Are you doing some renovations or building a new home? You want to ensure you and your family will be as safe as possible once all is completed. You love your privacy but have heard locks on bedroom doors can be dangerous. Should bedroom doors have locks? We've done some research for you and have the answers.
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Bedroom doors with locks afford privacy to the person in the room. Yes, bedrooms should have locks if desired, but they should not be opened using a key for safety reasons. The only doors in your home that should require a key are doors that lead outdoors.
Though the primary question on whether or not bedrooms doors should have locks has been answered, there are many caveats involved such as lock types and which bedrooms should have locks (or not). Read on to find out more about this topic.
Should All Bedrooms Have Locks?
Many new parents wonder if their children need locks on their bedroom doors. Once your kids are older, they will want privacy, but a locked door could be a safety issue when they're younger. For this reason, consider installing a handle with no lock until your child expresses they want a locking door.
When installing a lock on your child's door, ensure it is a "privacy lock." These locks do not require a key to open and generally allow a way for them to be opened from the outside with minimal effort. This will afford a minor privacy desired but also make access possible in case of an emergency.
What is the Best Lock for a Bedroom Door?
Silver Doorknob With Emergency Key
The product listed below has an emergency key that can be used to unlock the door from the outside in an emergency. The outside knob can also be unlocked with other tools found around the house (coins, flathead screwdriver, etc.) if the emergency key is misplaced. This locking doorknob is a great item to use on any interior lock where privacy would be desired.
Kwikset Bedroom Knob
Here is a knob in a similar style with the emergency key access on the outside. Install this set throughout the bedrooms in your home to coordinate hardware and keep occupants safe and sound. They come in a variety of finishes as well to suit any homeowner's taste.
Copper Creek Push Button Door Lever
For a twist on style, check out lever-shaped doorknobs. This one features a reversible handle to best suit either left-handed or right-handed occupants. It comes with an exterior privacy release.
Do you prefer industrial home decor? Check out our article, "Industrial Home Decor: A Practical Guide."
Why Shouldn't You Use a Lock with a Key on Bedroom Doors?
Bedroom doors that require a key to unlock present a genuine safety hazard. In the event of a fire, a door locked with a key prevents help from getting to the person inside the locked room. If the key can't be found or the person inside the room with the key is incapacitated in an emergency, the only option will be to break the door down, which is harder than it sounds. If the emergency is a fire, these types of locks could prove fatal.
Some communities and properties do not allow interior doors to be locked using a key for these very reasons. It is important to know what your local building codes are and understand your community standards, especially if you rent your home. Don't make any major changes until you are well educated on the subject.
Wondering about must-haves to lock away in your bedroom? Read our article, "What Should You Have in Your Bedroom?"
Keyed Lock Exceptions For Bedrooms
The only exception for having a lock with a key on a bedroom door would be when the homeowner is renting out the room with the lock. With the popularity of Air-B'n'B guestrooms, many homeowners jumped on the bandwagon to bring in extra cash by using that spare room for travelers. Naturally, the guest feels more comfortable being in a room with a key-locked door.
Additionally, if someone has let out the room for an extended period of time, they might wish to have a lock on their own bedroom door and supply one to their roommate so both can ensure their valuables are kept safe during time away from home. Hopefully, you can trust your roommates, but that added security would be a way of putting your mind at ease!
Is It Safe to Lock Your Bedroom Door at Night?
It would be best if you did not lock your bedroom door at night to sleep. If you feel insecure in your home at night, try getting extra locks for the front door. If something should happen to you while you sleep, help will not easily reach you behind a locked door. If there is a fire in your bedroom, and you need to make a quick escape, a locked door will just be another hindrance in your path. Though some might argue it adds more protection should a home invasion occur, a home security system could assuage this fear if you want to keep your bedroom door locked at night.
However, it is important to add that keeping your bedroom door closed at night can keep a fire from spreading into your room. So go ahead and keep the door shut, but not locked.
How Do You Secure a Bedroom Door Without a Lock?
There are several different ways to secure a bedroom door without a lock. The most common method is jamming a chair underneath the knob, so the door cannot swing toward the one opening the door. This method is flawed, however, as most bedroom doors tend to open inward. If one is trying to barricade oneself inside, the chair does make an effective block, but it does not stop the door from being pushed open from the outside.
A door wedge or door stopper is an effective method of securing a door. Just jam the wedge underneath the closed door. This would require quite a bit of strength to dislodge and works well as a deterrent.
Forks can also be fashioned into a makeshift lock for a door, although these won't stand much pressure. The fork does have to be cut into two pieces and can create some sharp edges. This method should only be used in dire circumstances.
Additionally, you can use a portable door lock. Portable door locks are great for those who frequently travel and feel the need for additional security. Most portable locks are simple to use and set up.
You can also install a door barricade, a device that uses the floor's strength to keep out intruders. These are fairly simple to install but do require a few tools and some nails on the floor.
As most people tend to want privacy in their bedrooms, especially when they are getting prepared for the day, it is a good idea for your bedroom doors to have locks. This can be done inexpensively while also keeping security in mind. Always have a plan for an emergency, especially if you have children's rooms with locks. Remind them never to sleep with their door locked. Above all else, stay safe!