How secure are bifold doors?
October 14, 2021

You may be wondering just how secure external bifold doors are? Many homeowners might be under the impression that external bifold doors are not as safe, secure or as weatherproof as more conventional sliding doors or french doors. This is, however, untrue. If you buy from a reputable company, install them properly and take the right precautions, bifold doors can be an incredibly secure option for your home.

Bifold doors have become incredibly popular of late as doors leading from your kitchen and/or living room into the garden. This is because they are aesthetically pleasing, bring a great deal of natural light and warmth into any room and are energy-efficient and space-saving.

However, many people also assume that they are magnets for thieves, which is not true at all. It might be true that thieves occasionally target conservatories because they are often less secure or more poorly constructed than the rest of the house, but bi-fold doors security generally makes them a lot harder to break into than typical patio doors, french doors or sliding doors.

Many bi-fold doors will come with a multi-point locking system.

Let’s look at materials and protection

The most common external bifold door materials are wood, aluminium and UPVC with double-glazed glass panels. UPVC is a lot cheaper and requires less maintenance, but wood and aluminium bifold doors can be more durable and long-lasting.

Timber and oak frames are quite popular because they look more ‘substantial’ and, whilst they require a little more care and attention, hardwood is a proven material when it comes to keeping the elements at bay. You might even opt for engineered wood, which is, as the name suggests, a wood developed specifically for durability. 

If your home is located in an area that’s often subject to more harsh weather conditions, you might want to consider going with aluminium construction. This might set you back a little more, and might not have the same ‘organic’ look like wood, but it can be more defensive against harsh elements. You can also have internal bifold doors within your home if you are looking to have the option to join two rooms.

internal bifold doors

Bifold door security and anti-theft measures

Most external bifold doors come with a multi-point locking system as standard, which means it is, by definition, more secure than a standard door, which will typically only have one main locking mechanism that can be drilled out or kicked in with little effort.

Bifold doors also come with double glazing and toughened safety glass so that any would-be intruders would need to physically lift the doors out of their tracks to break in and enter. This makes it incredibly difficult for anyone to break into your home through a bifold door. Bifold doors are very secure but if you wish to take extra precautions here are a few more options.

Bifold door alarms

It’s true that alarm systems can be unruly, but they can be a necessary security measure if you really want to keep your home secure. You can also now purchase alarms that can be synced up with your computer, smartphone or tablet, so you will always be able to keep an eye on your home, even when you’re not home yourself.

If you don’t want to go to the expense of installing an alarm system, some homeowners install fake alarms, that can dissuade thieves. 

Bifold door security screens

If you don’t want to go all-out with a home security system, however, you could instead opt to install an extra security screen. It might not look that beautiful and elegant, but they are a great way to maintain a certain level of security in the summer months when you’d prefer to leave your patio doors open, but still want to be protected. 

Bifold door locks

Whilst the multi-point locking system in your external bifold doors should be sufficient for most homes, if you are particularly wary about security then you might want to install an additional lock. The following types of locks are just a selection of the locks you could consider to either act alongside your multipoint locking system or on top of it.

Of course, the doors themselves need to be secure, but they also need to be easily opened by you and your family, so you will definitely want to consider extra security for bifold doors by choosing a good lock.

Twinpoint lock

This lock includes a handle that operates from the top and bottom of the lead door and can secure it in one movement. This is maybe the most attractive lock too, as it will come with the widest selection of styles and finishes.

Dropbolt/Deadbolt lock

These are generally secured by a key or twisting locking mechanism, but for added security, you’ll obviously want a key. They can be installed pretty easily, and are notoriously super secure.

Childproof locks 

Moving past potential break-ins for a second, another reason you might want to keep your external bifold doors secure is if you have small children, especially if they happen to be keen explorers. These locks are designed to be easy for adults to unlock but difficult for children and can range from simple zip-tie locks to more substantial locks that slip over the top of your bifold doors.

Key locks 

 Keyed locks and even padlocks are a good idea to create maximum security in the home, especially if your bifold doors are being used as conservatory doors or patio doors, so are direct access points to your home.

Hopefully, this has reassured you about the safety of external bifold doors.

How to lock bifold doors

Locking the bifold door itself is simple. The first step is to engage the locking points by making sure the handle is lifted. Next, simply turn the key or thumb turn and the different points of the multipoint locking system will move into place. As long as the door is aligned properly, this will provide a secure closure that’s extremely difficult to open without a key. 

Bifold doors are perhaps one of the safest ways of keeping the rear of your home secure, and as an added bonus, they look great and could have some significant value to your home, especially if it’s an older home that requires some modernisation.

If you have extra concerns regarding security, remember you could also consider installing a home security system. Though, in our experience, unless you live in an area with a particularly high crime rate, these can prove more of a hindrance than anything else.

Whatever you decide, we hope we’ve managed to convince you that bifold doors can offer you the home security you are looking for.

Why is quality so important?

Bi-fold doors are designed to replace a large section of wall in your home. If the doors are of poor quality, they could:

  • Let in draughts and rainwater because they aren’t sufficiently watertight or airtight
  • Make your home less energy efficient (and increase your heating bills)
  • Wear more quickly, and break down or suffer damage as a result
  • Put the security of your home at risk
  • Negatively affect your home’s full look and aesthetics

What’s the difference between high-quality and low-quality bi-fold doors?

The main differences are as follows:

  • High-quality bi-fold doors will exceed basic manufacturing standards. Low-quality doors will, at best, only meet them.
  • With high-quality doors, every component (including handles and hinges) combines to make a set of doors that performs far better, for much longer.
  • Low-quality or medium-quality doors tend to be more difficult to operate due to their poorer‑quality components and substandard specification.
  • High-quality doors usually come with a longer manufacturer’s guarantee.

High Quality Security

UK building regulations say that any bi-fold doors installed as part of a project being built from the ground up -so new-build properties or extensions to existing homes—must conform to PAS 24 standards.

To keep your home secure, we recommend that you only use products that have passed PAS 24 testing, even if you’re only replacing existing doors. Also look for features such as:

  • Multipoint locking systems—3-point or 5-point are standard (although Origin doors have a unique 8-point system to enhance security)
  • Kitemarked locks, with security cylinders proven to guard against snapping, picking, drilling and bumping
  • Secure hinges
  • Heavy-duty handles
  • Toughened safety glass

How Bifold doors compare to other types

  Bifold Doors French Doors Sliding Doors
Aesthetic Modern and elegant Classic and sophisticated Practical but not  as attractive
Materials Wood / Aluminium /uPVC Wood / Aluminium Steel / Fiberglass / Vinyl / Aluminium
Security High security Moderate security Low Security
Cost Higher cost Mid-range cost Lower cost

Conclusion 

Bifold doors are a more secure and attractive alternative to French or sliding doors. They are tough, elegant and are undeniably a more modern solution that can raise the value of your property. We have a wide range of external bifold doors. They’re a fantastic addition to any home, so why not get in touch and contact us today.

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