Bedrooms should be the safest and most relaxing places in our homes.
In an ideal world, the idea of preventing someone from unlocking our bedroom door shouldn’t even cross our minds.
But unfortunately some people don’t live in an ideal world.
And for lots of other people, such as college students or hotel guests, their bedroom door may well be their front door.
And so in this article I look at simple and free things to make or cheap gadgets to buy in order to make your bedroom more secure.
And to me it seems as if the sort of people who need to be prevented from opening your bedroom door, are not your stereotypical burglars.
But first, let’s take a look at the types of people and the situations in which you might want to stop people from entering a bedroom.
What types of people would need to prevent someone from unlocking a bedroom door?
- Domestic Abuse
Bedrooms and bathrooms are two rooms in the home that people who are suffering from domestic abuse, might choose to use as a bolt hole or panic room. After all they are the doors in the house that are most likely to have locks and bolts on.
Young people are easy targets because they are likely to have expensive electronic gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles.
Teenagers are notoriously private and hate to have their privacy invaded or their stuff taken by either a parent or a sibling. For many of them, their bedroom is the only space in the whole house that is truly theirs. Their very own castle if you like.
- Airbnb guest
Because of services like Airbnb, there has been a massive increase in the number of people who rent out a bedroom within a private and occupied house. These rooms should be fitted with sturdy locks. If you are worried that they won’t be, read on.
- Hotel/ Bed and Breakfast guests
Rooms in hotels or bedrooms in B&Bs open onto areas accessible to other people. Hopefully, they should come with strong and secure locks that give you peace of mind. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
- Elderly resident of a care home
Residents in care or residential homes have a private bedroom of corridors that can be accessed by other residents or staff members.
- Elderly with health issues
Medication is one of the most commonly stolen items from home. Burglars know that if a sick elderly person lives in the house, there’ll be prescription drugs to steal.
- People who live in single-family detached homes
There’s this notion that apartment buildings are more vulnerable to break-ins, but single-detached homes are common targets because there are more access points for burglars to enter from.
- People who are always away from home
Mail and packages that are piling up indicate that there’s no one at home. This is the kind of indicators that burglars look for. Their chance of success increases when the homeowners are not around.
- People without a home security system in place or people without dogs
Intruders and burglars avoid homes that do not have security cameras, alarms, or dogs. If they see that there is a home security system or a dog that can bark at them, they are likely to move to less secure homes.
How can I make a homemade lock for the bedroom door?
There are quite a few videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to make a homemade door lock for your bedroom door or indeed any other bedroom in the house.
But it seems to me that they are all a variation of one “hack” which is to use use a cutlery fork.
And yes, I am calling it a cutlery fork just in case you confuse it with a garden fork.
And so, here is the original video.
It is a very quick and cheap “hack” to complete because all your need (apart from a cutlery fork) is a pair of pliers to cut the fork and to bend the prongs.
But like all quick fixes, don’t rush it. Take your time and make sure that you don’t end up having to use a second fork.
Not only is this lock quick to make, it is very simple to put in place.
But it also needs to said that this should only be seen as a temporary measure and will not prevent anybody who is willing to use real force to open your bedroom door.
If for some reason, you don’t have a spare fork and you have a glut of cable ties or a shoestring, you might want to try this method.
You will not need a pair of pliers but you will need a screwdriver instead.
How do I prevent credit card door entry?
Using a credit card to unlock the door is an old trick that burglars use even up to this day because it still works.
What happens is that the credit card is inserted in the tiny gap between the door and the door frame where the latch is at. With just some wiggling and pushing, the card can push the latch back into the lock mechanism.
Before you start trying to open a door using a credit card- always think about the damage that you might cause.
And if the damage will cost more to repair than calling out a locksmith.
This short video shows us how it is done.
Don’t you love how naff the last part of the video is?
A smug grin being wiped off the actor’s face because although he has successfully opened his own door with a credit card, it only highlights how poor his lock is in the first place.
The video highlights the fact that not all doors can be broken into using a credit card and I explain what types of doors or door equipment are “credit card” proof.
There are ways to prevent someone from opening your door using a credit card and here are three of them.
- Install a door latch guard. A latch guard is a metal plate that serves as a cover to the strike plate so that the credit card cannot pass through the gap between the door and the jamb and cannot get to the bolt.
- Replace the door frame’s trim. A thicker trim will prevent the credit card from sliding through the gap between the strike plate and the bolt.
- Install a deadbolt. Deadbolts are immune to being opened by credit cards because deadbolts are not “spring loaded” and the bolt cannot be eased back into the door, like a latch can. This deadbolt is very highly rated on Amazon.
How can I make my bedroom door more secure?
There are several ways to make your bedroom door more secure and they are quite easy to do. They are essentially added security measures in case the first line of defense fails.
- Construct an improvised barricade. This works when the door opens inwardly. Use chairs, heavy objects or furniture and stack them against the door.
- Install a door security bar, like this one. This prevents forced entry and works with sliding doors and hinged doors. It basically jams the door handle from the inside of your bedroom door. It’s adjustable so you can prop it under the door knob.
- Install a security lock door barricade, such as this. Moving heavy furniture against the door is a lot of work. A better alternative is a pre-constructed barricade.
- It’s anchored to the floor and uses the strength of the floor to prevent force entry. Even if burglars kick in the door, it would not budge. This works particularly well with double doors.
- Use a door wedge or door stopper. This works for doors that open inwardly. A door stopper is designed to keep the door open, but if it is placed behind the door, it serves as a barricade. Burglars will have a hard time opening the door.
- Use a portable lock door, like this one. If the homemade lock isn’t your jam, you can purchase a ready-made lock that does the same exact thing. It’s more sturdy and fits perfectly.
Is there a way to prevent someone who has a key from getting in?
If you live in a rental, you’re not always in a position to change the door locks. You know that the property manager has a spare key, but you don’t have any idea who else has access to that key.
To prevent someone with a key from getting in your room, you can do the following:
- Install a swing bar door guard, like this one. This serves as your secondary reinforcement door lock. Even if someone has a key, they cannot get in unless he or she destroys the door.
- Use a deadbolt strap, such as this. This doesn’t require any installation. It wraps around your door’s deadbolt and doorknob so it stops the handle from turning. The door remains locked and can only be unlocked when the hook-and-loop strap is removed.