Most people choose French doors for their homes because they allow sufficient natural light inside the house. But since these doors are so welcoming, many people also believe they lack security and aren’t as safe as regular wooden doors.
That is far from the truth. Double-glazed glass is generally as secure as a basic wooden door, if not more. When it comes to locking mechanisms, you have as many security options as you would with conventional doors. The decision is ultimately yours, whether you choose to trust French doors or not. However, it’s best to know all the facts before making a decision.
Are French Doors Secure?
A poorly installed French Door will undoubtedly prove to be a security hazard. But if done right, French doors are more secure than sliding doors and even several conventional doors. So if you decide to go for French doors in your house, make sure the installation is done perfectly. This means checking a few things during and after the windows have been installed. The first thing to do is swing your doors open and shut a few times on its hinges. You should check that your doors are stable and light, with the least space possible between the threshold and the bottom of the doors.
Risks: Homeowners end up choosing French doors instead of sliding or wooden doors because of the large glass panels that French doors have. However, since glass has lower structural integrity than wood, this could also become a security risk. Reinforcing the glass or double glazing could significantly bring down the risk factor.
Materials: Single-pane glass poses a security threat because it’s easy to break and allows access to unauthorised parties. French doors are generally made using wood, which can also be broken easily. The thicker the wood you get, the more secure it is. Generally, thicker wooden frames and doors cost more than standard models. But given that it looks better and provides greater security for your home and family, it’s almost certainly the right choice for you.
5 Steps to Increase Security With Your French Doors:
There is no 100% foolproof way to secure your doors. However, there are ways to increase the security around French doors.
- Get impact-resistant glass: If you are still to buy your new French doors, opt for impact-resistant panes. This type of glass is generally mandated in areas prone to hurricanes as it can withstand large amounts of force. This remarkable strength fares well against intruders and burglars too.
Tempered glass is slightly stronger than standard glass panes, but can still break when force is applied. Impact-resistant glass is not the same as tempered glass, so make sure you don’t confuse the two of them.
- Use three-point locking systems: A three-point locking system is almost essential if you have double French doors. The lock bolt of a French door doesn’t extend into the frame of the door. Instead, it goes into the other door that isn’t as strong as the frame itself. A three-point locking system is made of metal rods extending from the door into the door frame at the top as well as into the ground. Combined with its deadbolt, a three-point locking system makes the door security stronger than a lone deadbolt does.
- Get a high-quality mortise lock: A mortise lock is a kind of deadbolt locking system. Instead of going through the hole made in the door, a mortise lock is a full metal housing installed through one pocket in the door’s edge. Since the mechanism is guarded by the metal housing or covering, a mortise lock is harder to get through as compared to a standard deadbolt.
- Install a double-cylinder deadbolt: Standard deadbolts only require key access from the outside. The inside uses a thumb-turn to operate the lock. French doors that don’t have impact-resistant glass can be broken easily. The intruder can easily break the glass and unlock the door from inside. A double cylinder deadbolt requires key access on either side. This means even if someone reaches in, they will require a key to open the door.
A word of caution, however. Having a double-cylinder deadbolt lock system can be risky if it is the only exit from that room or area of the house. Such locks make it harder to exit in case of an emergency like a fire. At such a time, looking for the key could be hard. Just for emergencies, double cylinders are better off as secondary locks you only use while leaving the house.
- Install security hinges: For doors that open to the outside, this is vital. In such doors, the hinges are outside. No matter how strong your doors are, if your hinges aren’t secure, anyone can gain access to your home. Secure your hinges using set screw hinges, non-removable pin hinges or stud hinges.
he door style you ultimately choose will depend on your budget, personal choice and interior design. Make sure you consult a team of experts before your French doors are installed at home.