Is It Illegal to Put a Lock On Your Refrigerator? [Quick Answer!]

So, has your child been raiding the fridge, and you fear for their quick weight gain? Perhaps someone with a cognitive condition can’t resist going to the refrigerator so often. To deter them, you are thinking of locking the fridge. However, your concern is, ‘is it illegal to put a lock on your refrigerator?’

Legally, no one can bar you from locking a personal item such as a refrigerator, especially for theft deterrence, child or adult restraint, or strict dieting. However, it might not be the best take, given that you could stir a conflict by imposing your will on others.

On that note, I’ll discuss why it may be reasonable to lock your fridge and why it may not be the wisest take. I’ll also discuss the various fridge locks to help you recognize what to get if you decide to use one.

Moreover, I’ll share alternative tips to locking the fridge, just if you want to avoid imposing your will on others and stirring a conflict.

Let’s get started:

is it illegal to put a lock on your refrigerator

Why Is It Reasonable but Not Illegal to Put a Lock On Your Refrigerator?

Let’s get one thing straight, it’s not illegal to lock your refrigerator. No one will take you to court for that unless what you are locking doesn’t belong to you. Its application is, however, only reasonable in the following scenarios:

1. When You Want to Restrain Kids from Constantly Raiding the Fridge

Kids often find the fridge irresistible, especially when you stock snacks and other ready-to-eat foods. So, it’s easy for them to develop bad feeding habits, leading to obesity and other diet-related complications.

If that’s what you’ve to deal with daily, then locking your fridge when kids are unmonitored makes sense.

2. When You Want to Restrain Adults with Cognitive Impairment

You can also lock your fridge when staying with a dementia adult you want to deter from taking too much sugar and raw foods or destroying what you have in the fridge.

Remember, you may also be storing medicines and insulin in the fridge, which they could destroy or take, and you wouldn’t want that.

3. When You Want to Deter Thieves from Raiding Your Fridge

This is important when you live in an unsecure neighborhood where people are likely to break in and take what they find. 

Since they are less likely to carry the entire fridge and take it with them, they’ll be tempted to take your stock. So, a refrigerator with lock and key may deter them, even though it doesn’t stop them from damaging the fridge.

4. When You Want to Restrain Yourself (or a Family Member) To Stick to A Specific Diet

You can also lock the fridge to restrain yourself from raiding it whenever you feel hungry if you are on a strict diet.

You could also do it for a kid on a strict diet because of a medical condition like phenylketonuria (PKU). While this may infuriate them, it stops them from jeopardizing the management of the disease.

5. When You Want to Prevent Access to The Fridge in A Shared Space

If you are in college where you share a room and don’t want the other parties to raid your fridge, locking it may be rational.

You can also lock your fridge in the workplace where many people can access it. It’ll not just deter colleagues from accessing it but also visitors who come to the premises.

can you put a lock on your refrigerator

But Is Putting a Lock On Your Fridge a Good Move? The Cons

The truth is that while locking the fridge may deter thieves, kids, older adults with mental conditions, and colleagues from raiding your fridge, it may result in the following:

a) Conflict Between You and The Deterred

Let’s face it; not many will take it kindly if you suddenly lock your fridge, barring them from accessing it. Your colleagues or roommates might be mad at you if you share space, while the members of your household, especially adults, may see you as someone who wants to impose their will.

b) Fridge Damage

Since the people you are deterring from accessing the fridge may not take it lightly, family members with dementia may unintentionally damage the refrigerator when trying to take what’s inside. So, locking the fridge doesn’t stop them in such a case.

c) You May Push Them to The Supermarket

While some family members, especially kids, may not damage the fridge for fear of being at loggerhead with you, they may choose to always run to the supermarket and grab what they want.

So, you might have succeeded in stopping them from consuming what’s in your home fridge but not what’s out there, which may be unhealthier.

d) Loss of Trust

Nothing is irreparable as lost trust. Once colleagues, roommates, and family members see that you are always imposing your will by locking the fridge, they’ll lose faith in you. That’s something you wouldn’t want if you want them to continue respecting you.

If Locking the Fridge Is Not an Option, Then What?

Since locking the fridge may create comfort and lead to the loss of trust for imposing your will, you probably wonder what to do now? Well, here are the alternatives (legal and reasonable) to consider:

(a) Talk to Them

Sometimes it helps to talk to people rather than impose your will on them. Older kids, for example, are likely to understand why you don’t want them to go to the fridge every time they have a craving if you explain to them the reasons.

