An oven lock is a simple security feature that, once engaged, prevents an oven door from opening. It is an important safety feature for a gas or an electric oven, particularly if one has young children in the house. Some ovens have a lock that is already built into the oven door; other ovens lack this feature, but a lock can be bought relatively cheaply at many stores.
When something is cooking in the oven, using an oven lock can be very important. A hot oven is a dangerous item in the kitchen, yet curious young children may be tempted to open the oven door to look inside. An oven lock prevents a child — or an adult — from being able to open the oven door when the oven is cooking or self-cleaning. In addition, the lock is a valuable asset when spray cleaners are used to clean the oven, allowing the chemicals to set for a period of time.
Many ovens have a lock as a built-in feature. Usually located near the handle of the oven door, the lock is often a lever that swings from left to right. Once in place, the lock will not allow the door to be opened. Although locks are often built into newer models of ovens, some homeowners may want to purchase an additional lock for added safety.
Two styles of locks can be purchased relatively inexpensively at many discount stores, baby stores, and bath and kitchen stores. Both styles are heat-resistant and mount to the front of the oven using adhesive strips. The first style of lock is a latch, with a shape similar to a door hinge. In most cases, it attaches to the top or side of the oven, and a hinged piece can be dropped into place in front of the oven door to hold it securely closed.
The second style of lock is made of two pieces. One piece is mounted to the oven door, while the second piece is mounted to the side of the oven. The piece that is mounted to the oven's side has prongs that lock into the piece secured to the oven door. Once engaged, the lock forms a right angle, and to unlock the oven door, one must squeeze the prongs.
Most self-cleaning ovens have a lock built in for use during the cleaning cycle. During cleaning, the oven heats up to a very high temperature to burn away any food that has spilled. The oven lock prevents the door from being opened until the temperature has reached a safe level.