Are bifold doors secure, and what locking system do they use?
Bifold doors have become a trendy choice for homeowners who want to install something other than traditional sliding doors or French doors.
They come in different sizes and are available in a wide range of attractive finishes.
But how secure are bifold doors?
In the past, due to their slightly complicated mechanisms, people have wondered if bifolds are secure.
However, these versatile doors have seen a lot of design improvements over the past few years and offer great safety features, making them the perfect choice for an internal or external door.
Why Choose A Bifold Door and Are They Secure?
Bifold doors are perfect for areas where you want an almost seamless flow between different spaces in your home.
Multiple styles and bifold door panel configurations allow abundant fresh air and sunlight to flood your living areas.
They provide homeowners with a bigger living space to access and enjoy when opened - something that a standard door, some glass sliding doors, or French doors can not always offer.
They are durable, easy to maintain, space-saving, and increase the value of your home.
Aluminium bifold doors are exceptionally secure, with most of them having a built-in multi-lock system, providing your home with an impenetrable safety barrier.
Selecting A Secure Bifold Door
Bifold doors are sturdy and boast an array of safety features, making them an excellent choice for installation.
Despite concern that they can be prone to break-ins, because of their multiple frames and glass panels, they are strong and can be an invaluable addition to your home's security arsenal.
Your first choice should always be fitting bifold doors made from tough, sturdy, and long-lasting materials.
They have a high-quality lock system, and adding other enhancements, such as a screen and a sturdy handle, boosts your home's safety even further.
Types Of Bifold Doors
Burglars tend to target homes with flimsy, easy-to-break doors, so always install a strong and safe door.
Modern bifold doors also come in various finishes and materials, making them a perfect addition to any home's design style. They also come with a multipoint locking system that keeps your bifold doors secure.
Wooden bifold doors
A wooden door adds a warm, natural feel to your home's aesthetic and is durable, strong, and functional. They are often relatively heavy but affordable and provide excellent sound absorption.
If installed as an external door, choose a hardwood option like oak that will withstand various weather conditions.
Because of their exposure to different weather conditions, external doors are prone to rotting and warping which could impact the effectiveness of locks, so keep in mind that you will have to clean and maintain your wooden door regularly.
Aluminium bifold doors
Aluminium doors are lightweight and durable and will be a great addition to a more stylish, contemporary home.
Aluminium frames are strong and can easily hold heavy sheets of toughened glass while still offering a lot of movability, durability, and safety. They are low-maintenance, have a lifespan of up to 45 years, and can be recycled.
UPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) bifold doors
uPVC doors are flexible and long-lasting and will look great in any traditional or modern home.
uPVC doors are more affordable than aluminium doors and tend to have thicker frames to hold their thick tempered glass sheets in place.
They offer great thermal efficiency, keeping heat inside and cold outside. They're the most cost-effective option and are simple to maintain.
Composite bifold doors
A composite bifold door offers the best of both worlds!
Composite doors, a combination of wood and aluminium, boost your home's thermal efficiency and are strong and durable.
The aluminium on the outside is weather-resistant. It offers protection from the natural elements, while the wooden part on the inside can be painted or customised to fit your home's indoor style.
Bifold Door Security
After deciding on what type of bifold door to install, the next step will be to choose your desired bi-fold door security features.
With their trademark strong frames, innovative in-built locking system and thickened safety glass panes, external bifold doors secure your home and keep burglars where they belong - on the outside!
Some of their unique, built-in safety features include:
Multipoint locking system
The multipoint locking system ensures that the top and bottom of the frame are locked into place, making it impossible for an intruder to enter your home.
This multipoint locking system offers up to five times more security than a standard lock.
Bifold doors also have an in-line tracking system, which attaches the door to its bottom track (made of hardened steel), making it difficult to lift from its frame.
When it comes to bifold doors, the more locking points you have, the more secure the door will be.
You can opt for one or more of the following locking systems:
- Twin-point locks are the most widely used option. These locks are easy to use, and because their locking system is housed along the centre of the frame, they allow lock points along the top and bottom to engage with the frame.
- Euro cylinder locks are standard on uPVC doors. The barrel on a euro cylinder lock pulls away from the door and requires the handle to be turned up to lock the door. Though not very common on wooden bifold doors, euro cylinder locks can easily be installed by a local locksmith for added security.
- Drop bolts are built into the top and bottom of the frame. When locked, these bolts engage with the door frame, acting as a secondary locking system to provide maximum security.
- Deadbolt locks are standard in most bifold doors and operate with a key or a built-in twisting locking mechanism. The more deadbolts present, the stronger and more secure the door.
Bifold doors make use of thick, fortified glass panels.
Thicker and more robust than standard glass, these glass panels add a further layer of strength and safety.
The toughened glass is five times stronger than normal glass and, due to its thermal insulation properties, also helps reduce energy bills.