Try educating them about the benefits of healthy feeding habits and the risks of unhealthy feeding.

(b) Only Stock Healthy Foods

Avoid tempting your kids and other family members from raiding your fridge by only stocking what’s healthy for them. Remove what is junk like cake, cookies, ice cream, and chocolate, and keep healthy options like fruits, milk, and cereals.

refrigerator locks for adults

(c) Improve Their Mealtime Portions

Sometimes kids go to the fridge every so often, especially after meals, because the portions you serve during mealtime are not enough.

So, before you can resort to locking the fridge, first consider the portions you serve to the kids. You can even ask them. If the portions are small, improve them but within a specific limit not to overfeed them.

(d) Stock Rawer Foods

Most people who go to the fridge when it’s not mealtime go there to grab whatever is ready to eat. So, you can discourage them from uncontrolled eating between meals by stocking rawer foods.

They are less likely to cook the food and wait for 30 minutes or more to have it ready.

(e) Shop Weekly

Buying in bulk, especially monthly shopping, only makes your kids raid the fridge when you are not there. As long as the food is there, they’ll eat it. So, instead of putting the kids in such a situation, only stock up weekly.

(f) Get Another Fridge

If your target is to restrain someone on a diet, you don’t have to lock the fridge for everyone else. Instead, you should get another refrigerator and dedicate it to the person.

At least, that’ll stop them from going to the main fridge where you stock unhealthy things for them.

Types of Fridge Locks to Consider

Fridge locks come in different types to suit different types of users. Here are the most typical options:

1. Padlock-able Refrigerator Lock (Best Refrigerator Locks for Adults)

As the name suggests, these refrigerator locks come with a padlock that allows you to lock them the traditional way of closing a door.

The locks are generally easy to install, but more importantly, they are secure and more effective at restraining adults.

Thus, you can use them to restrain dementia adults and unauthorized colleagues from accessing your fridge.

One top recommendation is this Refrigerator Door Lock With Padlock. You can get it with or without a keyed or combination padlock.

is locking the fridge illegal

2. Refrigerator Lock with Built-in Key Lock (Best Against Thieves and Unauthorized Colleagues)

These refrigerator locks are lockable with a key and sometimes a set of combinations to enhance the safety of your fridge door.

As the name suggests, you don’t have to worry about reaching for the keys. Just put them into the lock and walk away, and the lock will keep them for you.

A perfect example is the Guardianite Premium Refrigerator Door Lock.

3. Child Safety Strap Refrigerator Lock (Best for Kids)

Child safety-strap refrigerator locks employ a strapping mechanism to keep kids away from the fridge. They are generally easy to install and allow you to lock more than one door. As a result, they are the best side by side refrigerator lock types.

One bestseller is the Jool Baby Child Safety Strap Lock. The four-pack lock allows you to lock the fridge and the cabinets, dishwasher, drawers, and toilet door.

Thus, it’s the perfect all-around child-proof lock.

Other Refrigerator Locks Worth Knowing About

In addition to the three fridge locks, we have the following types of refrigerator locks:

  • Keyless Fridge Lock

As the name hints, keyless fridge locks don’t need a key to operate. Instead, they lock when you turn the power on, making them effective thieves deterrence.

  • Clip Strap Fridge Lock

Clip strap fridge locks are other decent options for side-by-side fridge doors. These locks feature a flexible strap that you can lock using a set of combinations.

People Also Ask

1. Can You Put a Lock On Your Refrigerator?

You can lock your refrigerator to deter thieves, kids, family members on a diet, and colleagues from accessing it. The problem is that you may start a conflict if the target parties feel like you are imposing your will.

2. Is Locking the Fridge Illegal?

No, it’s not illegal to lock a refrigerator as long as it’s not someone else’s. You can legally lock your fridge to stop thieves from stealing your supplies, colleagues or strangers taking it unauthorized, and kids from uncontrolled snacking.

Is It Illegal to Put a Lock On Your Refrigerator? Closing Thought

As shared, no law forbids you from locking your refrigerator. After all, that’s rational when you want to deter thieves and colleagues from accessing it unauthorized or keep from snacking uncontrollably.

Note, however, that some people may take it against you if you lock them out of the refrigerator even if it’s not illegal.