It’s been a long, hard day. Non-stop from the get-go, you can’t wait to get back home, kick off your shoes and lay back on the couch. You can practically feel the relief as you approach the front door and get ready to relax in the comfort of your home. Until you realize you don’t have your key and are saying “I’m locked out of my house.”
In a panic, you do an excellent airport security impersonation- checking, double-checking, and triple-checking your pockets…Then your bag, your wallet/purse, and back to your pockets.
But no joy. The realization sinks: ‘I’m locked out of my house’.
You can guarantee you aren’t the only one in this position. After all, with almost 27,000 locksmiths in operation around the US, there’s clearly enough work to go around!
Alas, that stat does nothing to allay the rising stress and disappointment. What on earth do you do now?! Well, reading the following post will be a good place to start.
Locked out and need help fast?
Keep reading for a selection of top tips to call upon when you lock yourself out of your house.
1. Take a Chill Pill
First off, take a breath.
Locking yourself out is never fun. In fact, it’s downright frustrating. Sometimes, when time is of the essence or you’re at your wit’s end anyway, it’s stressful a little overwhelming too.
But rest assured:
It’s all going to be fine.
Nobody thinks clearly with their knickers in a twist. Panicking and getting all worked up never helps anyone. Stop, take a chill pill, tell yourself it’ll be okay, and then keep reading this post for some practical ways to get back in!
2. Don’t Forget the Back Door
Next up, make sure you check the back door (or any other doorway into your house).
Let’s hope you’re a forgetful person and didn’t lock one of it this morning. With a bit of luck, you’ll be able to enter your house with no fuss through the back entrance.
Sure, you’ll have left your house open to thieves and intruders all day. But, for once, that’s no bad thing. The back door is always worth checking. However, 9 times out of 10, regaining entry to your home won’t be this easy!
Assuming you didn’t strike gold via the rear entrance, it’s time to get more inventive…
3. Try the Dog Door
This tip only applies if:
- You’re small,
- You’re not scared of getting stuck, and
- You have a dog (and a dog door that goes into the home).
Assuming all those things are in order, then you could attempt to squeeze your way through the dog door into your home. It isn’t going to be glamorous, and nor will it be particularly pleasant.
You might get stuck.
You can also expect any dog that’s inside the house to be confused (and all kinds of excited) at its master/mistress appearing through its door. A face full of dog slobber might be coming your way!
However, this is definitely a viable option for anyone with a small body (or a big dog).
4. Check the Windows
It’s time to think like a burglar.
If the front door’s unviable, then the windows are often the next best thing.
Look around the outside of your house for a window you may have inadvertently left open. Make a mental note not to do it again (if you can get in through it, then so can other people!), and then use it to your advantage.
Only try to clamber and squeeze yourself in if the window is on the ground floor (and wide enough to fit through). Think about unlocked windows too- they might be shut, but open on the inside. Give them a push to see if they’ll allow entry.
There’s no point taking unnecessary risks here! Scaling the wall of your house to an upstairs window might seem possible. But, in all likelihood, it’s probably too dangerous.
Likewise, you’ll almost certainly look like a burglar.
It isn’t unheard of for concerned neighbors or passers-by to see what’s happening and alert the authorities! You might end up with police at your doorstep about a possible burglary…
5. Grab a Ladder
Those second story windows should be off-limits to anyone who isn’t Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.
…Unless you can find a ladder.
Maybe there’s one in your garage or the shed in your yard.
Failing that, consider asking to borrow one from your neighbor. Wherever you get it from, acquiring a ladder to climb means you can at least try those top windows as well.
If nobody’s at the bottom to stabilize it, then there’s every chance you could fall and have an accident. Remember, you’ll be pushing the windows to try and open them. It’s of paramount importance that the ground is solid and the ladder is secure enough.
Here’s some info on how to use a ladder safely.
6. Put It on the Credit Card
If you’re reading this, then it’s safe to assume the window idea didn’t work.
The next thing to try is opening the front door with your credit card.
You’ve probably seen this trick done a thousand times in movies. However, with the right technique, you can make it work in real life too. Note, this only works for spring bolted doors!
Assuming you have one of those, slide the card into the crack between the door and the frame.
Line it up with the doorknob and try pushing it in and bending the card backward (towards the knob). The goal is to use the card to force the latch bolt back into the door.
Manage that, and you can then open it up. Here’s more info on the technique involved.
Now, you might be used to calling upon your credit card to get you out of a spot of financial bother. But, chances are, you’ve never needed it to function as a key. As such, be careful with this process.
