How to Secure a Backwards Sliding Door? (12 Ways)

Sliding doors are an excellent way to let some extra natural light enter your home. There is just a lot of aesthetic appeal to sliding doors, but they can also be very problematic. You will have extra room to move through and create a nice illusion of extra space, but they may be difficult to secure properly.

Sliding doors are also one of the first places that a burglar will try when they intend to break into a home. Frequently these doors are the weak link and are not as secure as they may look.

How to secure a backwards sliding door? The best way to secure a backwards sliding door is to have it reversed or replaced and then properly secured. However, if you cannot reverse the backwards sliding door, you may have to use several different techniques to secure it, like installing a pin or a screw in the overhead track and a foot lock.

For more information on how to properly secure a sliding door, continue reading below.

How to Secure a Backwards Sliding Door

How to Secure a Backwards Sliding Door

On certain homes, especially older ones built between the 1950s and 1980, what you may find is that the sliding door slides on the outside. Some even have their screen doors on the inside. This design is notorious for the problems it causes during the mosquito season.

Backward sliding doors, or sliding doors installed on the outside, may actually have been designed that way and still have their lock and latch facing the interior. Certain brands like Pella, for example, do that.

But it is not unheard of to have the sliding doors installed on the wrong side, which creates a lot of problems, including, but not limited to, an easy way for burglars to get in.

A burglar can easily try to lift and pry the door open or access the lock.

The most common way to install a sliding door is by placing the weather door on the inside and the screen door on the outside.

If Possible Reverse the Door

First, it is necessary to understand that a thief can always get inside somebody’s home, regardless of how many and what kind of security systems are used. If the thief has the necessary knowledge, experience, tools, and time, they will eventually be able to get in.

This is why it is important to focus on the things we can control. And the only thing we can affect is the time needed for somebody to get in.

Burglars are usually looking for quick hits. They don’t want to attract unnecessary attention or waste too much time.

Although there may not be a 100% burglar-proof security system, you can make it so that the whole thing becomes as time-consuming as possible.

This is why the best recommendation is to have the door reversed.

Many of today’s sliding doors are made reversible, so depending on the model and type of the sliding door, this may be doable.

On the other hand, sometimes, this may not be possible. And you may have to check with the manufacturer for any additional security options.


Install a Security Pin

Install a Security Pin

Things can get especially tricky if you want to be able to secure a backward sliding door while at the same time have the option to keep it slightly open a few inches.

What some people have done is to open the door a few inches and drill a hole through the frame and into the sliding door, after which a security pin or a regular screw can be installed on the inside.

A lock pin like this one or this one (links to Amazon) is a very simple and inexpensive way to secure your sliding door. These are perfectly suitable for outside sliding doors.

Keep in mind, though, that this is not the be-all and end-all in terms of security, so it is a good idea to combine the locking pin with other methods for securing the door.


Use a Foot Lock

Use a Foot Lock

A foot lock is another easy way to secure a sliding door from opening. There are a few different models that you can choose from.

One of the best, in my opinion, is this foot lock (link to Amazon), which is designed for Anderson sliding doors. However, people have been using it for other sliding doors brands as well. It is a solid metal lock, and it may also work on sliding doors that are on the outside.

Alternatively, you can check out this sliding door foot lock on Amazon. It allows for securing the door in two different positions, so you can have it fully closed or partially open. It will work on most standard sliding doors, but make sure you measure the thickness of your sliding door rails.


Install a Sliding Door Loop Lock

Install a Sliding Door Loop Lock

This sliding door loop lock that can be found on Amazon is another neat way to make sure your sliding door remains locked.

It is easy to install, it looks good, and does the job well.

Depending on the model and design of your sliding door, it is possible to use it even on backward installed sliding doors.


Add a Security Chain

Add a Security Chain

Another way to go about it is to install a security chain like this one on Amazon. It will prevent the sliding door from fully opening.

Of course, this is not exactly the most appealing way to do it, but it can work.


Additional Ways to Secure a Backwards Sliding Door

Not all of these may be applicable if your sliding door is on the outside, however, many will be. If your sliding door can be reversed, you will have a lot easier time implementing these security solutions.

There will be some DIY work involved here, but don’t worry, you do not need any special skills or tools other than what you might already have in your home.


Install Anti-Lifting Security Screws

A floor lock or a rod can be useful to keep the door from completely opening, but there is one more problem that we need to account for.

A sliding door can be lifted upwards, allowing the burglar to enter your home with ease. This can happen in just a few seconds, take a look.

Add a few screws in the overhead opening or track to prevent anyone from being able to lift up the sliding door and pull it out of its tracks.

If somebody tries to lift the sliding door, it will come in contact with the screw and prevent anyone from coming through. This is a vital detail, especially if you like to leave the sliding door slightly open during the warmer months.

The sliding door should not open more than six inches.


Glass Break Alarm Sensor

Glass Break Alarm Sensor

One of the problems with sliding doors is that glass can easily be shattered. Even more, it is safety glass, so the burglar will not even have to worry about getting cut or injured by it. After they break it, they can just walk in.

Glass break sensors or detectors are an excellent way to make sure the sliding door is well secured, as this creates a problem that the thief may not be able to deal with.

An example of an excellent sensor can be found on Amazon right here.


Sliding Door Contact Sensor

Sliding Door Contact Sensor

Contact sensors will sound a loud alarm if the sliding door has been opened. This is a great way to deter thieves from entering your home as it will draw a lot of attention and may even catch them off guard.

An excellent product in this category is this contact sensor by GE, on Amazon, and it is a great little gadget with a very low-profile design. It has a loud 120 dB alarm and is super easy to install.


Sliding Door Bolt Lock

A sliding door bolt lock like this one on Amazon is a great way to secure your sliding door. A burglar will just not be able to lift the door.

Overall, it is a fairly inexpensive little gadget that can give you some peace of mind. It has a pleasant low profile design, too.


A Window Security Film

Window Security Film

The thing is a lot of these locks and security systems can be disengaged if the thief can break the windows.

A window security film is a great way to add some extra protection if somebody tries to break in through the windows. Window security films can be found online on Amazon, like this window security film.

The film is very easy to apply to each window and will slow down anyone trying to break in. It is a 4-mil transparent film that will in no way block your view as it is practically invisible. The film is also capable of blocking 99% of the UV rays, too.

What happens is the film will keep the glass from completely shattering and falling apart if somebody tries to break it. This makes it very hard for somebody to enter through the glass door. Not impossible, just a lot more time-consuming and laborious.


Window Alarm

Window Alarm

Excellent window alarms can be found on Amazon, like this one by EVA LOGIK.

It is a very inexpensive alarm that will provide extra security to your home. It is placed directly on the window, and when it detects an impact or vibration on the glass, it will sound an alarm.


Motion Detector

Motion Detector

The last line of defense is to have a motion detector installed in the rooms where the sliding doors are located. If everything else fails, a motion detector will be able to detect any movement in the room.

There are great and inexpensive solutions that can be found on Amazon, like this home security motion sensor, which is also very versatile.


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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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