Security is a really important thing, especially for your family. You want to know that your family and possessions are safe and secure. But if your family includes a child with Autism, who may be prone to bolt, security takes on a whole new meaning. It's not just about keeping bad elements out of the home, but also keeping your family safe within the home.
We have had problems in the past with our son bolting. The kitchen door is not visible from the living room, and therefore makes it difficult to keep track of his comings and goings when he goes into the kitchen. He can also use the sliding glass door to go in and out, if need be. Whether bolting on us or on the babysitter, it became a problem that needed a solution.
We started with just using the deadbolt, which worked for about two days. Once my son realized that the deadbolt was being used, he would just turn it and he was gone. We also tried using a lock on the storm door, which met with the same level of failure. The problem was the ease of locking and unlocking the door from the inside. It just wasn't going to work.
So, we moved on to a security chain at the top of the door. It was too high for our son to reach, and worked for about a month. Then he started using chairs, boxes, the piano bench, whatever he could find in order to unchain the door and run. And then there was the problem of the chain being used when someone wanted to come in: it ended with a frustrating wait until someone unchained the door. And, not to mention, a problem for entry should there be an emergency. And, there was no way to leave the door open to let in sunlight and fresh air on a nice day and still have it be secure. No, we needed another solution.
Then we found security doors at Lowes for a reasonable price, and I liked the idea. Here was a secure way to let in air, while also locking the door down. My wife's grandfather has similar doors for his home in Southern California, and loves them.
But it wasn't perfect, as we needed some way to secure the deadbolt from the inside. And then we found double cylinder deadbolts, which require a key on both sides to lock and unlock the door. This was ideal, making it a great solution for our family. Not only does it secure from little hands, but anyone with a key can still get in when it's in use.
So, as a test we installed the security door on the most critical entry way, which was the kitchen door. It's worked so well we are already planning on doing the same thing for the kitchen door and the garage door, two additional doors that require security (though the garage door is not as critical). The solution works for our needs, and requires less hardware.
It's an interesting solution, and one that I would recommend for any parent concerned with bolting children. It doesn't take the place of a locator device (either GPS or radio), but it at least adds one more level of peace of mind.