For people looking to make their homes more aesthetically pleasing, French patio doors offer a great addition that allows natural light to pass through into the interior giving off a warmer and more welcoming feel.
While they look visually great, French patio doors are considered to be vulnerable when it comes to security, which is a real concern among homeowners and home security.
It is true that when looking for a home to target, one of the first things that burglars look for is an easy way to get inside without attracting attention.
After checking the main doors and windows for vulnerabilities, they look for side and back doors, including the patio doors, making it extremely important to secure them against intrusions.
Let’s look at the security concerns regarding French patio doors and the top tips to keep them secure:
STRENGTHEN THE DOORS
French patio doors are generally made of large panes of glass, and glass has a known tendency to break easily making them a rather insecure option when it comes to the door material.
However, glass is not as vulnerable as you might think, and the glass used in French doors requires quite a bit of force to get through.
There are ways in which you can strengthen the glass on your French patio doors, and you can start by making them double-glazed.
As an added preventive measure, you may also opt for hurricane-rated laminated glass which has an added layer of plastic designed to withstand the impact of a powerful hurricane, even though they are not that common in the UK. If the glass can withstand the strong forces of nature, it can surely withstand the force of a burglar trying to get in.
Other options include laminating the glass and fitting a security film, both of which can deter burglars from trying to break them since not only will they take up too much time but also make a lot of noise.
You may also opt for grills installed on the interior of the door to prevent burglars from breaking them. This is the least aesthetically pleasing option but an effective one nonetheless.
ALWAYS LOCK THE DOORS
This is kind of a no-brainer and usually one of the first and most basic tips when it comes to securing your home against intrusions and unauthorised access.
You must make it a habit to always lock your doors and windows, especially when you are not around since the inability to do so gives potential intruders easy access into your property.
As shocking as it is to believe, almost a third of burglaries do not require forced intrusions since most burglars often find the doors to be unlocked, allowing them to simply “walk in”.
It might also be smart to have the locks changed if you are moving into a new house to ensure that no one, other than you and the people you have given access to your home, is allowed to enter.
This is a necessary preventive measure that all new homeowners must take since there is no way of knowing how many spare keys are out there for the existing locks and who has access to them.
It may be important to note that if you are unfortunate to be a victim of a burglary and there are no signs of forced intrusions, your home insurance may not pay out since it might mean that you were negligent with your security.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LOCKS AND HINGES
Since most French patio doors are outward opening and can expose the hinge pins, it is recommended to add hinge bolts to prevent burglars from unscrewing them and opening the door. To ensure this doesn’t happen, it is best to install screws that are at least 3 inches long.
Also, if a standard mortice lock, which is usually found on patio doors is not enough, you may consider replacing it with a multi-point locking system.
A multi-point locking system works in the same way as a mortice lock, but instead of locking in one place, it locks your door in multiple places simultaneously using a single key.
It is best to use anti-snap Euro cylinder locks that prevent intruders from breaking the locks to gain access using a popular method called lock-snapping, where the weakest part of the cylinder is broken by applying the right amount of pressure.
Therefore, if you use cylinder locks on your French patio doors, make sure they are anti-snap ones that have either achieved a 3-star rating under TS 007 and/or the Sold Secure Diamond Standard (SS312), as recommended by the West Yorkshire police.
USE CURTAINS AND BLINDS
While glass doors may look very aesthetically pleasing, one of the biggest drawbacks of having them is the lack of privacy.
People from outside, including potential burglars and intruders, can easily have a look at the inside of the house and find items of value to steal.
If, and it is most likely, your house is filled with high-value items such as televisions, speakers, and gaming consoles, a clear view of the inside might give burglars a reason to break into your home and provides what you might say, a bit of a window-shopping effect.
A simple solution for this issue is to use a set of curtains or blinds when you’re not around to block the view for people on the outside.
DOOR SENSORS AND ALARMS
Installing security alarms and sensors are one of the most effective ways to not just deter intruders but also bring attention towards them by alerting the homeowners of the intrusion.
They use a series of sensors to detect intrusions and trigger an audible alarm, oftentimes accompanied by flashing lights, to alert the homeowners and possibly scare away the intruders.
There are various types of sensors that you can use on your French patio doors to detect intrusion, with the most common ones including door and window frame contact sensors, vibration sensors, and passive infrared (PIR) sensors.
If you wish to be alerted every time the patio doors are opened, you may opt for door and window frame contact sensors that consist of two parts with a magnetic contact between them.
When the door is opened, the contact between the two parts is broken detecting it as an intrusion and triggering the alarm to go off.
Vibration detectors installed on the patio doors are set off by movements detected within their range and trigger the alarm by picking up on the vibrations caused by it.
These detectors tend to trigger false alarms and pick up vibrations from the surroundings, such as heavy vehicles or bad weather.
To avoid that from happening, you may adjust the sensitivity of these sensors depending on your surroundings and environmental conditions. You must, however, be careful to not turn down the sensitivity too much that it results in an undetected intrusion.
