Suggestions for rigging the front door?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by daralex, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I posted earlier that difficult child took off last night at 1:30am to meet "friends" - does any one have suggestions as to how to rig front and back doors so they will sound off if she tries to get out again while we're sleeping? Both bedrooms are upstairs and no way for us to hear the door opening at night. Or do I have to sleep on the couch for the next 4 years and stand guard?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Rigging the front and back door will only mean that she will use windows for egress and entry. Sorry. been there done that. Installing a full security system for all windows and doors sometimes works BUT a number of the feistier difficult children have just headed out and left the alarm ringing in their wake.

    I don't envy you. That part of GFGteendom is beyond difficult and there is no simple answer. Sending hugs. DDD
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I believe Radio Shack has inexpensive door alarms that you can put in yourself.

    Yep - I checked their site. $10 and they look pretty idiot-proof (a big plus in my book, LOL) in terms of installation - no wires.

    I'm so incredibly sorry she's doing this - a gentle hug to you.
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    People "bell" the cat, why not "bell" the door.

    Just hand sleighbells from the door frame down about 3 or 4 inches down the door and when she opens it they'll jingle.

    OR they'll jingle when she comes back in.

    Or insert a sattelite chip under her skin.

    Or dead bolt the door AFTER she sneaks out.

    I guess it's been a bit of a day. Sorry!

  5. Jena

    Jena New Member


    im sorry adn on you shouldnt' have to sit or rather sleep on couch to stay guard...

    i agree with radio shack my little brother is actually into this sort of thing he rigs alarms all over my parents house just because he likes too....

    anyway you can rig door very inexpensively now granted she may run and alarms may still go off but at least youll know.

    hey how about this idea a freind of mine did once. you put a lock in door now bare with me it's alittle weird and probaby a fire hazard there are locked you can buy that actually you can lock door from within with key a bit scarey but only way anyone can get out is by using key. then she' d have no way out at all

    good luck, just a thought scarey i know if you lost both keys no one would be able to leave yet maybe you could make keys for everyone but her.

  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I posted to your earlier post and also recommended the radio shack bedroom door and window alarms.

    Please dont' think about what Jen's friend did. Not only is a fire hazard, but I believe it is against the law.

  7. WiscKaren

    WiscKaren New Member

    I really have no advice, as I became a "couch sleeper" the last 3-5 years that GFGson was home -- except when he was in jail (then I could sleep in my room peacefully).

    I just want you to know I'm thinking of you.
  8. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    nvts..."Or dead bolt the door AFTER she sneaks out.".....LOL....never happened to me, but for "some" reason I suggested it to my parents for my 5 siblings that liked to get out! Not the greatest idea from me.....guess which bedroom window they would bang on in the middle of the night!? ~mine, until I moved out & then they worked the system amongst themselves. :redface:

    As far as the keyed lock.....all of our doors have them, they were here when we moved in & it freaked me out. BUT, we never changed them...made extra keys.....put them in special hiding places & keep one hanging inside each lock at all times. I haven't had to worry about anyone sneaking out, it's never been an issue. As far as them being illegal.....:embarrassed:oh no....guess I need to check into that!!!!!! And.....yes, a fire hazzard....but we "felt" we had it covered. Suppose not.....not a great idea, but would work for doors & doors only. Windows would come next.

    Well, now I'm thinking the couch sleeper idea is the way to go unless you are willing to listen to a house alarm going off. Kind of a $$$$$ investment, but has multiple positives!
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I guess I would alarm the exteriors her bedroom door and window. Tell her that when you go to bed, she's in her own bed for the night. You can buy a couple of cheap door/window alarms at Radio Shack or most any hardware store.
  10. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    The alarms at radio shack could work but I think you can turn them off if you are old enough and smart enough. I believe a teenager could do it. If they didn't know it was there it would scare the heck out of them the first time though!!
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've had my share of nights on the couch too. difficult child snuck out so many times and the funny thing is she always took a screen out of a window and went that way instead of through the door.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this. In all honesty I was resigned to sleep on the couch for as long as I had to. I was also totally prepared to call the police when she snuck out.

  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The best preventive is the one you can instil within her, herself. But it sounds like THAT one isn't working, so here are some suggestions.

    1) We have large wind-chimes which take too many hands to silence, but which 'bong' loudly when either door is opened. They are INSIDE the front door, to one side. You can't manage the door, AND silence the wind chimes.

    2) Instal the alarms, but with a SILENT alarm that alerts only in your room. Make sure the security box is also in your room (or at least, an over-ride box). That way you will catch her in the act every time, you will get woken and she won't know why (which slows down her learning of a new way to try to out-fox you).

