Almost every home has at least one cabinet that needs to be locked. The decision about what type of lock to be used depends on a few variables. How old is your child now? How long do you plan on living in the residence (about how old will your child then be at the projected move date?) How dangerous are the contents in the cabinets? How heavy are the contents of the drawer? Are you afraid of fingers being pinched? How many extra steps are you willing to go through in order to gain access to the contents of the cabinet? The answers to these questions are best given in the description of the two types of cabinet and drawer locks:
Simple Cabinet Locks
Simple locks first. Although there are many types of this lock available, they all operate on the same principle.
The baby opens the door/drawer and the lock hooks onto either the frame or an installed piece on the cabinet frame and stops the drawer. At this point, hopefully the baby releases the door/drawer and returns to a less dangerous area in the home. For lack of a better term, we will call these MANUAL RELEASE LOCKS.
Inexpensive to purchase and install, these locks are recommended for the very young child. Preferably under 18 months. It is on, or around, that time when a child has the physical and mental dexterity to manually release this type of lock on his own.
In order to give adults enough room to release this lock, a space is created large enough for a child to insert his fingers as well. This lock should be avoided on particularly heavy drawers or where finger pinching is a concern.
We have also noticed a higher “breakage/failure” of these types of locks. Due to heavy handed husbands, help, and older children.
Magnetic Tot Locks
When a child tries to open a cabinet door/drawer there is no opening whatsoever. The adult must then place the magnetic “key” to the outside of the cabinet door/drawer on the opposite side of lock. The magnetic key then sticks to the cabinet face and magnetically releases the interior catch. At this point the adult is then able to open and close the drawer/door at will. Once the magnetic key is removed the cabinet door will then be locked again upon next closing. An option that makes the tot lock especially attractive to many clients is the ability to disable the lock temporarily with the flip of a switch.