If you are expecting a child or have one who is becoming mobile–and curious–you may be wondering how to add a closet door lock. Your home is a source of seemingly endless wonders for your toddler, and closets can be especially enticing. Childproofing your home is a must for new parents, and it’s also important in homes with residents dealing with dementia. Thankfully, with a little how-to information you can do it yourself.
Available Lock Options
There are several options available to concerned parents looking to childproof their closet doors. It would be inconvenient to have to use a key every time you want inside of your closets, so none of them actually involve installing a lock system in the door handle itself. Instead, the options include door knob covers, over-door locks, lever handle locks, bi-fold door locks, and flip locks.
Door Knob Covers
These work just as they sound. Essentially, this is a bifurcated plastic cover that snaps into place over a doorknob. A toddler can neither unsnap it nor apply the proper pressure to get the knob to turn. When your child tries, the door knob cover will simply rotate around the knob.
This type of lock is great for closet or other interior doors because it works by slipping onto the top of the door and attaches itself to a pin installed at the top of the door jamb. It is far too high for a child to reach, it can be opened from either side, and it won’t damage the door.
Lever Handle Door Locks
Lever handle locks secure this type of door handle without the need to disassemble any hardware. A plastic sheath fits over the lever handle, requiring a second hand to apply pressure to a switch to release the lock - a difficult task for a little one. A different type of lever handle lock requires the simultaneous motion of pushing down on the lever and sliding the release. This too needs no disassembly, and instead is applied by an adhesive.
Locks for Bi-Fold Doors
Some closets have bi-fold doors that can open by simply pushing on them in the right place. Not only do the closet’s contents then pose a risk, but children’s fingers can get caught in between the panels. A bi-fold lock works like an over-door lock, but differs in that it fits over the door at the folding point. A knob on the lock tightens it into place, thereby preventing the door from being pushed open.
A flip lock sits between the door jamb and the side of the closet door that opens out. A protruding piece of metal on a hinge swings in place over the edge of the door, preventing it from opening. Install this type of door lock with screws on the upper third of the closet door, where children can't reach.
Whatever type of closet doors you have in your home, there is a door lock that will solve your childproofing needs. Due to their affordability, you should be able to secure all of your interior doors for less than $50. If any installation is required, it can be done quickly with a screwdriver or the simple application of an adhesive.