Homeowners who want to get the sliding-glass door that’s a perfect match for their security needs and meets all their requirements for appearance, price, durability, and portability need to ask themselves a few questions. That’s because there are dozens of different options in this niche of the home security lock market.
Here are three things to think about before purchasing a lock for the sliding doors in your home.
How strong do you want the lock to be?
Locks for patio doors come in a full array of strengths. Some are more like key-lock mechanisms you already have on other doors, the difference being that they’re adapted for the shape of patio and sliding doors of all kinds. Some are keyed locks but many are simpler devices that you simply screw into place.
Are you okay spending time installing the lock yourself?
Most of the latched locks are super easy to install, come with their own hardware, and don’t cost much. All it takes is a gentle finger or thumb push to unlatch the mechanism and open the door. If you are able to do some installation, with drills and other common household tools, it takes about 20 minutes to put a keyed, bolted security lock onto a typical patio door.
At hardware stores or online websites, there are dozens of keyed sliding-door locks to choose from. Most include tamper-resistant screws, strong bolts, high-quality mechanisms, and come with two small keys, which you can duplicate if the need arises. If you or a friend can install the more complex key locks, they offer more safety and durability than most of the latched versions that don’t come with keys.
Do you need a child-proof lock that keeps babies and other small ones safely indoors and away from yards, swimming pools, and other potential hazards?
It’s easy enough to install so-called “thumb locks” or screw locks up high so little fingers can’t get to them. An even better solution when child safety is a top priority is to use keyed locks that can only be opened with the included keys. Kids have been known to climb up onto tables and open simple latches in order to get outdoors. So if you are a parent and want “maximum security” from inside-out, consider a keyed sliding-door lock.
It’s important to decide why you are buying the lock in the first place. Is it primarily to keep intruders out of children in, or both. There’s no rule that says you can only have one kind of lock on your sliding door. Many homeowners install sliding-glass-door patio locks that are keyed and virtually non-breakable. If an intruder wanted to defeat such a lock, they’d pretty much have to rip the door off its hinges, which is not what any thief wants to do. It attracts too much attention and merely alerts everyone in the home and vicinity that there’s a crime taking place.
In addition to intruder-resistant locks they put one or more child-proof latch locks on the sliding door as well. At night, owners are safe from break-ins and wandering children who might get outside undetected.