How to Protect Sliding Glass Doors from Burglars and the NanaWall Alternative

By NanaWall Systems, October 14, 2019


Traditional sliding glass doors offer an indoor/outdoor lifestyle filled with fresh air ventilation and open views. As stunning as they are, they can present security challenges that shouldn’t be ignored. Deciding how to protect sliding glass doors from burglars is just as crucial as selecting the design of the door itself.

Sliding glass doors are prime targets for criminals looking for an easy entry into a home. They are often blocked from view, left unlocked and have an overly simplistic locking mechanism. Thankfully, there are some easy steps that can be taken to protect a home. Here is our top list of suggestions for how to secure sliding glass doors from burglars and an alternative to solve sliding glass door woes.

Why Sliding Glass Doors Can be a Security Challenge

Traditional sliding glass doors are practical and generally, offer one panel fixed and one panel that opens to the outdoor. They allow the beauty of the natural landscape to be experienced without exposing a home to the elements. Unfortunately, they present some security challenges. Thus, deciding how to secure sliding glass doors is essential for safe enjoyment. The following are common security challenges to sliding glass doors.

1. They are Often Unlocked

Sliding glass doors are so convenient and provide such ready access to the outdoors that it is tempting to leave them unlocked. Would-be thieves know this and waste no time exploiting the matter.

2. The Locks are Overly Simplistic and Easy to Bypass

The locking mechanism on most sliding glass doors are easy for a burglar to bypass. Often, the lock is nothing more than a mere latch that hooks into the door frame when the door is shut.

3. They are Hidden from View

Most sliding glass doors are located on the back of the home and hidden from view. The seclusion gives criminals full cover and plenty of time to break-in undetected.

How Burglars Bypass Sliding Glass Doors

When it comes to learning how to secure sliding glass doors, it is essential to understand how criminals exploit their weaknesses. Having this information is critical to developing an effective plan to secure them. Some common ways burglars bypass sliding glass doors include,

1. Breaking the Lock

As mentioned, most traditional sliding glass doors use a simple latch that hooks onto the door frame. These types of locks are highly unreliable. A criminal can simply grab the door and jiggle it to break the lock and force the door open.

2. Breaking the Glass

Most sliding glass doors are made of tempered glass, which can be easily shattered. An intruder could simply throw a large object through the door or strike it with a hard object to break it. Tempered glass was designed to break into tiny pieces that don’t have sharp edges when shattered. As a result, burglars can enter through broken glass without getting hurt.

3. Pulling the Door Out of its Frame

Most sliding glass doors operate on exposed door tracks rather than hinges. Thus, a burglar has easy access to pry the door out of the track to gain access to the home.

How to Protect Sliding Glass Doors from Burglars

Planning for how to protect sliding glass doors from burglars is quite easy. There are many easy steps you can take that would deter potential burglars.

1. Install Security Bar in the Track

One of the easiest measures that can be taken to protect a traditional sliding glass door is to install a security bar in the door track. Cut a piece of wood or rod to fit inside the track. Close the door and place the bar in the track. That way, a criminal will not be able to open the door from the outside by simply pulling on the door.

2. Install Impact-Resistant Sliding Doors

Also known as hurricane sliding glass doors, impact-resistant doors are designed to withstand the impact of heavy objects. Thus, it would be harder for a criminal to break the glass.

3. How to Protect Sliding Glass Doors by Applying One-Way Window Film

A great way to keep prying eyes out of the home is to install a one-way mirrored film to the doors. The film allows someone to see out the door, but won't let outsiders see in. Window film is only effective during the day however. consider installing curtains or other mechanisms to protect privacy at night.

4. Install Glass-Break Detectors or Door Sensors

Glass break detectors give an alarm if the sound of breaking glass is detected. Similarly, a door sensor would sound an alarm if an intruder attempted to pry the door open. Both mechanisms are a great deterrent for a would-be intruder.

5. Maintain the Track

Regularly inspect the door track to ensure it is free of debris and that the door can open and shut smoothly. Anything that prevents the door from operating properly can become a weakness and further expose it to potential intruders.

6. Install a Better Lock

Consider removing the basic latching mechanism and installing a keyed lock to the door. Another option is to install a sliding door lock that is designed to secure the door to the door jamb. Consider replacing a traditional slider with an alternative that is engineered with greater security options.

How NanaWall Products Handles Security

NanaWall folding and sliding glass door systems offer multiple security options to protect your home. Each of the NanaWall door systems features various locking options to customize the perfect door for a home.

1. How to Secure Sliding Glass Doors from Burglars Using Multipoint Locking

The multi-point lock mechanism on the swing doors of many of our products involves a latch, a deadbolt and top/bottom locking rods. With the multi-point lock option, there are lever handles both on the outside and inside of the door. Pressing down on the handle withdraws the latch, and lifting it engages the rods. Turning the key or thumb knob engages the deadbolt and operates the lock.

2. Two Point Locking

The two-point locking mechanism is standard between each pair of bi-fold panels. A 180-degree turn of the handle moves the locking rod up or down. It features a concealed locking rod and locks into both the head track and sill. The locking hardware has passed forced entry testing.

3. Deadbolt Locks

With the deadbolt mechanism, there are pull handles of both sides of the deadbolt. There is the option of having key operation on both sides.

Bear Resistant Folding Glass Wall


The NanaWall BEARicade ™ is a bear-proof door that provides all the beauty of a sliding glass door with unequaled defense from the weather, intruders and bears. The structural posts and impact-rated glass resist attempts to push in the panel. The multi-point locks engage concealed lockbolts deep into the track. The bottom shoot bolts have a one-inch throw which further strengthens the effectiveness of the lock. Locking bolts shoot into the head track and the floor track.

Deciding how to protect sliding glass walls from burglars is an important consideration for the safe enjoyment of these beautiful household features. Thankfully, there are many quick and easy steps to take in order to keep a home safe. If you are considering sliding glass walls for a home, let NanaWall Systems be the number one choice. NanaWall Systems are tested and rated secure and come installed with all the safety features needed to keep a home safe.