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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

5 Security Considerations For Bathroom Door Locks

by Ralph November 15, 2017
Bathroom Door Lock

Bathroom door locks are an important part of your home security. However, most people do not think about what about bathroom door locks mean for your security. When it comes to bathroom door locks, security does not come from strong locks. The lock’s security comes more from insecurity than anything. As you are likely to injure yourself in a room that is often locked, having people be able to get in is how you will stay protected. But there are still certain security considerations that you need to make in order to get the best possible bathroom door locks. It is not just enough to have just any privacy locks. You have to think about how easily the locks can be opened, and how easily you want the lock to be opened. Make sure to consider the following about your bathroom door locks.

1. Level of Preferred Privacy

Bathroom door locks are mainly intended for privacy. The locks on your bathroom doors are not meant to deliver any true security. You should not think of your bathroom door locks in terms of how safe you will be behind them. Chances are your bathroom door has a hollow core, which means the door itself is not built to protect you. Your real concern should be how much privacy you want people using the bathroom to have.

The answer to this is not obvious. You are not the only one who will need the restroom in your home. And you might want to keep young children from being able to limit your ability to supervise them as you go through the steps of educating them on the proper way to behave in a bathroom. This might mean you do not want bathroom door locks at all, but rather just simple door knobs. On the other end of the spectrum, you might have a host of roommates there might be a greater desire for privacy than a more traditional household.

You want to make sure that the level of privacy keeps everyone out in the intended way. Most likely you would want your bathroom door to stay closed during an instance where someone has absent-mindedly tried to open the bathroom door lock. Chances are there will be some type of desired locking capabilities on the bathroom door locks, but such a locking mechanism can be discreet or overt. Discreet locks are perfect for keeping young children from locking themselves in a dangerous part of the house while still allowing the grown ups a level of privacy. In a house full of adults, more obvious and simple to use bathroom door locks are likely preferred to prevent moments of awkwardness.

2. Emergency Entry

It is common knowledge at this point that the bathroom is the most likely place in your home to sustain an injury. You can choose to read more about the specifics on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. But the point is that with injuries to rampant in the bathroom, it is incredibly important to have some form of emergency entry method built into your bathroom door locks.

This is intended to be used by people outside of the bathroom. It may be true that it would require very little to kick down the door to your own bathroom, but this is not always a good idea. In fact, it can be incredibly dangerous to break down a bathroom door or any door in a room where someone may have fallen on the floor. With abrupt forced entry, you risk injuring anyone in the way of the door as it swings open or falls down.

Your form of emergency entry should be nonviolent. It should rely solely on bypassing the locking mechanism so that door handle turns as it would unlock. Even when you are opening a door in this way, it is important to open the door very slowly so that you do not injure anyone resting on the door or in front of the door. Barging into any room or ripping the door open is never a good move during an emergency.

3. Locking Complexity

One of the most important parts of bathroom door locks is making sure that the way to actuate the locking mechanism is simple enough to use for all relevant parties. This type of consideration is especially important if you live with older people or individuals with physical disabilities. It may be safer for everyone to have bathroom door locks that only lock one way. This allows for the bathroom door locks to provide security by preventing anyone on the outside from walking in but will open freely from the inside without having to undo the locking mechanism.

It is possible to get locked inside the bathroom if you find the use of the bathroom door locks at all tricky. This might be a reason not to choose nonstandard bathroom door locks that may not be as intuitive or simple to access. You want bathroom door locks that everyone is going to be able to use effectively. And when it comes to the usage of bathroom door locks, “effectively” means in a way that does not put anyone at risk or overtly into harm’s way. With these considerations, you are meant to be diminishing the exposure to harm.

At the same time, you also want to offer everyone some level of privacy. Everyone should feel somewhat secure. That means that everyone should be able to use the bathroom door locks in a way that does not leave them feeling exposed or anxious. For those with dexterity challenges, small finger turns on door lock handles might be too difficult to use reliably. Something like a push button locking mechanism might be something that would work better.

4. Hardware Longevity

Something that is extremely bad for your safety and security are bathroom door locks that are no longer functioning at 100%. Bathroom door locks need to work reliably. No matter if they are not locking properly or not opening as well as they could be it is best to do something before things go from bad to worse. It is important that you repair locks before things escalate and cause an emergency.

Ways to increase your hardware longevity include maintenance and simply paying attention to issues as they arise. For example, the door latch of your door lock hardware might be sticking. And if you do not understand why this is happening, then how are you supposed to know if it will continue to get worse, solve the issue, or overcome the issue during an emergency?

Hardware that lasts longer uses solid metal components and is easily serviceable. That means that there should not be countless moving internal parts when the bathroom door locks are removed from their respective positions. With solid material, they are less likely to break. And with less moving parts there are fewer things to break in general.

5. Bypass Simplicity

The simplicity of a bathroom door lock bypass is extremely important to its overall security. Too complex, and the bypass will be difficult to pull off successfully during the heightened emotional distress of an emergency situation. But to the same degree, you want a lock that is formidable enough that you are not accidentally bypassing it, and defeating the entire point of the privacy the lock is meant to offer.

Make sure that the bypass is something that you have practiced and feel comfortable performing. If your success with the process is hit or miss, then there is a need for to change your door locks. Make sure that any tools that you need for the bypass are kept on hand or stored close by and reliably. The best thing to do is to have a tool that is intended only to be used to bypass your bathroom door locks.

If the tool you use is something like a flathead screwdriver, you are going to be tempted to use it for other purposes. Using your bypass toll for other purposes is a great way for it to not be around when you need it. And in terms of bypass simplicity, you want to keep your bathroom door locks standard throughout the home. If two bathroom locks need a different bypass method, it increases the chance that you will not be able to open the lock quick enough.


Once you have considered the security of your bathroom door locks, you can rest easy knowing you are better protected. Make sure you are getting your desired level of privacy out of your bathroom locks. Every bathroom lock needs a way for emergency entry. The lock should not be complex so that everyone can use it for both unlocking and locking. Hardware for these locks needs to be sturdy so that the lock is not breaking. The bypass to open the lock must also be simple and reliable to use. When your bathroom door locks have all of these things taken into account, there will be not need to worry about getting people in your home the aid they need during an emergency.

Category: Lock Types, Residential, Safety & Security

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