Children bring a lot of joy to the house, but they inevitably grow, and so does their curiosity.
The desire to explore the house may bring them to potentially dangerous areas, like sliding glass doors that connect to the outside. Don’t fool yourself into thinking they won’t attempt to open these doors because they will.
Instead, learn how to childproof a sliding glass door to keep the little ones protected if they come close to it.
In this article, I share five different methods to childproof a sliding glass door. Some are easy, while some others require a bit more work. However, each solution can be effective in keeping your precious baby safe behind the sliding patio doors.
Installing Sliding Door Locks
The sliding glass door lock is the ultimate method to childproof a sliding glass door. Normally, these devices go on the top of the sliding doors, right where the sliding glass door and stationary glass encounter.
Once installed, the door lock won’t allow children to open the door by pulling it, and only adults or tall kids will have access to it.
A sliding door lock often has two positions: one to close the door entirely and another one to close it partially. The gap is usually around three or six inches, enough to receive ventilation but not too wide for children to pass through.
These mechanisms also work with cabinets or sliding windows, allowing you to use them for more than one purpose once the child grows.
How to install a door lock will depend on what type of lock you want to use. Some work with adhesive, while others require drilling.
Grab a childproof sliding door lock of your preference, and follow the next steps to install it.
- Clean the door completely. If you’re using sliding window locks, clean the surface of the window thoroughly.
- Clean the sliding glass door upper track.
- If the lock works with adhesive, peel the paper backing and stick it on the surface. For locks that require drilling, put the lock over the surface and mark the holes.
- Drill pilot holes, and use the screws to secure the lock.
A sliding patio door lock is effective, but sometimes one is not enough. In that case, you may want to install two for more protection. Another downside is that some door locks made with plastic are not durable and may break under pressure.
Using a Security Bar
Security bars are strong, and there’s virtually no way for young children to bypass them. Bars fit tightly in the door’s track, making it harder to remove them unless an adult with enough strength does it.
One of the most effective security bars is the SECURITYMAN Sliding Door Security Bar. This item fits on most doors and windows, as it offers an adjustable length between 19 and 51 inches.
A security bar also serves another purpose: to work as a visual deterrent. When toddlers see it, they will know that the area is inaccessible and should not force it.
Setting up an Electronic Alarm (or Other Electronic Devices)
Alternatively, you can try installing a new alarm that would alert you if anyone gets near the door via sensor motion detection. An alarm isn’t the definitive childproof method, but it can let you know if the child is exploring areas that they shouldn’t.
Alarms and sensors emit sound and could send notifications to your phone to grab your attention regardless of where you are. These devices also work against thieves in case an intruder attempts to enter the house.
The issue with electronic devices is that they tend to be a bit more expensive. They also require drilling and wiring, which not anyone can do.
Increase Security by Installing a Camera
Installing a security camera with a sensor already in place will let you check visually what the child is doing. This way, you can judge whether to take action or let the baby continue doing its thing.
Cameras are also a bit expensive and take a lot of work, but they can help you keep another eye on the sliding glass door should anyone come close.
Using a Tension Rod
A tension rod is an unorthodox method to childproof a sliding door, but it can work as a last resource. The idea is similar to security bars, as the rod will let you close the door and keep it shut. This solution is simple and doesn’t produce as many headaches as the other childproofing methods.
For example, the tension rod doesn’t require you to drill or screw anything, which preserves the door’s finish. Also, this item won’t leave scrapes or scratches if it has padded ends. Lastly, you won’t have to deal with sticky residue left behind by 3M adhesive.
Using the tension rod to childproof a sliding door is easy. Follow the next steps.
- Place the rod between the corner of the door’s fixed portion and the sliding glass door. Reach the adjustable part of the rod, and turn it towards the door. This step will tighten the rod and shut the door.
- If you want to unlock it, switch the rod towards you to get it loose and remove it with ease.
- A negative aspect of this childproofing method is that the children will grow and potentially reach the tension rod. Luckily, it shouldn’t happen for years, and when they do, they’ll most likely understand it’s a measure put in place for protection.
As you can see, there’s a method to childproof a sliding glass door for every budget. Door locks are the most popular due to their effectiveness, but security bars can be just as good. The other methods are also decent solutions if you have the money to afford modern and expensive devices.
Remember that you can try one or more of these methods simultaneously. While looking for how to childproof a sliding glass door, you may find that using a sliding patio door lock supported with a bar will make the door impossible to open. Another option could be using sensors and cameras.
Either way, find the one method that adapts better to your house and your baby. This way, you won’t have to worry about the child wandering around the house.