    If you combine both these methods or use another noisemaker, she will take even longer to cotton on to a silent alarm.

    And I would put sensor pads in both doors as well as her bedroom window and pressure pad outside her bedroom door. Also with silent alarms.
    With the window - you would need to set the sensor so she can open her window far enough to get some air, but no further (not far enough to climb out, for example).

    It's fairly easy to do this sort of thing - an Aspie friend of difficult child 3's from a year ago made his own alarm for his bedroom door, with the sound being provided by the chip from a singing birthday card. You could do it with a pressure switch under a mat, or easier still, an invisible light beam.

    But if you're going that far, I'd be looking at also installing a hidden camera, transmitting remotely to a recorder in your room. Be careful to not infringe on her privacy (no filming where she regularly gets undressed, for example). This would be much more legal than deadlocking doors.

  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That's why you put it on the outside of their door and window instead of on the inside and only turn it on after they have gone to bed. You don't get into trouble for locking them in their room because they can't get out in case of emergency, and they won't even get up to go to the bathroom because they know it will set off the alarm and get you up and checking on them.:redface:
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

  15. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    thanks for all the great suggestions! Ifeel like Rambo going in for the kill!:sword:
    I know it all has to be done (and soon!!) There is still a part of me that is blowna way by the fact I have to booby-trap my own house. as it is we have to lock everything up in our room (cigarettes, car keys, etc) I feel like I'm on lockdown too!!:not_fair:

    Off I go to measure the doors!
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Actually, I'm amazed that locking things up in a room works in your house. I tried it at ours and difficult child broke in the lock, so I changed it to an exterior kind that can only be locked and unlocked with a key. He took the door off the hinges and the door trim off. So,, now, if he's not in a stable period, it either gets locked up in the car or I sleep with it on my person.

    I'm following your post so I'll have some ideas to try when we move to the "how do I lock him in safely" stage!!
  17. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I am fortunate (OK if you say so!) to be at home with her this year so there aren't many times that she has an opportunity to break into anything as I am standing over her most of the day. We are moving in a few months and I will have to be back at work again - I'm horrified by the thought of not being home when she is. I guess I'm not dealing with that in my head yet, as it is all too overwhelming. Just the thought of her being back in school is enough tomake me shudder in a corner, the phone calls from school will start again, I'll lose anther job and have to consider care/school in an alternative setting ughghghghghg!!!!!!! You'll be the first to know when we get to the how do I lock difficult child up safely mode. Thanks!!!
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about this thread and thought I would share a couple of thoughts from the been there done that days. I do not know your daughters issues so
    my family experiences may be irrelevant.

    Trying to be a good parent I sent our teen to two substance abuse residential programs. Both had family group night. One of the topics that came come up regularly was "nighttime escapes". The parents would share in anguish/frustration/disgust or fear how hard they tried
    to keep their teens home and safe. More than one family "nailed the windows shut", used door alarms AND slept on sofas. Rarely did they
    have success because the teen felt "challenged" and their friends were
    amused etc. and "aided and abeted".

    The only successful family that I personally knew had a full security alarm system installed and connected to notify the police. Their child
    was never told that he was the object. They simply said that they
    had security concerns and since they "sometimes" had valuables at home ("and it was income tax deductible") they felt it best. Nice touch.

    The other boys really sympathized with that kid because "his" parents
    "had money". LOL DDD
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    DDD...the first thing I thought of too was those commercials for the security systems. If they can be armed to notify the cops/fire dept/whomever that something is going on even when you arent home...well they should be able to keep your house secure.

    I can just imagine my horror as a teen if I had been sneaking out my bedroom window and suddenly sirens went off and my father leaped from the bed!

    I just wish this was something I could have afforded when mine was a teen.
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The problems with those alarm systems - you need to double-check, at time of sales pitch, that they will be able to properly monitor what you want monitored, but still leave you some freedom of movement while you are at home.

    We had the sales people at our place not long after we'd been burgled (twice - and once we were home at the time) and the alarm system would have been no good for the burglary when we were home, and of limited use in the other burglary (all that got stolen that time was a packet of crisps).
    And if you're going to follow DDD's advice (I like it) of 'selling' the idea on the basis of "we need protection from burglars" then the system you instal has to be seen to be effective in those situations.

    I think the one we were being sold was a budget one with a high cost due to the marketing. We would have had huge, ugly line-of-sight beam generators installed on feature brick walls and even then this would only have given us limited protection.

    Shop around. Technology has come a long way.