PIR sensors are one of the most popular sensors used by homeowners that work by detecting movement via variations in infrared body heat.
They offer greater intelligence than their counterparts and are more reliable when it comes to detecting break-ins and intrusions through the patio doors.
PIR sensors come with advanced features such as pet-friendliness that do not get triggered by the lower body heat of pet animals such as cats and dogs and only pick up on human heat signatures.
For maximum security for your French patio doors, you may also combine the different types of sensors to cover all the bases and provide a more comprehensive approach towards intrusion detection.
You may also opt for professional monitoring services for the security alarms that include dialler systems, keyholder monitoring, and police monitoring.
SMART SECURITY LIGHTS
Imagine a burglar trying to sneak into a house through the patio door only to find that as soon as they set foot near it, a light turns on above them putting them in a literal spotlight and bringing all attention towards them.
What we’ve described to you is one of the worst fears among burglars since, for obvious reasons, they hate attention and being identified and caught.
Motion sensor smart lights installed near French patio doors are an excellent way to deter criminals from targeting your property and trying to break in using the patio doors.
These lights must be placed all around the exterior of the house and can be particularly useful during the night so that you can be alerted as soon as someone enters your property.
Additional features such as light timers and remote control can be used where the smart lights are set to turn on and off at certain times and also be able to operate remotely via a smart device such as a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop.
These two features can be particularly useful for when you are away from your home, the house is empty, and you wish to give potential burglars the illusion that someone is inside.
Motion sensor smart lights are also a great way to lower your energy bills since the lights would turn on only when someone is present and automatically turn off when no movement is detected.
GET A DOG
Dogs have been used to protect people and property for as long as we can remember and they continue to do so.
Many people in the UK keep dogs as pets not just as an addition to their families but also for added security and protection against burglaries and intrusions.
They are intelligent and loyal creatures that can be trained to pick up on discrepancies in their surroundings such as strangers stalking the house and burglars trying to break in.
Their ability to react quickly, coupled with their inherently curious nature of roaming around and sniffing things ensures that no suspicious behaviour goes unnoticed and that action is always taken.
All dogs, whether big or small, bark at the sight of strangers, making them particularly useful in detecting intrusions around the house near the front and back doors, including the patio doors.
Some of the best security dog breeds feared by criminals include German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Akitas, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Other house pets that might be useful in detecting intrusions through the patio doors include parrots and geese.
It can be difficult to keep an eye on every inch of your house, particularly the back area where the patio doors usually are.
Also, people are usually so focused on securing the front doors and windows that they forget how important it is to keep the back doors, including the patio doors, secure as well.
Burglars and intruders are aware of this fact and use the rarely monitored back areas of the house to gain access.
Installing CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras is one of the best and most effective security measures taken by homeowners to keep criminals away from their property.
CCTV cameras installed near the patio doors deter criminals from targeting them for break-ins for the fear of getting recorded, identified, and caught.
There are many types of CCTV cameras available for you to choose from with the most popular ones including bullet CCTV cameras, dome CCTV cameras, C-Mount CCTV cameras, PTZ Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras, day/night CCTV cameras, infrared/night vision CCTV cameras, network/IP CCTV cameras, wireless CCTV cameras, and High Definition (HD) CCTV cameras.
When choosing the best ones for your patio door security, make sure they are capable of recording footage both during the day and night time and can withstand direct glare and sunlight.
Some other features that you must look for include motion detection, mobile notifications, remote monitoring, wi-fi capabilities, two-way communication, local or cloud storage, and weather-proof and tamper-proof casing for outdoor use.
While you are allowed to use CCTV cameras on your domestic property, there are certain laws and legal requirements that you must adhere to, especially if you intend to monitor areas outside the boundary of your house.
Your use of CCTV cameras must be as transparent as possible to the people around you, which can best be achieved by putting up signs that the area is under surveillance.
Also, you must place the cameras in a way that they don’t infringe on your neighbour’s privacy and take full responsibility for the system and its recordings, ensuring that the information is not used for any purpose other than security.
CONTACT CALDER SECURITY
At Calder Security, we understand the importance of keeping your home safe and secure and are here to provide you with a comprehensive security solution that includes not just professional installation but also monitoring, maintenance, and repair services for the best security systems out there.
We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA), approved members of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), and also conform to all the relevant British and EU Standards.
We follow all the best practices in the industry and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security equipment for all areas of your house.
We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.
We understand the importance of having to regularly maintain security systems since the inability to do so may result in serious faults and consequent vulnerabilities.
We provide professional maintenance checks and reminders for when the checks are due to help you stay compliant with the law and work fast to restore your security systems to excellent condition.
We offer a 24-hour call-out service for customers and can also repair systems not installed by us. Our engineers are highly skilled and can restore faulty systems to full working order in one visit.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our leading security experts right away!