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I have a sliding door in my bedroom that I would like to put a deadbolt in and have it left open at night to let a breeze in, but I don't want anyone to be able to get in while I'm asleep.

Is there a recommend maximum distance? I know for railings in pool fences and on decks its 4inches or 100mm to stop children getting through, is it the same for security?

  • I'd suggest that your device will not stop a determined person with malicious intent. Just to test this out, I've personally defeated the "piece of wood in the track" option with bent wire. Instead, consider whether they'll be able to defeat the device without waking you. – Matthew Nov 25 '14 at 20:19
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    Install a security gate in front of the door. Then you can leave it all the way open while the security gate is closed. – Piotr Kula Nov 25 '14 at 20:50
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    @Matthew - of course, a determined person with malicious intent wouldn't be stopped by a fully closed sliding glass door either. Sliding glass door locks are notoriously weak (not too mention that they can be difficult to latch, so sometimes are left unlocked unintentionally), and many can easily be lifted out of their tracks. If he hasn't made any particular attempts to secure his door, a deadbolt that keeps the door open a few inches isn't likely to be worse. – Johnny Nov 25 '14 at 22:00
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If its open its going to be easier to break in whether its 1cm or 4inches.

A security gate always did wonders for us in South Africa, pretty sure in many other countries too.

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TIP: When you install the security gate, make sure that it cannot be screwed out from its sockets, form the OUTSIDE. Or tampered with in any other way from the outside.

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Given that some spelunkers (cavers) manage to squeeze through 6-7" cracks, 4" seems about right (and make sure that an arm, perhaps longer than your own, or holding a tool such as @Matthew's wire, can't reach in far enough to defeat the lock - which would be one reason to go even smaller.)

You also need to be careful about creating a trap for yourself - if, in fact, you have some sort of deadbolt on the door, and you wake up to find a fire and a desperate need to leave the room, will you be able to open it, or will you die trying?

An alternate approach might be something like a pressure-pad alarm on the outside of the door.

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I have an aluminum dog door frame that fits from top to bottom and has channels so the door can be locked. One of these could be modified with hardware wire mesh instead of plexiglass.

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