High Security French Doors
Last Updated March 23rd, 2023
Are Glass Doors A Security Vulnerability?
French doors and all doors with glass have traditionally been viewed as a vulnerable point in the security of a house or commercial property. Even with a secure lock, most glass doors can be breached by shattering one pane of the glass and therefore providing access to the lock’s thumbturn. However, Fortified Estate specializes in discreet security products, including high-security French doors, that repel the highest attack levels. Ballistic glass and steel allow us to offer bulletproof French doors and bulletproof glass doors.
How A Door’s Glass Is Made Secure
Our secure doors often include glass, whether in the form of sidelights, transoms or lites in the door leaf, such as in a French door. Whenever glass is included in the design, the glass is of an equal or higher level of security than the rest of the door. We use three levels of secure glass in a French door:
- P6B attack resistant glass. This glass is rated to stop 50 or more powerful axe strikes from penetrating the window.
- UL Level 3 bullet resistant glass. This glass is rated to stop multiple rounds of the most powerful handguns (.44 Magnum) from penetrating through the French door’s glass.
- UL Level 8 bullet resistant glass. This glass is rated to stop multiple rounds of the most powerful rifles (7.62 mm rounds) from penetrating through the French door’s glass.
How the Frame and Door Leaf Are Secured
The other structural elements of our high security French doors are made from either high-strength steel or bullet resistant steel, depending on the client’s preferences. The security goes much deeper than the material used. Every aspect of the door is expertly engineered for maximum strength, including corrugating the metal layers, lap welding connection points, overlapping the door with the frame, protecting the connection between the frame and the wall, and much more.
Most importantly, our high security French doors – like all our high security doors – are confirmed rated to the most rigorous security standards, including the US Department of State forced entry specifications.
High-Security Front Doors
Ballistic Wall Panels
High-Security French Door Locking
Perhaps the aspect of security most immediately noticeable to our clients when purchasing a high security French door is their all-side vault locking bolts. Depending on the security level, our single French doors generally have 16-20 bolts, and our double French doors 22-30 bolts.
We use either a mechanical or motorized lockset in the French door, both the highest rated security levels for lock and with the beauty that only an Italian engineering firm can provide (Mottura and Fiam, now ISEO). Each bolt is made of hardened steel, is approximately ¾” in thickness, and protrudes out over an inch when locked.
With our mechanical lockset, a single key cylinder let’s you engage or disengage all bolts in one movement. It’s even easier with our motorized lock option, which allows us to include a keypad or fingerprint scanner onto the face of the door, or integrate with the client’s preferred third-party access control device.
Pricing of High Security French Doors
High security doors that include glass, such as French doors, tend to be the most complex and costly to manufacture. Our doors are completely custom to the client’s sizing, design and security desires. However, for estimation purposes, a single high security French door ranges in cost from $11,000-19,000, and a double high security French door ranges in cost from $15,000 to $25,000.
Armored French Door Design Options
Our bulletproof French doors are rigorously secure, yet are carefully designed to blend in with the rest of the home. Each door is custom made to the client’s needs. Common design specifications include:
- Single or double door leaves
- Engineered or solid woods, such as Oak or Alder
- Painting of the door to any of several hundred RAL colors
- Sizing of rails and stiles
- Placement of mullions or muntins
- Door hardware designs and finishes
- Tinting or frosting of glass
- Transoms or sidelights accompanying the French door
Limitations In Design
Though the door is highly customizable, there are some natural limitations due to the physics and engineering of a high security door. Examples include:
- Stile and rail thickness: to securely hold the ballistic glass and high security locking system the perimeter of the door leaf tends to be thicker than a standard French door. When clients are adamant about minimizing this, we will sometimes substitute a thinner lock to accommodate the request.
- Pass-through opening: Our frame is thicker than the average, vulnerable door frame. This means the clearance when the door is opened may be a couple inches narrower than a standard door.
- Hinging: A hinged door provides much more security than a sliding door. Therefore, are doors are always hinged. This allows for more open space, for example allowing a double door to fully open.
- Internal muntins: the nature of ballistic glass makes it unaccommodating to placing muntins inside of the glass. Instead, they are surface mounted. The glass also comes as one big sheet and not as tiny squares.