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Can Sliding Patio Doors Be Secured Partially Open?
Old 09-03-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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Can Sliding Patio Doors Be Secured Partially Open?

I looked at a pretty nice condo just one block from where I live. I usually avoid 1st floor units because of security concerns. This place tempts me to overlook this. Basically, the building is on a side hill, so while the bedroom window is well up from the sidewalk, the deck off the LR could be easily reached, and I would never hear anyone come in.

For traveling I think it can be made secure enough, as it is an active neighborhood and the would be burgler wouldn't have much time before discovery.

When I would be home, can I secure the patio sliders so I can leave them open at night?

Thanks for any comments.

Ha
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:32 PM   #2
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I looked at a pretty nice condo just one block from where I live. I usually avoid 1st floor units because of security concerns. This place tempts me to overlook this. Basically, the building is on a side hill, so while the bedroom window is well up from the sidewalk, the deck off the LR could be easily reached, and I would never hear anyone come in.

For traveling I think it can be made secure enough, as it is an active neighborhood and the would be burgler wouldn't have much time before discovery.

When I would be home, can I secure the patio sliders so I can leave them open at night?

Thanks for any comments.

Ha
Ha, do you mean unlocked or open to allow circulation?
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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The cheap way would be to cut a board or broom handle to length and lay it down such that it stops the door at the max width you want it to open. Someone *might* be able to knock it loose by opening and closing it hard enough to pop it out so you'd have to see if that really works. I would also have one at full length to reinforce the lock when you are out, or at home and want it fully shut.

I've also seen a metal stop you can screw into the top or bottom frame that stops it from opening behind where you want it. I've done it for windows but not a slider door. The frame has to have enough of a lip that a thumb screw or clamp will secure to it, or that you can drill a hole through to provide room for a bolt to slide through.

Ask at Home Depot or Lowes and they probably have something like the above.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:00 PM   #4
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Ha,

How about a nice heavy (but beautifully and artistically designed) iron gate? You can then leave the whole slider open and ain't nothing going to come through there. That is what I used to have on my beach house, but it was in Italy. I have only seen this kind of thing over in Miami. Don't know if it would be acceptable in your neighborhood.

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Old 09-03-2011, 05:12 PM   #5
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The cheap way would be to cut a board or broom handle to length and lay it down such that it stops the door at the max width you want it to open.
My condo came with a piece of wood just for this purpose. Mine is cut so it fits snug when the door is closed but one could be made a couple inches shorter. No one is going to open the door with that in there. Of course if someone really wants in they can still break the glass. Although that will attract a lot of attention.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:25 PM   #6
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The one bad thing about any device to leave it cracked open is that it doesn't look secure. It'll attract the bad guys, and hopefully they'll try it and give up but they might help themselves or break something on your deck in frustration.

The iron gate idea might be a good one. Something like you'd see on a storefront at night, only nicer, right?
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:37 PM   #7
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I have a lock mounted on the bottom of my sliding door. There is a hole at the bottom of the fixed door, and the pin from the lock is pushed into the hole to secure the sliding door. The pin can be secured in the pushed-in position with a key. It would be easy to drill a second hole at the bottom of the fixed door to lock in the sliding door in a slightly open position.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:40 PM   #8
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Ha: When I moved into my new house that had a sliding door, I went to Lowe's and purchased two metal "arms" that are screwed into one end of the door frame. You pull them down, they lock and makes the sliding door unmoveable.

Like this:

CRL Aluminum Security Bar for Sliding Glass Doors | eBay

I even had the Police Department come look at my house for security--something that it seems like every P.D. does in most big cities if you just ask...and I did. They were the ones who told me to go get this.

ALSO, at the top of the frame at the end of the door where you open it to walk thru put several screws in and let them hang down 1/2". This will keep the door from jumping the frame when it is "rocked" by a burglar so they can't get in. Also suggested by the P.D.

