How to Secure Your French Doors 4

Burglars love French doors they really do. Even inexperienced thieves know that a house with French doors is likely to allow them quick and easy access into the property. This is why they should be at the top of your burglary prevention checklist.  French doors are popular with residents because they can make a beautiful addition to any home. Aside from looking nice, and often leading out onto a pleasant patio or deck area, they also let in lots of light. However, these types of doors can come at a cost if you’re not careful. They are perhaps the most vulnerable of all the doors when it comes to break-ins. Because most of them are out the back, that doesn’t mean they’re out of site. In fact, side and back doors are the favoured point of entry of most property crimes. Your main question now is how to secure my French doors.

The presenter in this video shows the best way to secure French doors from the inside.



French door security depends on your doors. They will all have their weaknesses, so you need to identify what yours are, and then look for ways to fix them.

Glass Panes

There are a lot of glass panes in most French doors, and this makes them particularly vulnerable. However, a burglar isn’t going to be able to squeeze through the tiny aperture of a broken pane because it’s just too small. What they usually do is break a single pane of glass, reach in with their hand, unlock the doors and let themselves in. Therefore, your security on the inside is paramount as the presenter in the video above points out. He also shows how to strengthen the doors main weakness, which is the divide between the two doors.[1]

Another problem with plain glass doors is that burglars can peer through them to see if anyone is home or not. The glass of most front doors, however, tends to be frosted, coloured, uneven (distorted) or all three, making it hard to see through.

Tip: For new doors, consider laminated glass or hurricane-rated glass as it’s incredibly tough and very difficult to break. [2]

Locks and Hinges

It sounds obvious, and it should be, yet so many people don’t change the weak and inadequate locks and hinges that come with these doors. Another big problem is short hinge screws. You want them to be at least 3-inches long. As for the deadbolts, make sure they have a minimum1-inch throw. Note too that mortise locks are usually a lot stronger than the standard bored type locks.

The best French door security will have a 3-point locking system. For doors that come as a pair, consider locking (securing) one of them permanently. This alone will make it a lot more difficult for a burglar to force the doors open.

Security Bars

Security bars are a simple yet effective measure you can take to prevent a wannabe burglar from kicking your doors in. You can even buy security bars that come with alarms.

Door Materials

If you haven’t purchased your French doors yet, think about the materials. In general, opt for thick wooden doors, the thicker the better. Consider hurricane-rated glass too. A steel frame will also add another layer to your French door security.



About Mark Bickmore

Hi, my name is Mark Bickmore. I'm an Engineer, who has a keen interest in home security and keeping my family, property and valuables safe from burglars. This website was set up to help me explore the research, facts and myths about burglars and burglary. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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4 thoughts on “How to Secure Your French Doors

  • MikeA

    Unfortunately there is no way to burglar proof a French door. First of all, yes you can make the door kick proof with better deadbolts and plates that screw deep into the beams of the house rather than the shallow door buck, but security bars are useless because the burglar can look through the door to see the bar and simply break a pane of glass and pull back the security bar before kicking in the door. The primary weakness of French doors is the glass panes and thin wooden lattice between the glass panes. A burglar need not squeeze into a small pane, they can simply kick in the glass and lattice and gain full entry right though the middle of the door. People often talk about security film, which is great on full glass doors, but is of little use on French doors, because you must fit it to each pane, which aids the burglar by making it easier to kick in the entire pane rather than have the glass break and make more noise.