Reverse Privacy Lock Sets to Child Proof

By Todd Fratzel on Doors

picture of privacy door knob setWe have child proofed a couple of doors in our house by simply reversing the privacy lock sets. In particular we have used this method on the door leading to our basement stairs and the utility room in the basement. This is a really simple method to child proof doors without having bulky door knob protectors.

As you can see in the photo I’ve taken a simple privacy lock set (like you’d use on a bathroom or bedroom) and reversed it. I’ve placed the push button lock in the stairwell to the basement. I really have no need to secure the basement side of the door because there are deadbolts lock sets on the basement exterior doors.

picture of door lock setWe just keep one of the safety lock pins sitting on top of the door casing out of the kids reach. The safety pin comes with the door knob sets and it allows you to release the lock. Once the kids are old enough I’ll probably reverse the lock set again so that the door secures from the living space side instead of the stairwell. We also used this method to secure the door from the basement into the utility room (furnace and electric).

So if you’ve got little ones you’d like to keep out of certain closets or rooms you can use a privacy lock to accomplish that.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Anita says:

    This is exactly what we do throughout the house. :) Having the ‘key’ for these doors (we keep them on the trim above each door) is absolutely essential if you do this, for sure.

    One afternoon just after we had installed the lock in reverse on our guest bathroom… Dave and the boys went away and were not due back until nightfall – leaving me with the 3 and 4 year old. I took a quick trip to the restroom while they were peacefully watching television… Or so I thought. Next thing you know – my adorable girls had locked me in the bathroom and were unable (or unwilling) to unlock it. We had forgotten to put the key above the door. Oops. BUT since we were still working there just happened to be a screwdriver in the bathroom cabinet that I used to take the knob apart and escape. Whew!

  2. Jon says:

    So, perhaps you could inform us on the various steps to change which side of the door is for the key, or which side holds the ‘push-button’ …

    without that info, I’m afraid your contribution here is much much less useful that it could be …

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