How to Keep Your Family Safe When You Have a Patio DoorJuly 15, 2014
Patio doors can be undeniably attractive additions to your home, which can help bring in a lot of natural light and provide a convenient ‘gateway’ between your kitchen or living room and your garden. However, the security risks of having such a large ‘exposed’ window into your home might put off many homeowners. There is also the fact that for families with small children, patio doors can be a potential source of injury, especially for young children who might not be able to tell the difference between a clean, closed patio door and an open one.
To combat these potential security threats and injuries, we’ve compiled a list of top tips that (if adhered to) should make sure your patio doors are as secure and safe as they are attractive.
This might sound a little silly on the surface, but you’d be surprised just how effective a method of dissuasion this can be. By placing a decal on your patio door (preferably close to the handle so they don’t miss it) that states something along the lines of “Alarm System Activated”, or even “Big Dog Inside”, thieves might have a second thought when they’re weighing up whether or not your home is worth the effort.
Patio Door Safety Stickers
Patio door safety stickers are designed to make the glazed elements of patio doors more visible for children and those with poorer sight. Safety stickers are a cheap and effective way of highlighting large glazed areas and making sure children (and grandparents!) don’t accidentally bump into patio doors. Window safety stickers are available in lots of different designs and colours and are essential for glass sliding doors if you have small ones or elderly relatives in your home.
Patio Door Safety Gates
Patio door safety gates are an ideal method of childproofing and improving the security of your patio doors. Safety gates will stop small children getting outside of your house unattended. Safety gates will also let you keep your patio doors open to let in fresh air or a breeze without affecting security. If you have sliding glass doors safety gates are great to stop children escaping, and also if you have vulnerable people in your care that you need to keep an eye on.
Use Curtains or Blinds
By installing curtains or blinds in front of the doors, you’ll not only provide a greater level of heat insulation (especially important during the winter months), but you’ll increase your homes privacy in a manner that you can comfortably control. Also in terms of child safety, covering the patio door will stop them running into it as it will be more obvious that it’s shut.
Keep Valuables Away From Them
Whilst it’s quite horrid to think about, the world is full of opportunistic criminals, who think nothing of stalking around neighbourhoods, peering into people’s homes and checking out the possible ‘loot’. Don’t make it easy for them by keeping your valuables in plain sight!
Avoid placing hazards by the door that children could slip on. It’s one thing having a trip, but another one entirely if your child has that trip and ends up colliding head-first with a thick, glass door.
By far the most thorough and effective method of locking any sliding door is using a sliding bolt with a lock that can only be opened and locked by keys or padlocked for extra security. Of course this could be seen as overkill and would make actually accessing your patio doors yourself a lot less convenient. But you’ve got to ask yourself if you value your homes security over day-to-day ease-of-use. If you go through the trouble of installing a lock of course, you should always make sure that if somebody isn’t in the room, the patio doors should always be bolted.
Even if you’ve installed a good quality lock, there are still committed thieves out there who will not let this first hurdle stop them. Many experienced burglars might consider actually lifting the entire door out, but you can make this difficult for them by installing anti-lift devices, such as pins that fit through both the sliding and fixed parts of the doors, keeping them locked securely into the door roller.
Another security step you could take would be the installation of an alarm. Many homes have alarms for the front and even back door, so also employing one for this additional entryway may be a wise idea.
Installing a plastic safety gate by the patio doors will prevent small children from reaching it, not only useful when it comes to stopping them from walking into closed doors, but useful during the Summer months when you want to sit outside and catch your tan, without having to worry about the little ones.