When you have an external glass panel door it may be simple for a criminal to break a pane of glass to access the handle and lock inside.

Glass panel door

What types of locks are appropriate to install on a door of this type? I think a deadbolt of some type should always be installed, but I've seen what I think are "rim locks" installed some places which I don't think are secure.

  • locks aside, you want lexan on the bottom-corner pane and an alarm on the door itself.
    – dandavis
    Feb 5, 2018 at 23:43

3 Answers 3


An ordinary door lock. Double cylinder deadbolts, which require a key from either side, are in violation of the fire code many places. It isn't a good risk trade off even if they are legal, especially considering you could change to a solid door in areas at a higher risk for crime.

Apparently, they do make key capture deadbolts which prevent removing the from the inside of a locked door. When you're away from home it will prevent burglars which are too stupid or lazy to smash a window instead.

  • Another option, instead of the double cylinder deadbolt, would be a floor surface bolt that mounts to the bottom of the door, out of reach from the outside, but easy to disengage from inside, though esthetics may be questionable.
    – Gabe Evans
    Feb 5, 2018 at 19:07

Install a double-keyed deadbolt if you're worried about someone breaking the glass and reaching in to unlock the door from the inside. Double-keyed means that you have a lock cylinder on both sides of the door.

The downside is that if the deadbolt is locked, you still need to have a key to egress in case of emergency. If you leave a spare key in the lock it defeats the purpose, so I've seen people attach a spare key to the door hanging from a piece of string long enough to operate the deadbolt. An intruder wouldn't know to look for a key on the string as long as they didn't have past knowledge of your setup, but you can keep it on a table out of reach too.

The best solution is to have a double-keyed electronic deadbolt, so if you need to exit you can punch a 4 digit code into a digital keypad. Worst case you could just jump out a window if the lock fails.

Another solution is to install security film to the glass, which also gets glued to the wood frame surrounding the glass. This clear film is difficult to cut through, so even though the glass would break it would hold the glass together similar to how security glass with wire in it works.

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  • there's no way I would want to fumble with a PIN in the dark/smoke/confusion/panic/etc. that's probably illegal in commercial, for a reason...
    – dandavis
    Feb 5, 2018 at 23:32

I installed a Double Cylinder Deadbolt last week on door just like the one you reference that was keyed on both sides. Instead of a manual throw knob it requires a key to actuate the dead bolt from either side so it can not be opened from the inside without a key.

The question of whether or not it safe in the event of a fire or earthquake is a serious concern and

i can not speak to its legality or code compliance.

Are Double-Keyed Deadbolt Locks Safe

You should check with your municipality for code and laws.

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