Getting locked out of your house can be nerve-wracking, especially when you’ve just had a hectic day. Before calling the locksmith, you should try the steps given in this guide.
Don’t forget—unless it’s an absolute emergency, resist the urge to break your door down or smash a window! It’s way more expensive than calling a locksmith, and you could injure yourself.
9 Tricks for When You Get Locked Out of Your House!
Some of the solutions offered in this guide will exploit the weak points of your current lock. If they work, you should definitely change your lock as soon as possible because if it’s easy for you to get in without a key, it’s twice as easy for an intruder to get in.
1. Check for Unlocked Doors and Windows
Inspect every door and window to see if you left any unlocked. Please do not consider openings like the chimney. You can (obviously!) get stuck or injured while doing so.
2. Call Friends/Family/Neighbors Who Have a Spare Key
If you’ve given a friend or family member a spare key in the past, this is the best time to give them a call. You might have forgotten to take your spare key back from a friend who stayed a night in your place months ago, or you’ve handed a family member your key in case you lost yours. Try making a list of people who may have your spare key and put a call through.
3. Remove the Locked Doorknob If Its Not Tamper-Proof
While it’s not easy, one non-damaging way of getting into your house without a key is by removing the doorknob. All you need is a Phillips screwdriver. For those who cannot identify the Phillips screwdriver from their set of screwdrivers, check for the screwdriver with four ridges that forme a pyramid.
Note that tamper-proof door knobs cannot be removed with this method. Follow this guide in case you get locked out of your house. Be careful if using this method, to prevent damage to your door.
4. Use a Credit Card!
It turns out that a credit card isn’t just a source of money; it can also help you unlock your door. Keep in mind that the process might damage your card, so you may want to use a credit/reward card you are no longer using.
It’s a simple process that requires you to put the plastic card between your door and frame and push the card away from the doorknob,towards the frame. The aim here is to undo the latch. For this method to work, your door has to be standard, as it doesn’t work on deadbolts.
5. Call Your Landlord or Apartment Concierge
You should get in touch with your landlord or apartment concierge. Not all homes have apartment concierges, but they are the best go-to’s for spare keys if they have one.
Getting your landlord to come help you may cost a fee depending on your relationship with them. Sometimes, it is a bad idea, as your landlord may be unreachable or out of town.
6. Use a Fishing Rod Through the Letterbox
Key fishing only works when your spare keys are not far from your door. With a fishing rod, you can pick up the keys via the letterbox. Simple, isn’t it? Not really.
If you are able to use the fishing rod to get your keys, you might need to install a letterbox restrictor afterwards because burglars are also great fishers!
7. Get in Through the Garage Door
To get in your garage without your keys, you’d need a hanger. If you’re lucky, you’ll have one in your car. If not, get one from your neighbors. Alternatively, any thin wire would work, but you may have to double it to increase the strength.
Straighten your hanger into a lengthy rod and bend one of the ends to form a hook. To extend the length, roll the non-hook end around an extension like a twine.
Find a gap at the top of your garage and slide in the rod. The rod needs to be at the center of the door to open the garage lock. Be careful so you don’t damage the soft plastic molding around it (if there is one there). Find a way to put the hook around the latch and pull firmly. Once the latch is disengaged, slide the door to open.
8. Try and Pick the Lock (Harder Than It Looks!)
Picking a lock is not as easy as it sounds, but some people are gifted in that regard. Lock picking becomes easier if you have a professional lock picking kit that includes picks, raking tools, and tension wrenches. But, before rushing out and buying a kit, double check whether owning and using the professional kit is legal in your region to avoid being arrested.
Alternatively, you can also use easy-to-get items like bobby pins or paperclips. Note that picking a broken or rusted lock is not feasible.
9. Call a Locksmith
This should be your final resort if you get locked out of your house. It is the most reliable method, however is also the most expensive (other than breaking a window!).
The cost of the service depends on the nature of your lock, the locksmith/agency, and area you reside in. Make sure to not damage the lock while trying the listed methods. Damaging the lock can boost your expenses.
While You Wait …
In case the locksmith is not able to make it to your home and it is getting dark, you should find a safe place to pass the night. Some neighbors may be nice enough to offer you shelter for the night. Alternatively, you can call your family or friends for assistance.
4 Ways To Avoid Getting Locked Out of Your House in the Future
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Being proactive and having a plan B can save you from the stress of climbing windows or waiting for a locksmith when you lose your key.
1. Invest in a Smart Lock
Going keyless is the ultimate way to prevent getting locked out of your home. You cannot lose a key when you don’t have one to lose.
With smart locks, you can give your guests your password and change it when needed. Unlike manual locks, all you need to do to restrict someone’s access to your home is a simple password change. You don’t have to spend extra money on lock replacement.
2. Give a Spare Key To Your Next Door Neighbour
In case you are not ready to switch to a smart lock, you can give your trusted neighbor, friend, or family member a spare key in case you lose it again. The major setback is that these people may not be around when you are in need of a spare key. Also, people who don’t have trusted friends or families can find this advice a bit challenging.
3. Hide a Spare Key Somewhere in Your Garden!
Hiding your spare key under a doormat is very unsafe. Putting it below a flowerpot is not secure either. If you have a fierce dog as a pet, you can consider putting the key on the dog’s collar (don’t try this with tamable dogs that bow when given a pat).
A more secure way to hide your spare key is by using a small safe at a nearby store. You can find such stores online or ask your neighbor.
4. Keep the Door and Hinges Well-Oiled
Keeping your doors and hinges healthy can make them easy for you to unlock without a spare key, and one way to keep them healthy is by oiling them regularly. Remember—no amount of lock picking can unlock a rusted or broken lock.
You can use a silicone spray or plumber’s grease. These two lubricants are the best lubricants for door hinges. The less sloppy of the two lubricants is silicone spray, but plumber’s grease is light and odorless.
Locked out of your House? The Verdict
Be careful when trying to unlock your doors so you won’t injure yourself or damage your lock. If you think you can’t go through the stress of lock picking or window climbing, then call the locksmith! To ultimately prevent such an event from repeating itself, trash the key and switch to a smart lock.