Bathroom locks are essential in any home, whether it’s only two people that live there, or it’s a house share of 8 people. It’s not often that you think about the lock on your bathroom door, but it is something that needs some thought. The purpose of a bathroom door lock isn’t to keep out a burglar, but to stop people accidentally walking in when you are indisposed. However, seeing as the bathroom can be one of the most likely places for you to injure yourself, you should think about installing one that can be easily opened from the outside. Having said that, there are still the following security considerations to think about when buying a lock for your bathroom.
1. How much security do you actually need?
The main purpose of a bathroom door lock is to maintain privacy, not to actually provide actual security. The difference between getting a bathroom door lock and a front door lock is that with a lock for the bathroom, you do not have to think about how safe you will be behind the door. Most internal doors have a hollow core, meaning they can be easily kicked down, regardless of what lock is on there. So your main thoughts should be on how much privacy you actually need.
The answer to that really depends on your home situation. If you have young children, you may want to get a lock that is not easy to use, meaning they cannot lock themselves in and you can supervise them easily. If this is the case then you may not want a lock at all. A discreet lock would also work if you have children and still desire a level of privacy. A small lock installed out of a child’s reach is a good solution to the privacy vs safety issue. However if you live with several house mates, you may want a sturdy lock attached to the door, to stop someone walking in without knocking first. So you will want a lock that stops the door from opening when locked from the inside.
2. What would happen in an emergency?
It’s well known that you are more likely to injure yourself in the bathroom than in any other room in your house. This is because you are more likely to be in the bathroom if you are unwell; there is the risk of falling on wet floors or fainting from the heat of your shower. What we are trying to say is, even though you mainly want privacy in the bathroom, there may be some occurrences when someone needs to bypass the security to get to you. This means it’s extremely important to have kind of emergency entry method built in to the bathroom door lock.
As we mentioned before it probably wouldn’t be difficult to kick down a bathroom door, but this is not always advisable and could cause more injury to the person on the other side. So you need to have an emergency entry plan that doesn’t require that amount of force. So whichever lock you buy for you bathroom door, it may be the case that it needs to be unlockable from the outside.
The easier it is to bypass the bathroom door lock the better. In a real emergency situation, you are likely to be in emotional distress, meaning the simpler the bypassing technique the better. It’s advisable to practice before hand, and if you are finding it too difficult to bypass the lock from the outside then you may need to consider getting a different one. It is also a good idea to have a tool you use to specifically open the bathroom door from the outside and know where it is at all times. For example if you use a flathead screw driver then it’s likely to be moved around, and you may not be able to find it quickly when needed. So make sure you have a specific bypass tool that doesn’t move or know that you will have easy access to it when needed. If you have more than one bathroom in your home then it is best to have the same lock installed on all doors, meaning that you only need one bypass method to get in to all the bathrooms.
3. Can everyone use it easily?
Another important factor for choosing a bathroom door lock is the ease of use for everyone who lives in your house. If you are elderly or live with someone who is, or someone in your home has physical disabilities, then it is very important that the lock is simple enough for them to use. Everyone needs to feel like they have some privacy in the bathroom, and installing a lock that’s easy to use can ensure that happens.
If a bathroom door lock is tricky to open, then it’s possible for someone to get locked inside. This is especially true for those who find physical task difficult, so it’s advisable to use only standard locks on your bathroom doors. However if you or someone you live with struggles with standard locks, then there is the option to install what’s call an ‘indicator bolt’. An Indicator Bolt has large handles either side, meaning it’s easy to lock and unlock.
4. What’s the bottom line?
So when it comes to purchasing a bathroom door, you need to consider the safety implications rather than the security ones. A bathroom door lock is there to stop someone walking in when you are using the bathroom, not protect you from an intruder. One of the most important things you need to consider when installing your bathroom lock is how you would bypass it in an emergency.