Patio door locks, what are my options?

UK Home Improvement

Patio Door Locks, What Are My Options?

Patio doors were first introduced into the UK market as a replacement for French Doors.  This new breed of doors allowed home owners vast expanses of glass, offering good natural light into homes and excellent views out.  Early patio doors were often badly made with cheap plastic parts and had very poor levels of security.

Due to their large nature, patio doors can be hard to fit.  Often these doors are simply lifted into place, which also means they can be lifted out again, in addition factory fitted patio locks were often of low quality and inadequate for the size of door.  Both of these factors make patio doors vulnerable to unauthorised entry.

Anti Lift

Patio door fitting is fairly easy, by simply lifting the door into place; this process can be reversed to remove the door, making security of these doors low!  Often homeowners would find their property has been burgled, but with no obvious signs of entry. 

It would transpire that intruders would enter via the ‘Patio door lift technique’, take what they wanted from the property and leave again via the patio door, this time replacing the door, this would leave minimal evidence of anyone ever having been inside the property.  This major flaw in the design of patio doors has been resolved using many different methods, some that are designed into new doors other which are achieved via secondary security devices.

New patio doors have many security features built into fully secure doors; these include such features as, pairs of opposing hook bolts that provide claw type security around the keep plate restricting any up or down movement of patio doors and internal lock bolts mounted in the centre of the two doors, that when operated prevents any movement of the door by locking the moving door to stationary door. 

To increase security on existing doors that could be compromised via lifting, an anti lift device can be fitted, these can be in the form of small wedges fitted above doors to restrict any upward movement, or a locking device mounted top and bottom with a locking bolt that goes into the moveable door to restrict movement.

Additional Patio Door Locks

As found on older patio doors, standard factory fitted patio locks can be quite ineffectual due to their low quality parts and design.  A small locking device can be fitted to the fixed door frame, this lock has a locking bolt that is pushed into a hole in the moving door frame.  Patio door locks can be easily fitted by any competent homeowners, pairs of locks can be supplied for top and bottom fitting, operated by the same key, thus making unlocking quick and simple with just one key.  The key is used to unlock the bolts with a straightforward push to lock action, on some models of patio lock the exposed bolt when in the unlocked position is red, thus making it obvious when the lock is not secure.

Patio multi point locks can be operated by a euro cylinder, this in itself can introduce security problems such as cylinder drilling, bumping and snapping.  All these cylinder vulnerabilities can be addressed by fitting a highly secure British Standard cylinder; other protection can be achieved with good quality handles that fit around the cylinder offering great protection against any form of cylinder attack.

The benefits of patio doors can far outweigh any potential risks of home security through patio doors, as long as they are fitted with good quality locks.


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