Hope this helps. I understand your concern, because a friend of mine was broken into thru his sliding door with just a screwdriver. He had no protection at that time, so now he has the same thing I have on my sliding door.

Also, if you have a back gate like I do, get a padlock and lock it. Every little thing you have that causes the robber to take more time will discourage him from your house. I've been totally robbed before. It is no fun.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:40 PM   #9
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I'm still not sure what Ha wants, but if it is to keep a sliding patio door partially open, it still needs to be burgle proof. The bar along the inside track works for a completely closed door, but open a couple of inches, all one has to do is cut the screen, reach in and move it.

There is a self-storing security bar which attached to the inside frame opposite the door and drops down. This is somewhat more secure. See this link for details How to Lock Out Crime: Home Security

One option is a child restraint such as this Amazon.com: Cardinal Gates Patio Door Guardian, White: Baby

Another option is a metal device that attaches to the lower rail or fixed door, with a hinge that lowers or raises to stop the patio door from moving past that point. You can attach it anywhere along the path of the door, but it is a permanent location. I have one, it works well, but I cannot find a picture or link anywhere.

Iron grates, quite common in Latin America and some European countries, swing out while the patio door slides sideways, so they might not work. If there is a HOA that regulates external appearance they also probably wouldn't be allowed.
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:40 PM   #10
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The one bad thing about any device to leave it cracked open is that it doesn't look secure. It'll attract the bad guys, and hopefully they'll try it and give up but they might help themselves or break something on your deck in frustration.

The iron gate idea might be a good one. Something like you'd see on a storefront at night, only nicer, right?
Store front ones can be quite ugly, the ones I am referring to can be really nicely done, simple or elaborate. This is a pic of what i have in mind, but cant seem to post it, so you need to copy in your browser.

http://www.soloimprese.info/public/1...9373092900.jpg

Queenie
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:42 PM   #11
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Ha, do you mean unlocked or open to allow circulation?
Open, to allow air to circulate. We don't have much AC here, and none in less than very high end projects.

Ha
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:03 PM   #12
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I had a someone break into my old house. A crow bar was used on my Andersen Frenchwood slider and wasn't able to get in. I used a 2" x 10" piece of scrap wood blocking the back side of the door so you couldn't see if from the outside. They broke the door hook lock and gouged/broke the side jamb in 4-5 places, dented the wood a good 1" deep and gave up. You can use a good diameter (1" or so) wood dowel rod to fit the spacing behind the door and I also had a Masterlock adjustable hollow metal rod that also secured this door. If someone really wants to get in, all they need do is toss a hammer at the glass. The repair guy told me the sound is like a quick popping sound, so it's not as loud as regular glass breaking and stated if people realized this, they wouldn't choose a patio door for security at all.

I know Andersen sells locking pins that attach at the back of the sliding door, but I would make sure the screws are deep enough to withstand prying forces applied to the door if it was left open. I'd make sure the screws are at least 1 3/4" or longer. I think your best bet is a custom cut dowel rod since it can be customized to your needs and isn't expensive.
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:44 PM   #13
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We had Anderson sliding French doors too with a pin to secure them open a couple inches. Our alarm system had sensors that worked when a door was pinned open as well as closed. I could release them by stepping on a plunger. Never a problem, but then we lived on Bainbridge Island where burglary is a rarity.

There is an advantage in having a lock-open that is noticeable from the outside so a perp will walk on by but then many of those guys are dumb as a door nob so my ignore even the obvious. Those metal gates look awful and scream scummy neighborhood.

Don't overlook other doors because many of the locks and frames are for appearances.
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:56 PM   #14
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We had Anderson sliding French doors too with a pin to secure them open a couple inches.
+1 and I used a piece of wood. The wood was cut to the length to keep it locked, then a 3" section. By lifting the 3" section, the patio door could be open for air.

