French doors are a beautiful addition to any home. Yet, the French door system is more vulnerable than other doors and can lead to break-ins. To enjoy better security, below are some valuable and quick methods to secure them.
1. Use an Anti Lock Plate
The easiest way would be to use an anti-kick plate. They are usually made of steel and can be set up without the use of specialized tools. When locked, the device will secure the door by attaching it to the hinge pins and preventing kick-ins.
This device doesn’t patch other weaknesses of a french door, such as the glass, and it has the drawback of being visible to would-be intruders. Yet, it’s not used often. By drilling screws into each recessed bolt, you can exponentially improve the doors durability. Ensure that no screws are missing from the door and that all screws are fully and properly tightened.
2. Glass Door Security Window Film
Frosted security window film is the next generation in security film, allowing homeowners to enjoy complete visibility while still providing an additional layer of security. Security window film is a thin, transparent film that reduces damage to your glass. The film reinforces the existing glass, helping it hold together even after damage.
After installing security window film, remove panels from your doors and windows and replace the panel with the window frame. When possible, you should use a thin bead of clear silicone around the edge of the window.
3. Impact-Resistant Glass
If you are looking to replace your doors, consider getting those with impact-resistant glass. They can withstand a lot of physical force without breaking. If you use it in hurricane-prone areas, it can also withstand the force of strong winds. This is highly effective against burglars and acts of god. (1)
4. Double-Cylinder Deadbolt
The most common way to keep yourself out of harm’s way is with a double-cylinder deadbolt on your French doors. This is seen on most French doors as the default that you may already have in which case the methods previously covered would be more useful.
It’s also important to know that a double-cylinder deadbolt can come with a drawback. In case of an emergency, such as a fire, you may not have time to locate the key when you need, to get out quickly. Double cylinders are better secondary locks that are only used when you leave the house.
5. Security Hinges
An integral part of the door that allows it to rotate, hinges are a fixture in most homes and businesses.
Security hinges have a clasp that is attached to one side of the door and a pin that is attached to the other side of the door. These two parts meet in their center, and when you open or close them, they meet in the middle. Then as you close them, they lock into place with an audible click to keep intruders from opening it from the other side.
The best security hinges can help prevent break-ins and don’t be shy about investing in the right ones.
6. High-Quality Mortise Lock
Mortise locks are the first line of defense against an unwanted intruder. Mortise locks are a type of lock that is installed in the door frame. They are the most common form of locks in North America.
Mortise locks have often been considered as a “secondary” lock because they only function if the door has another lock that is operated by a key (such as a rim lock) or deadbolt (operated by a key from both sides).
This secondary type of locking mechanism was designed to provide an extra layer of protection against intruders who could not gain access through the primary locking system.
As well, this secondary locking mechanism can be used to restrict the opening of doors to specific points, such as allowing them to open outwards but not inwards.
They’re more secure and resistant to tampering than standard lock mechanisms, making them a more effective means of securing your french doors.
7. Three-Point Locking System
The three-point locking system is a type of locking mechanism that has three components: the lever handle, the collar, and the lock cylinder.
The collar is positioned on the door’s edge. The end of the lever handle extends through one of two slots in this collar. The slot closest to the door is for manual operation while the other slot is for power operation.
The lock cylinder sits on a steel rod extending from the door frame and directly beneath it, so that its front faces upward. This rod normally sits in a drilled hole within a heavy steel plate mounted on top of concrete or masonry walls at each hinge side of the door.
This is an important safety measure. The bolt of your lock does not extend into a solid door frame; instead, it expands into another door that isn’t as strong as the frame. This system ensures that the rods anchor to both the ceiling and floor for added security. When combined with the deadbolt, your door becomes very secure.
Are French Doors Safe?
When it comes to security, french doors provide the least protection from intruders. This is because they don’t have any vertical bars or locks to keep people out of your home and they usually have panes of glass that are easily broken through.
French doors consist of two doors that meet in the center. One of the doors is an inactive door. It is the side that is rarely used. The other side is an active door. It is the side that is usually opened and closed. They pose added security risks if not adequately reinforced.
Since French Doors provide both an entryway and a window, they offer many practical benefits. But they can also leave your home vulnerable to burglary. The passive side of the door can be quickly and easily bypassed using a thin screwdriver, drywall hammer, or even a heavy coat hanger.
The critical role that adding an extra level of security to your doors plays in protecting homes – and their inhabitants – from burglars is undeniable. (2)
With today’s wide variety of hardware styles, many options enhance the beauty of your home, both inside and out. Any friendly team of door experts can help you choose the right one for you and your budget.
We wholeheartedly recommend choosing an option for some added security to your french doors, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.