The last thing you need is to lose or damage your card as well. Don’t push the card so hard that it falls through the crack, or bend it so much that it snaps. Better still, use a gift card (or something similar) that you don’t mind destroying!
7. Think Spare Key
‘Spare key, spare key…
Where on earth did I leave the spare key?!’
That should be the question running through your mind if you had the forethought to leave a key somewhere.
Maybe it’s under a flower pot, above the door-frame, at a neighbor’s house…it goes without saying that having a spare key is an instant answer to your problem. Now, not everyone will have one to hand.
Move onto the next tip if it doesn’t apply!
However, anybody renting should pay attention. The landlord is sure to have a spare lying around. Give them a call and see if they can swing by to unlock the door.
The same goes for apartment blocks with building managers, house-keeping, or concierge services. There will always be a spare key somewhere. Speak to the main desk or reception to find help.
8. Call Your Housemates
The windows are shut.
The credit card trick failed.
The landlord’s busy.
It’s time to call for help- but not from the locksmith (not yet, anyway!). Nope, you want to contact anyone you live with to come home and let you in.
Again, this only works for people who share their living space. Assuming that there’s someone else who has a key to your place, then it makes total sense to ask them to drop by and let you in.
9. Get the Knob Off (Part 1)
The credit card trick we talked about earlier sounds great.
But it’s hard to pull off- especially when this is your first time trying it. There’s a reasonable chance that you’ll walk away no closer to opening the door, but with a damaged card for your efforts!
An alternative method is deconstructing the door itself. Or, more specifically, removing the doorknob. We won’t lie, though. This method isn’t foolproof either.
Removing the doorknob will only succeed if you:
- have certain tools/items to use as tools,
- have a doorknob that’s relatively straight forward to remove, and
- haven’t got the deadbolt engaged on the inside.
The ‘trick’ is to unscrew or pry the doorknob and decorative plate away in order to expose the lockset. With that done you should be able to pull the latch with your finger.
10. Get the Knob Off (Part 2)
Alas, as our tone probably suggests, this can prove more of a challenge than it sounds.
For one thing, you’ll have to source a screwdriver (of the correct type- flat head or Phillips- for the screws in your door) from somewhere. With that done, you need to find the small latch or hole that’s the key to removing the knob mechanism.
Then, you need to apply enough pressure, while simultaneously wiggling and jiggling the knob, to actually remove it.
In the meantime, you can end up damaging the door and looking suspiciously like a thief to any outside. It’s all definitely possible, and you should try it as a last resort (here’s more info on how to do it).
But there’s certainly an easier way…
11. Contact a Locksmith
Locksmiths are trained professionals in breaking and entering houses.
But they are the experts in this field. Locksmiths have all the tools, skills and insight required to unlock your door. For lockouts, broken keys in the door, and any other related issue, the quickest and easiest way to get back into your house is to call a locksmith.
Explain the situation and see how quickly they can get to you. Emergency locksmiths could be there in minutes. For a fee, they’ll get you into your house and change your locks in the process.
Of course, nobody wants to pay their hard-earned money to get into their home. Let’s face it, though. There might be no alternative.
At least you’ll be back inside and on the sofa in a jiffy.
12. Prepare for Future Lock Outs
At this point, you’ll almost certainly be back in your house.
You’re warm, dry, and on the couch, you’d been dreaming about all along. But don’t stop there!
The final (and most crucial) step in this long and arduous process is to prevent it from happening again. The key (pun intended) here is to learn from your mistakes.
Don’t wind up in a position where you need a locksmith again.
Thankfully, there are different options to call upon. Of course, one of the easiest is to have some spare keys cut. With spares at your disposal, you can then hide them in strategic places and give them to a trusted neighbor or friend to hold onto.
Don’t rest on your laurels. Having spares in multiple locations is always best. It’s easy to move a spare key from its hiding place and forget to put it back. Likewise, that trusted friend/neighbor might be away when you need the key.
Having both fail-safes in place means you should have access to your home in any future lockout.
I’m Locked out of My House! But Not for Much Longer!
There’s nothing worse than being locked out of your house.
Unfortunately, it happens to the best of us. You can tell from the sheer number of locksmiths out there just how common their services are called upon.
Are you currently faced with the realization that ‘I’m locked out of my house’?
Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to regain entry. At the end of the day, though, the simplest way to do it will always be to call the professionals.
Looking for a locksmith in or around McAllen, Texas? Contact us now for fast and professional support.