A balcony is always a great feature in a house, as it allows one to enjoy cool breezes and the sight of the surrounding landscape. While there is minimal harm in leaving a balcony door open in the day, the same can not be said of doing so at night.
It is not safe to leave your balcony door open at night. An open door is an invitation to pests, burglars, and wild animals. This can result in damage to property, and in extreme cases, life.
On the other hand, a closed balcony door improves sleep quality by creating a sense of security and can prevent the spread of fire. If you wish to know more details, keep reading, as this article presents in-depth explanations as to why you shouldn’t leave your balcony door open at night.
Reasons Why It’s Not Safe to Leave Your Balcony Door Open
Sleeping with the balcony door open might not seem like much of a big deal, especially when you live on a higher floor. However, at night, an open balcony door poses certain dangers to life and property. The following headings are some reasons why it is unwise to leave your balcony door open at night.
The Risk of Burglaries
Burglars rarely strike at night when there’s a chance that the house inhabitants may be alerted to their entry. However, a door left open provides easy access with reduced detection risks, practically inviting in thieves.
One reason you may want to leave your balcony door open at night is to let in the summer’s cool breeze. However, you might want to consider purchasing an air conditioner or fan, as more burglaries are recorded in the summer months, particularly July and August, than other months.
Even residents of top floor apartments are not exempted from burglaries, as the increased height is no deterrent for burglars. The Spiderman burglar is a case in point, where people hang down from rooftops to burgle high-rise buildings.
The chance of a robbery is further increased by the age of the occupants of the house. Homes belonging to young people, particularly students, and those owned by the elderly, are at higher risk of being robbed than homes of middle-aged people.
Burglars are not the only people you should worry about when you leave your balcony door open at night. Other criminally minded individuals like serial killers, rapists, and stalkers can take advantage of the darkness and the open door to commit heinous crimes.
Accidental Balcony Falls
There is the ever-present risk of falling off with a balcony, as balconies are never situated on the ground floor. This constant hazard is another reason why it is unsafe to leave your balcony doors open at night.
Toddlers whose parents or nannies turn their backs just for a second can walk through an unlocked balcony door and take a tumble, as can pets attracted by the city sounds coming from the balcony.
Drunken homeowners or guests and homeowners/children who sleepwalk can walk through an open balcony door without realizing, and then proceed to fall off the balcony.
As far-fetched as the idea of accidentally falling off a balcony may seem, it is not entirely unheard of. According to a study, from 2010-2017, 10.3% of fall admissions in a trauma center were accidental balcony falls.
Wild animals like raccoons, rabid bats, and some reptiles, snakes included, are nocturnal. These creatures can come in through an open balcony door and cause untold damage to furniture and home appliances.
Raccoons, squirrels, and opossums are excellent climbers, and bats can fly; thus, the apartment’s height is not a deterrent. Consequently, leaving the door open at night is akin to handing out invitations to these animals, as they will take every opportunity afforded them.
Like a bad habit, these animals (mostly rats, mice, and similar rodents) are hard to kick out. They reproduce rapidly and enjoy closeted, dark spaces, destroying your property while living off your garbage.
Poisonous reptiles like snakes and some lizards can slither into your apartment through an open balcony door and cause harm or even fatality. Other animals, like bats and mice, carry diseases like rabies and the Hantavirus. As such, not only are your possessions at risk, but your health is also in danger when you allow these animals free entry.
Even in urban centers, the chance of animals entering your home is not nonexistent, as while raccoons and bats may be a rarity in cities, rats and mice are quite common.
Benefits of Closing Balcony Doors at Night
Besides preventing burglaries, pests, and accidents, there are actual benefits to be had from having your balcony door closed at night. Some of these benefits are given below.
Prevents the Spread of Fire
Consider a situation where the balcony door is open, with the curtains billowing as breeze enters the room to keep the inhabitants cool. In such a case, a carelessly thrown cigarette from the room above, flames from a fire below, or any random source of fire will cause the curtains to go up in flames, resulting in damage to property and severe cases, life.
Freak accidents such as these can be avoided by keeping the balcony door closed at night. Accordingly, organizations like the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) have started campaigns highlighting the importance of closed doors in stopping fires.
You might question how closing a door conserves electricity. Well, it doesn’t, not directly. However, for people who are in the habit of leaving windows and the balcony door open while the air conditioner is turned on, closing the door conserves energy.
Having an open door reduces the AC’s efficiency and increases its power consumption. The increased efficiency is due to cooled air remaining in a contained space and not being replaced continuously by humid air from the outside.
Some people suffer sleeplessness as a result of some earlier experience or mild phobia. In such cases, locking all doors, including that of the balcony, is perhaps the easiest way to feel safe, as doing so creates a sense of security and eases the mind, making sleep possible.
A lack of quiet can also cause sleeplessness. These include commonplace in urban centers and metropolitan areas where there is continuous human activity in traffic, constructions, appliances, and social gatherings. While closing your balcony doors might not completely shut out the noise, it will go a long way in reducing or filtering it.
Feng shui, a popular term among modern-day architects and interior designers, is an ancient Chinese philosophy that aims to improve life quality by prescribing ways to regulate the flow of positive and negative energies around the home.
Feng Shui proposes that closing external doors while you sleep is an effective way to contain positive energy in your apartment while preventing negative energy.
It is rarely a wise decision to leave your balcony door open at night. If any, the benefits of leaving a balcony door open are greatly outweighed by the demerits, some of which are possible burglary, fire, and accidental falls. On the flip side, a closed balcony door is beneficial, conserving electricity, improving sleep, and preventing negative energies.
Closing a balcony door keeps out certain unwanted elements, and while you may not be an ardent believer of the Fen Shui philosophy, you will agree that it is such a small price to pay for some good vibes.