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Expert Review – Microwave and Oven Child Safety "Locks"

Oven & Microwave Lock

Top Oven Lock

Safety 1st

$4 - $6.

Local Home Supply Stores


The listing of these products is for informational purposes and individuals must use their own caution and judgment when using these resources. Functional levels and changes in judgment and reasoning are highly variable in people with dementia. Interventions must be individualized and continually assessed because those that are effective for some individuals may only work briefly and may not work at all for others.

These "locks", developed for child safety, are not real locks, but devices that prevent the oven from opening unless you press or squeeze the interlocking parts. They adhere to the oven with double sided tape.

Equipment Needed

Ammonia to clean the attachment point on the oven to ensure a firm grip.

Fairly easy to install

Easy for caregivers to use

May deter some people from using the stove unsupervised

They do not work on all stoves. For example, the side lock will not work on old stoves with curved edges.

You can't use the "locks" for 24 hours after installation, as the adhesive needs to cure properly.

Increased supervision or disconnection of the stove may be more effective and safer.

Not suggested for use by persons who are easily agitated.

Any childproofing product which uses adhesive may be easy for adults to remove.

Some individuals will be able to figure out how to open these "locks," so it's important to monitor carefully on an ongoing basis.

Individuals with dementia will respond differently when access to cooking is denied. Someone accustomed to cooking on a regular basis could become upset when he/she is denied access to an appliance.

To ease the transition, make sure to have:
  • Other activities available that the person enjoys
  • Healthy snacks out on the counter
  • Alternative meal sources in place if the person lives alone or spends extended time by themselves

Product Selection Criteria

Our goal is to teach you how to be a good consumer and to help you learn about specific products and unique product features that may enhance your safety and the safety and function of the person with dementia. The products shown in This Caring Home serve as examples only. Manufacturers continually change product specifications and the products represented may be different from those now on the market.

We realize this is not an all-inclusive list. Products featured in This Caring Home were chosen for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Affordability
  • Attractiveness
  • Availability
  • Color selection
  • Ease of use
  • Quality
  • Safety
We encourage you to discuss product selection with other caregivers and health care professionals.

How We Tested

"ThisCaringHome.org tested many products that are commonly recommended for best practices to identify the best use of these products and any potential problems in their use by caregivers and individuals with dementia. Each product included in an Expert Review was tested in a home environment, either an apartment or a single family home (or both), by at least two people. Rosemary Bakker, interior designer, gerontologist and dementia specialist, was one of the testers for every product. Whenever possible, we tested the product over time, sometimes days, weeks, or months, for:
  • Ease of use
  • Reliability
  • Potential safety issues
As a result of our testing, we're listing the pros and cons for using these products and including safety precautions for various products. These products were not tested by persons with dementia. We hope in the future to do case studies to learn more about what works and what doesn't work in a larger variety of caregiving situations and home environments."

Products listed on our website but not tested by ThisCaringHome.org are referred to as "Product Listings".

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