exterior-doors-and-toddler-(physical-security)

Exterior doors and toddler (physical security)

We moved my (2yrs) son’s room to the largest secondary bedroom in our home due to a leak in his old room, deciding to make it a permanent room. The problem is, this room was specifically designed by the builder to be a guest suite, meaning it has its own patio and separate entry from that patio. Our toddler has been able to operate doors since before he could walk, and he’s recently become much more interested in them, having locked me out a couple times when I was grilling by turning the deadbolt. We want to prevent him from getting out and getting hurt, as he can turn the deadbolt. The doors to the patio swing outward, and they are double doors (not French doors), the kind that has a lever and deadbolt on one side and the other side is latched in place by bolts on the top and bottom.l but has no latch. Unfortunately there is a ridge installed on the non-latched door on the interior, I’m assuming to prevent the other door from swinging too far inward and stressing the hinges, and to assist in weather sealing (there is weatherstripping on the other side of this ridge, exterior).

Because of this ridge/doorstop of sorts, no conventional security bolts or such things can be installed on the interior either across both doors (like the types you see in hotel rooms) or between them (like the kinds that swing over). Because they swing outward they could be installed on the outside but this would be prevent us from going out the door, and this would make it a fire safety issue. I tried a sliding bolt, only to find that there is no place to install a strike plate. Then I thought I could improvise and rout out a hole for the bolt to go into, but the bolt is low-profile and there is weatherstripping where it would slide in.

The doors are taller than standard, plus they are heavier. The latched side that we would actually use to go in and out is also difficult to open even for me sometimes because of the way it closes and meets the other door, but our toddler is an escape artist—he’s surprised us many times in what he can do if he puts his mind to it, and we aren’t willing to take chances. The door has an electronic smart lock, but again, it has a deadbolt on the interior, so we also can’t turn it around and reinstall it backwards without completely defeating the point of a door lock.

So, here I am asking for advice. Is there another type of interior door security that would work for this type of double doors that swing out, and wouldn’t compromise weather sealing? My only option as I see it is to replace the door lever with a knob and add a child proof cover onto it, but wanted to see what others thought or if there were other options that I’m just not seeing. I feel as though they didn’t mean for this to be a small child’s room, but there have to be physical security options for this type of door, right?

submitted by /u/the_paradox_lounge
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