I travel a bit previously and wanted DW to feel comfortable.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:51 PM   #15
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Trisim shutters. Interlocking metal roll up shutters, similar operation to a garage door, but able to withstand a car impact. They are heavy steel core coated with a decorative laminate. They are secured to the house frame and can be opened to show the interleaving tracks (about 1/2 to 3/4 in wide ) allowing air & sunlight through, opened completely into a house frame recess, or opened partially or closed completely allowing no light through. For a patio, these are definitely not cheap, but will definitely prevent even a prepared intruder from entering for an extended duration (hours). They are heavy steel frame mounted with one way long screws into the house frame structure. They can be opened & closed manually or by motor.

I've seen them on high end home windows & patio. They look very very nice. No hint of what they can do.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:05 PM   #16
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Trisim shutters. Interlocking metal roll up shutters, similar operation to a garage door, but able to withstand a car impact. They are heavy steel core coated with a decorative laminate. They are secured to the house frame and can be opened to show the interleaving tracks (about 1/2 to 3/4 in wide ) allowing air & sunlight through, opened completely into a house frame recess, or opened partially or closed completely allowing no light through. For a patio, these are definitely not cheap, but will definitely prevent even a prepared intruder from entering for an extended duration (hours). They are heavy steel frame mounted with one way long screws into the house frame structure. They can be opened & closed manually or by motor.

I've seen them on high end home windows & patio. They look very very nice. No hint of what they can do.
Thanks HpRyder, this sounds very good. One difficulty is condo associations are picky as all get out. In some neighborhoods, even where houses can be fairly expensive because they are very handy to downtown, people are realistic and bar windows and doors. But like Brat implies, unless breakins are a big threat associations frown on that.

I'm going to look up these Trisim shutters.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:14 PM   #17
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Another vote for a wooden rod - 1 1/4" wood dowel is just fine - nobody is going to compress it to allow access. Orchid's cop suggestion of a screw pointing down from the frame to resist the door being picked up when in the ventilation position is a good one - those doors are removed by lifting them up out of the tracks - you don't want to allow the bad guys to be able to hoist one side and push the bottom corner in. Seen many regular doors kicked open - by cops mostly - some bad guys. Door frames just split right apart.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:23 PM   #18
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Another vote for a wooden rod - 1 1/4" wood dowel is just fine - nobody is going to compress it to allow access. Orchid's cop suggestion of a screw pointing down from the frame to resist the door being picked up when in the ventilation position is a good one - those doors are removed by lifting them up out of the tracks - you don't want to allow the bad guys to be able to hoist one side and push the bottom corner in. Seen many regular doors kicked open - by cops mostly - some bad guys. Door frames just split right apart.
I've seen this too- on my door unfortunately. This was no casual burglary. It happened several times, I finally moved house to try to stop it and that worked. Prior I had taken to carrying my shotgun in the trunk of my car( this was years ago) and I would park the car, get the gun, and approach the house carefully-usually not from directly in front. My landlord was happy to cancel my lease with no penalty.

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Old 09-04-2011, 12:11 AM   #19
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As noted, the sad thing is that it is easy to break the glass as happened to a friend in what we all thought was a safe neighborhood. His house was a target as he is away most of the year and it looks like it.

However, if one already has a sliding glass door, one might as well take simple precautions like pins or sticks.

To prevent someone from simply popping the door out of its track with a screwdriver, trim a short piece of wood to fit in the upper track in the closed position and glue it there. In Florida, it also helps keep out the Palmetto bugs that fly into the house that way. There is a lot of clearance at the top of sliding glass doors.

Another friend chose a burglar alarm system that listened for the sound of breaking glass. It worked. They broke the sliding glass door, but the alarm scared them away. But that does not solve your problem.

Some kind of condo association-approved iron grate sounds better. Would they object if it were a grate or gate that would be in place only when you wanted the door open?
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:38 AM   #20
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I do not believe that the Anderson windows pin lock will permit the slider to be removed. If someone is willing to use a hammer on glass it can break but recently constructed sliders require impact resistant (tempered) glass (residents often try to walk through closed sliders), they will use it on a window which does not require tempered glass and easily enter that way.
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