One of the Florida construction industry’s best kept secrets is that the locking mechanism they put on your sliding glass door is utterly useless. You know the one, it’s the same cheap, factory-installed lock that’s on 99% of sliding doors in Collier County. These pathetic locks are so easy to get into, I shudder at even calling them locks! When a friend, client, or family member buys a new house, this is the first thing I recommend upgrading to increase their home’s security. With a crime wave last year that hit a high-end gated community in Naples, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office discovered that the criminals had been breeching locked sliding glass doors, burglarizing homes, and terrorizing homeowners.
If you’re like most people in Florida, your property has at least one sliding glass door. If you’re somewhat security savvy, you may have placed a jam of some sort so that the door cannot be forced open. Some folks will use a dowel, others an adhesive door stopper, some will even add hurricane resistant safety glass or take other precautions, but 99% of homeowners don’t even think about upgrading that cheap factory-installed “lock” that my two-year old can open.
Do these tricks actually work? You might be disappointed to hear the answer is a big “No”. A piece of wood on the inside of the track type of solution only works for side-to-side movements. Streetwise thieves don’t think inside the box. They are used to ignoring rules. To them a slider doesn’t slide side to side, it moves up and down, then pops off the top track and boom, they’re in!
See, your sliding glass door is on a track. In order to move safely and smoothly along the track it needs space. Space between the ceiling, space between the door jams, and space to wiggle over and around debris on the track on the floor. This space cannot and should not be filled or the door won’t work. This extra space allows for the door to work even as it wears down and is necessary for the door to be serviced and maintained properly. Unfortunately, this tolerance also allows the door to be lifted off the track from the outside. If you lift the door a few millimeters, you also bypass that cheap sliding door lock. Criminals exploit this up-and-down wiggle room to render the lock useless and pop open the slider in a matter of seconds.
At “A” Locksmith our professional lock technicians have several sliding door lock solutions that actually work. Our best-selling sliding door lock is a special type of vertical deadbolt that not only works stronger against side to side attacks on your door, it also prevents up and down motions giving a burglar only two options break the glass or find an easier home to hit.
Many crooks will casually walk around to the back of your home, lift the slider, if it doesn’t budge then they’ll just move on to the next house. Thieves aren’t often interested in working hard for their money after all or making a lot of noise. The sad fact is, videos of this method of entry are readily available on the internet, and these bad guys are watching and learning. Stay a step ahead of the career criminals by calling in the professional locksmiths.