The strongest way to secure your sliding door is with a sliding door lock. These locks are installed at the top of your door where the stationary glass and the sliding glass door meet. These locks work in addition to the door locks and can only be opened by an adult or tall child. They make it impossible to jimmy the door open, from either the inside or the outside. Most of these locks come with two locking positions: one that will lock it completely closed and a second that will let you lock the door in place at either 3 or 6 inches open to allow for ventilation.
Installing these locks is more complicated than the other items on our list, but not by much.
After you’ve installed the top piece in the upper track, you’ll need to follow a similar process for the locking piece on the door itself. You’ll position the lock, mark the spots you need to drill, then drill the holes and secure the lock in place. (For more detailed instructions, see the manufacturer’s guidelines. These are some of the clearest instructions we’ve seen!)
These locks are both super secure and subtle. Guests will likely not even notice them, but your doors will be much safer and just as beautiful.
Remember going to your grandma’s house and always having to pick up the dowel or broomstick she had lying in the track of the sliding glass door? She was doing her best to keep her home safe, but as any enterprising kid can figure out, if you jiggle the door hard enough, you can get it to jump the track or make the stick move. It’s not the perfect plan to keep a home secure, but it can work in a pinch.
One of the best ways to secure a sliding glass door is to keep it from sliding, and there are many varieties of security bars or “Charley bars” available that do just that. Security bars are typically placed in the track of your sliding glass door. Charley bars are placed further up the door and mounted with screws on at least one end, which allows for the bar to easily swing in and out of place. These can be great if you have small children who are likely to tamper with a security bar in the track. (Toddlers, we’re looking at you!)
After placing the security bar in the track of your sliding glass door, all you do is set it with a pressure mounting system (like some shower curtain rods). Many models have padded ends to make sure the pressure doesn’t damage your doors.
A security bar is a two-minute install. With the Charley bar, you’ll need to have a drill to screw in one side. But after that, simply adjust the bar to the correct height and push it into place.