Classic double French doors are always an elegant style, a popular choice for patio doors or even front doors, and a great way to let in natural light. However, they can pose a higher security risk, depending on the glass, locks, and hardware you have. Learn more about these areas of vulnerability and how to improve them with these French door security basics.
While the glass of your French doors may be the most attractive feature, it’s also the most vulnerable. The first step to securing your French doors is to make sure your glass is up to the task.
It may be difficult to determine what glass you already have, but if you’re serious about upgrading your door, you may consider finding a replacement just to be safe. Look for impact-resistant or “Hurricane-grade” glass. Even stronger than tempered glass, impact-resistant glass is designed to withstand high-speed winds and all sorts of flying objects.
When it comes to locks, French doors are especially vulnerable. While traditional door locks are secured by the door frame, French door locks are secured by an astragal, the vertical component between the two doors. The astragal, commonly referred to as a “T” astragal, is attached to the inactive door panel, or the panel that is not typically used for entry and exit, in your French door system. A French door lock will typically include a basic multi-point locking system, including a deadbolt system to latch the door and astragal bolts that extend into the upper door frame and/or floor.
Learn about our Ultimate Flip Lever™ Astragal
Hinges & Other Hardware
Exterior French doors are also at a disadvantage if they have exterior/outswing hinges. These hinges are typically located outside of your home and can be removed with the right tools. You can make it harder to remove these hinges with set screws, security studs, or non-removable pins. When it comes to other hardware, you want to make sure that your doors are secured by at least 3-inch screws.
Security Beyond the Door
Finally, there are extra security measures you can take to secure your home and prevent your door from being damaged:
Install a security system
Security systems will help if someone is successful in breaking the glass of your door and forcing entry into your home. No matter what door you have, this is a good idea to give you the greatest peace of mind.
Security cameras have become more affordable and easy to install. Some even work with an app on your phone so you can monitor your door while you’re at work or on vacation.
Leaving lights on suggests that someone is home and may deter suspicious activity. Consider setting certain lights on a timer if you leave for vacation to save energy and make it look like your house is still occupied. Motion sensor lights outside your home are also a great deterrent.
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Not sure what locks or hardware are best for your astragal or French doors? We’d love to help.