How to Improve French Door Security
French doors are common and popular in warm areas where the family wants to have easy access to a beautiful front porch. Installing French doors can do wonders for a home; they can make the home more inviting, more comfortable, and create a classic and timeless entry into the home. However, because of their build, they can be difficult to secure. Luckily, there are several ways you can secure your french doors while still preserving their timeless beauty.
What Makes French Doors Difficult to Secure?
Several parts of a french door make it hard to ensure complete home security. The very things that make french doors “pretty” are the things that make it difficult to protect. Here are the aspects that make french doors weak security points:
- The doors open outwards which means the hinges are always on the outside of the door, exposed to the elements. Since the hinges are on the outside, a home intruder can easily remove the pin and take the door off the hinges.
- The large glass windows that frame the door allow easy access points for an intruder to break the glass and unlock the door. The glass is usually near the door handles and so an intruder can cut or break through the window and have easy access to the door handle.
- The glass panes are also weak spots in the door and are easy to remove or break.
- Since the double doors meet in a crack in the center, it becomes a weak spot and can be kicked in easily.
- The doors also don’t have a good place to put hardy locks. Since the windows and can be broken, or the doors can be broken in, it’s hard to find a place to actually lock the doors.
There are other aspects of French doors that make them hard to secure, lock, and protect. However, there are ways that you can secure the doors.
Replace the Glass with Impact-Proof Glass
The first thing you should do to provide better security for the French doors is to replace the glass with glass that is impact-proof. To break into French doors, a burglar will break or cut the glass to open the door. This can be done with regular, two-paned glass or with tempered glass. The only type of glass that is safe to have in French doors is impact-proof glass.
This type of glass is more expensive than regular glass or tempered glass. However, it is the kind that is required in windows in hurricane zones and is extremely strong and effective. Impact-proof glass solves one of the weakest problems of having French doors–the glass. Home intruders and burglars will no longer be able to break the glass to unlock the door and get inside.
Install Security Hinges
Now that the glass on the door is safe, it’s time to focus on another weak spot of the French doors. To improve your French door security, you need to replace the hinges. On traditional French doors, the doors open outward to the patio. Since they open out, the hinges of the door are on the outside, which makes it easy for a burglar to remove the hinges and take the door off the wall, even if the doors are securely locked. Luckily, this can be solved pretty easily with security hinges.
Security hinges are door hinges that don’t have a pin that can be removed. This includes screw hinges and stud hinges and anything else that doesn’t include a pin. For the most part, it’s easy to replace the hinges on your door and you can do it on your own. The nice thing about security hinges is they look almost identical to normal door hinges. This helps you to preserve the natural beauty of the doors while enjoying security and safety.
Use a Double Cylinder Deadbolt Instead
Most doors use a single-cylinder deadbolt. What that means is that you can unlock the door from the outside using a key but you don’t need a key for the inside. Instead, if you want to unlock or lock it from the inside, you can use a thumb-turn. It’s easy and simple. However, if a burglar is able to break the glass, they can reach in and easily unlock the door. To fix the problem replace your single-cylinder deadbolt with a double-cylinder deadbolt.
Double cylinder deadbolt locks use a key to unlock both sides. So, if the burglar breaks the glass and reaches in, all they will find is another keyhole that they can’t open. This type of deadbolt is similar to the two-level identification that is becoming mandatory for most internet login sites. It uses two different ways to log in before you can enter. This provides a second layer of security for your home. However, if your French doors are your main way to enter and exit the home, this can be dangerous if you need to exit the home quickly. You will need a key to leave the home. If the French doors are not your main entry way or you have a windowless door you can use to leave the home, you should consider placing double cylinder deadbolt locks on the door.
If you have French doors in your home and you’re concerned about security, you should take the steps listed above to secure the doors. They are a point of weakness in your home security and improving them will improve your overall home security.