevent thieves from entering, they’re also a good deterrent from capricious toddlers exploring the outside when you’re back is turned.
Sliding Track Locks
Before buying any types of locks, ensure they can work with your door. Sliding track locks work like barricade locks and attach to the door’s track.
Cheaply made sliding doors might not be a good match for sliding track locks as the thin metal will allow determined intruders to wiggle the safety lock off. One way to combat that is to install more than one set. The beauty of these types of sliding door locks is that they’re easy to install and might deter some criminals.
Technology has helped to improve so many aspects of our lives, and it’s also helping to secure our sliding doors. The Smart Lock industry is locking doors everywhere with accessible commands at a distance. It’s become a high-demand niche market.
Smart locks cost more, but they offer value. You can manage them when you’re not at home but have access to your smart devices. Smart locks are a good option if you have good Wi-Fi. Some people recommend having a professional installation, but you can tackle this project with some DIY skills.
Pairing smart locks with other security features like doorbells or surveillance cameras is a great option. With smart doorbells you don't deal with your doorbell buzzing as the transformer fails, either.
Toledo is an international lock brand that provides security hardware like locks, padlocks, and residential and commercial fittings. They have a solid reputation for manufacturing secure and high-quality locks.
Toledo locks fit most doors and even work for the DIYer. Toledo locks also fit windows for added protection and come with a removable key. Since Toledo manufactures top-notch locks, intruders can’t easily cut these locks with tools.
A security feature is that the bolts spin under pressure, so cutting or sawing doesn’t work. They’re also obscured, another security feature not found in cheaper locks.
Tips for Installing a Sliding Door Lock
If you are considering installing one of these types of sliding glass door locks on your door, you likely have some existing security concerns. There are also sliding glass door alternatives you can consider if all of this lock talk makes you uncomfortable.
Before heading to the building supply store, inspect the door, frame, and hardware to see what sliding door lock types works best. A store employee should be able to answer some of your questions, too, if you need help.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want indoor and outdoor locking options?
- What is my budget to spend on a sliding glass lock?
- What scale of security do I need?
- Is this locking mechanism only to keep children safe?
- Can I tackle installing a heavy-duty lock, or should I opt for an easier version like a guard lock?
- Do I have the necessary tools and skills to tackle this project?
Rest assured that many people breaking in don’t want to risk setting off an alarm. They don’t want to break glass and risk making noise, either. They want to sneak in quietly and be out as fast as possible. That’s why adding a sliding glass door lock can deter most break-in attempts and is worth your time.
FAQs Regarding Sliding Glass Door Locks
When the topic of sliding glass door locks comes up, we always encounter a handful of other questions, so there’s a chance you might be asking them in your head. Let’s answer those now.
Do I Need a Professional Installer?
It depends on the type of door, the locking mechanism, and your DIY skills. The difficulty level is increased because you'll be working with metal and may need to make adjustments to the door.
Can I Lock My Sliding Door From Outside?
Yes, if you have a lock that locks from the outside, like a smart lock, or a key lock.
Can I Install a Lock on a Door That Doesn’t Have One?
Most likely yes, but if the metal is thin, not all options will work. They need a substantial chassis to offer the security they promise. Most of the locks here can work with most doors.
Sliding Glass Door Lock Types Galore!
If security is a real concern, invest in a high-quality locking system and have a professional install. Adding a camera system is a good idea. For safety and medium security, most of the types of sliding glass door locks on this list will help secure your home.