Do You Use The Deadbolt To Lock Your Hotel Room Door?

a hand holding a key to a gold door handle

It’s a simple enough question, but not one I’ve given much thought to. Growing up in New York, I was trained to always have a hand on my wallet and to lock everything. Car, house, bike, if you wanted to keep it, you had better secure it. I took for granted that everyone did this until I read a post by my friend Matthew Klint. Okay, not everyone. My wife obviously grew up in an area she felt was safer and rarely locks her car when it’s in the driveway (and sometimes elsewhere).

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Matthew had someone walk in on his family while they were sleeping in a hotel room. He obviously didn’t have the deadbolt engaged, nor a chain or other secondary locking mechanism.

Lock Your Hotel Room Door

I honestly can’t recall a time where someone ever walked into my hotel room.  I’ve definitely walked into occupied rooms before.  I actually woke someone up after midnight at a random Sheraton last year when I was checking in.  The hotel assigned me an occupied room and the guy wasn’t too pleased when I walked in.  The front desk agent was pretty unfazed by my concern when I came back downstairs.

I’ve been checked into an occupied room more times than I think should be reasonable.  I worked in the hotel industry for many years.  I understand this can happen, but I still marvel at how often it does.  There are plenty of software safeguards to prevent it from happening.  Maybe that’s why I’m vigilant about locking my door.

Barring just plain forgetting, I always engage both the deadbolt and any sort of secondary locking mechanism.  It’s just my habit when I travel.

But, Matthew’s post has me wondering.  I assume I’m in the majority who use the deadbolt and secondary lock on their hotel room door.

Do you use the deadbolt on your hotel room door to lock it?  How about the chain?

The post Do You Use The Deadbolt To Lock Your Hotel Room Door? was published first on Pizza in Motion


  1. Always! I work in Insurance and once had a claim where a man was trying to get into his room upon check-in but the door wouldn’t open. He stuck his hand in to try and get the door open. The woman who was already assigned that room slammed the door on his hand repeatedly.

  2. Yes, at least always when I sleep. We have to hastle with our teenage daughter to lock it behind us if we are going to the lounge or out for a bit. Going to try to be more vigilant about that after all these reminders!

  3. If I could figure a way to do it when I’m out of the room too I would. Biggest issue I have is hotel staff coming in my room. When I’m on road for 5 nights or less and not with family, I don’t need anyone from hotel visiting. I can use towels, clean my own mess and collect trash into correct can.

    So yes. Both, all the time.

  4. I have had two occurrences of people walking into my room. Hey, maybe you were one. Ha.

    One was in Waikiki over 20 years ago. The other was housekeeping at Hilton Austin airport, 5 minutes after I checked in.

    Now, I always secure deadbolt after I enter the room.

  5. For the majority, I always lock the deadbolt, but rarely engage the secondary latch lock on most hotel doors…mainly because I forget I’ve engaged it and almost hit myself with the door while I’m leaving the room in the morning in the dark.

  6. I definitely lock the door. I’ve been in a room twice where someone TRIED to get in. It wasn’t an accident because on both occasions, we confirmed THAT was the room the hotel gave them!! The hotel staff didn’t really care when I explained that I wasn’t too jazzed by it… It must happen quite often.

    I’m also a safety engineer, so I’m probably biased.

  7. Always lock. I once walked into a room just after check in at a Courtyard Hotel. There was an armed secret service agent sitting at the desk. He was working on Dick Cheney’s advance team. He was cool about it but I think I caught him off guard for sure.

  8. I checked into a grand Hotel in Budapest one late afternoon. I was very very weary and the bellman (who insisted on helping me !) noticed my sleepiness. I had just bought a door alarm
    and put it on the inside hotel room door.
    I fell asleep quickly and sure enough the door alarm went crazy with NOISE. I though there must have been a fire. I opened the door and the bellman had this surprised look like, I’ve been caught. If I did not have the alarm he could have gone through my things and I would not have heard him. I must say this was just after fall of communism and the elite expensive hotel did not have the safety bar mentioned.
    Come to think of it, during those communist years I seemed to always get the “special room.”

    Just recently I was going to buy another door alarm, so I ordered one from Amazon. It was horrible not because it was like a children’s toy but because it stunk horribly like some chemical
    smell from the factory. I left it on the window sill for several days thinking we’ll the smell will go away ! Never did and I was packing to leave for Central Europe so I went to Walmart and bought a simple door stop for a dollar or two. Works fine with the more modern doors as an extra layer of security.
    I returned the made in China by children (and who knows what kind of chemical) junk back to Amazon.

  9. I used to not consistently, but in 2011-2012 I spent a bunch of time in Ghana, and the hotel was not very good at ensuring that the room they gave a key to was not already used. I had a number of people traveling with me, get walked in on by folks in the middle of the night. Now I use the deadbolt always, and usually the chain or bar.

  10. I always do… to keep people out and my kids in. And, I always put the “do not disturb” sign out to let people know we’re inside, even when we’re not as a secondary security measure.

  11. Of course we always lock the door using all provided ways of doing so. Latch, deadbold, chain, whatever there is we use it.
    This is something we don’t forget. Hanging the DND sign is something different. In theory, we always hang it outside the door when we are inside … but in practice? Well, when we have breakfast at the hotel then we definitely hang it so it won’t get awkward when returning to the room after breakfast.

  12. Not only do I use both, but I keep the DND sign up at all times unless I need something brought up to the room or I specifically need the room done with 90% of the time I avoid.

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