Here, you have the following options to choose from:
- Glazing refers to the number of glass sheets that are inserted into the frame. Doors with double glazing will have two glass panels with a thin insulating layer in between. Doors with triple glazing will have three glass sheets wedged into the frame. The more glass panels installed in the frame, the better your door will withstand heavy impacts. Whether you decide on double glazing or even triple glazing, you can be assured that these are significant safety barriers.
- Laminated glass is produced using high heat and pressure, inserting a thin layer of plastic between two glass sheets. Though less impact-resistant than other thicker glass sheets, laminated glass provides extra safety, preventing glass sheets from shattering when broken.
How Can I Make My Bifold Door More Secure?
Every homeowner desires to make their home completely burglar-proof.
You can further secure bifold doors by installing or adding the following features:
Install anti-snap locks
Upgrading to an anti-snap locking system is one of the best choices.
Burglars break through doors by lock snapping.
Anti-snap locks snap or break on a specific line, preserving the door's internal locking mechanism.
Install anti-pick cylinders
These anti-break-in mechanisms are commonly found on uPVC doors. It's suggested that you install anti-pick cylinders on external doors or doors accessible from the outside.
Burglars can gain entry to your home by drilling out the cylinder in a lock, but having an anti-pick cylinder installed makes the lock impossible to pick.
Check for internal beading
Check and ensure that your bifold door's beading is located on the inside of the frame.
Internally beaded frames hold the glass in place. If internal, the beading cannot be accessed from the outside, which makes it difficult for the glass to be removed from the frame.
Install a strong door handle
Burglars take advantage of weak door handles to gain access to your home. Having a strong, high-quality handle is one of the most important aspects of increasing the security of your external bifold doors.
Choose laminated glass
Laminated glass contains a thin film of vinyl (wedged between the glass sheets), making it more resistant to breaking.
Laminated glass makes external bifold doors resistant to heavy impacts and challenging to cut with a glass cutter.
It also prevents the glass sheets from shattering into pieces, reducing the risk of injury.
How Can I Make My Bifold Door Even More Secure?
Install security screens
Another attractive solution is to attach mesh screens to the inside or outside of the door. These help with airflow while keeping out bugs and critters. Security screens also serve as an additional security measure.
Install blinds and shutters
Installing curtains, blinds or shutters is one of the easiest ways to increase security in your home, no matter the size of your bifolds.
These non-permanent barriers obscure the view from the outside and can conceal valuables from burglars' eyes, reducing the chances of your home becoming a target for thieves.
Install an alarm system
Homeowners can also install alarm systems that trigger when the door is tampered with.
Home security systems have seen a lot of improvement over recent years, with some allowing you to monitor your home via a phone app when you are out or on holiday.
You can see our guide on the best window and door security systems to increase the level of protection for your home.
Install security cameras or a home security system
For added security, you can also install security cameras or a home security system.
This not only provides an additional barrier of safety for your newly installed doors but also helps you keep an eye on other entrances.
Security cameras can alert you when an uninvited guest tries to enter your home.
Install childproof locks
Parents can't always keep their eyes on their kids and having child-safe locks or brackets on your bifold door will help prevent serious injuries.
Many modern bifold doors are designed with an embedded finger-safe gasket that will help cushion fingers when caught in the frame. This makes such an accident less painful and prevents serious injuries.
Some childproof locks are designed to be easy for adults to unlock but impossible for small children to open.
Investing in a good childproof lock will not just keep their tiny fingers out of harm's way but also ensure that intruders can enter your home if the door is accidentally left open and unlocked.
Are bifold doors weatherproof?
Yes, they are just as good as other doors at keeping your home warm and insulated. Bifold doors sit lower in the frame than other doors, leaving less room at the bottom for cold air to seep into your home.
Are bifold doors soundproof?
Yes, they offer a good amount of soundproofing. Because of their sturdy design, heavy frames, and thick glass panels, they block out a good amount of noise.
How long do bifold doors last?
Bifold doors are made of high-quality and long-lasting materials. Aluminium doors have a life expectancy of up to 45 years. uPVC doors will last you 25 to 35 years, while wooden doors, if properly maintained could last you decades.
This is a common comparison when putting aluminium bifolds and uPVC bifolds against each other, as homeowners will want the best material possible for a bi-folding door.
A composite bifold door combines the best features of wood and aluminium and can last for years if well-maintained.
A bifold door is an excellent option when installing a new door at your home.
With their durable and strong frames and fortified glass, they are guaranteed to keep your home secure.
Secure your home by taking advantage of their built-in multi-lock and in-line tracking systems, creating an impenetrable barrier between you and the outside world.
They're also sold with a unique range of locks which are designed to keep burglars at bay.
And by installing the additional affordable security features mentioned above, you can enhance your home's safety even further.