Risks of Propping Open a Door for Convenient Entry

Propping the door open seems like a good option on the fly, but a little more thought would point out potential dangers. Doors are gateways that let anything in or out of a room. From security to animal infestations, leaving the door open, although convenient, may lead to unexpected results.

Temperature Control

The structure around a building is the envelope. The better seal an envelope has, the more efficient the heating and cooling system. Leaving a door open breaks that seal by letting the outside environment invade the space. In other words, the hot summer air or frigid winter cold enters the temperature-controlled area. To make matters worse, the conditioned air leaves the room and goes outdoors. The job of a thermostat is to regulate the temperature. It doesn’t care if the door is open. It will run the equipment and energy bill up to maintain that environment, so propping the door ends up costing money.

Wildlife, Pets and Insects

Leaving an open door provides a warm, inviting environment for the native wildlife. Once an animal gets in, it is not always easy to get it out. In addition to squirrels, birds, skunks and raccoons, an open door lets in bugs of all types. Cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes enter through the small gap and take up residence in any nook and cranny they find.

For pet owners, what comes in from the outside is not the only consideration. With an open door, the cat, dog or ferret may go out and get lost. And what comes in – like a snake or rabid animal – may present a hazard to a beloved family pet, as well.


The most obvious risk is to security. An open door gives anyone access to a house or business. Someone walking by might decide that door is an invitation to steal or do worse. The open door is not just convenient for the person who propped it.

You should consider hiring a residential or commercial locksmith in your local area to secure your home even further. A open door can be a security threat, but a unsecured lock can be a huge security threat!

And What if It Closes?

A propped door may not stay open. If the reason behind propping is to avoid letting the lock engage, when the prop slips there is a problem that requires the attention of a commercial or residential locksmith.

Let’s face it; things don’t always go as planned. Propping the door open can lead to a very unpleasant surprise even if it is convenient. Propping may work a hundred times in a row, but it only takes one time for a rock, brick or doorstop to be knocked loose. The door slams shut with the keys inside along with your dinner baking in the oven or your child napping in her crib.. No matter how easy it is to prop, the potential risks make it unwise.

It is always a good idea to know a local locksmith who can help you out when needed.  You can always find one in the Yellow Pages, through word of mouth, or through an internet search.  When searching online, be sure to include your town or zip code in the search box to find someone closest to you; for example, if in Bethesda, search for: locksmith in Bethesda.


Helen Hoefele is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her at: @For_You_To_Know.

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