Coming home one day after a long day, you’re eager to just sit back and relax. And that’s when it happens, a horror story unfolds before your eyes—you’ve forgotten your keys and you’re locked out of your house. Getting locked out of your home can be incredibly stressful when all you want to do is rest, but it can be even more agonizing if it happens unexpectedly and you’re worried about running water, leaving your stove on, or having children or pets inside.
With no spare key in sight, what can you do? Calling on a locksmith is an option but can get expensive and unavailable at night. And even if you do call a locksmith, they may be hours away and you may need to get into your locked house ASAP.
Thankfully, there are ways you can get back in, and we’re here to help.
This guide runs through the steps you can take if you’ve accidentally locked yourself out of your home and you have no key. We’ll also make sure that you never run through the same problem ever again. Let’s begin!
What To Do When Locked Out Of House
While we’re here to help you find the best solutions to unlock your home, some ideas listed here will require you to sacrifice your lock. With no key, you may have to learn how to pick a lock. In other cases, especially during emergencies, you may need to break down your door.
If such extreme measures are necessary, make sure to replace your lock or door as soon as possible. You will have access to your home again, but this also gives a chance for intruders to get in.
With that out of the way, here are some things you can do:
1. Check For Unlocked Doors and Windows
Leaving doors and windows unlocked can be dangerous, but they can also allow you easy re-entry to your home, especially when you find yourself locked out with no keys. You can simply look around and see if your backdoor has been left unlocked or if one of the windows can be opened.
If you find an open window, remember to be careful. Remove the screen if necessary and watch out for the glass panels. You should also check for anything that may cause you to fall or stumble upon landing, such as tables, vases, electronics, and other home possessions.
2. Contact Anyone Who Might Have Spare Keys
If your windows and other doors are locked, it’s time to think about who to call. You may need to contact your spouse, children, parent, roommate, and anyone you trust who may have a key.
Chances are they have spare keys, so long as they’re not locked outside with you. This is the best solution that will ensure you don’t need to break into anything.
However, if you live in an apartment, it may be best to contact your landlord as soon as possible. They will likely have a spare key to your house.
3. Dismantle The Door Knob
If you find yourself lucky enough to have access to a toolbox, you may want to consider taking your door knob apart. Removing it will allow you to get into your door. However, keep in mind that this method can get complex. You will need prior knowledge to get it right, as you can easily compromise its quality.
To help you successfully remove a doorknob, consider this tutorial by DIY Gadgets. The tutorial starts at the 0:10 time stamp.
4. Use A Credit Card
If you have no toolbox lying around, a credit card can work just as well as any other tool. However, this will depend on the type of door you have. Old doors have knobs that are usually easy to open. With a flexible credit card, you slide that in between the door and the frame to open the standard latch lock.
Remember that the credit card trick can never work with deadbolt locks. To make sure you get this method right, consider this video by Dylan Kowalski. The actual tutorial begins at the 0:40 mark.
5. Call A Locksmith
We want to avoid calling a locksmith. But if you get locked out of the house with your stove open, water running, or children left unattended, you will want to call on a professional to make sure you can re-enter your home as soon as possible.
This is the most reliable measure, but it can get expensive. Locksmiths generally make use of special tools like half diamonds and hooks designed to pick your lock open.
Service costs vary depending on the type of lock, location, and the company. It’s best to call them with a lock that is still intact, however. Having them try to pick on a damaged lock will cost you even more.
6. Break Down The Door
If it’s the middle of the night and locksmiths are unavailable, your last resort comes down to breaking your door down. This is important in case of emergencies, as previously discussed.
Leaving your stove can eventually cause fire, water running can cause flooding, and leaving your children unattended with harmful things lying around can be dangerous.
It’s generally recommended to break down your front door, as doing this at the back can raise concerns and false alarms. You wouldn’t want your neighbors mistaking you for a thief!
If you must break down the door, kick the area around the door handle. Do this as hard as you can multiple times to break the lock successfully.
7. Never Break A Window
We recommend breaking down your door as a last resort, but breaking a window is a strict no-no. It comes with the pressing danger of hurting yourself but can also cause harm to your pets and children.
Remember that glass shards can fly everywhere, which can also end up embedded in your skin. Even if you take extra safety precautions, the mere act of breaking a window can also leave glass lying around. This can be difficult to clean and may cause other injuries.
Replacing a broken window can also be costly. In most cases, you’ll end up paying more over locksmith services or a broken door.
How To Prevent Getting Locked Out In The Future
Being locked out of your house is stressful enough as it is. The thought of going through it again seems unthinkable, so you now want to ensure it never happens again. As promised, we have tips in store for you. Here are ways to prevent being locked out of your home:
Tip 1: Invest In Going Keyless
Most modern homes are now equipped with smart home security features. One of the best devices to invest in is a keyless door pad. For instance, you can lock and unlock your door remotely through a smartphone app.
These innovative locks also come with other home security systems that allow you to further protect your home, including CCTVs, door cameras, alarms, and other devices.
By going keyless, you not only prevent yourself from getting locked out again. You also enhance your home’s security features!
Tip 2: Keep Your Door and Hinges Oiled
If you’re not ready for automation and simply want to keep things simple, make sure you’re stocked up with oil. Regularly oiling your doors and hinges can make them easier to unlock, especially if you’re using unconventional tools like credit cards. This is also helpful for when you want to take your door knob apart.
Attempting to unlock a rusted lock can lead to irreversible damages. These are the best oils for your locks, and both options keep your door hinges healthy and rust-free:
Tip 3: Hide Your Key The Right Way
You may think it’s right to place spare keys under the flower pot or doormat, but these methods are old and can quickly be figured out by an intruder. Professional thieves can recognize these from miles away.
At this point, you may think that it’s better not to leave keys at all! That may be so, but there are new and secure ways of stashing your spare keys. Hiding your key can still be an option, so long as you know which items to use.
You can use keyholders disguised as bricks, garden decor, and figurines. These are unremarkable items people overlook, effectively keeping your keys safe.
For extreme measures, however, consider burying it in the ground! In doing so, you make sure that your key’s location remains safe, sound, and just within reach when you need it.
Being locked out of your house is a stressful situation. You end up worrying about all the things you’ve left inside, including pets and children. Thankfully, there are ways to get back into your home even without a spare key.
The answers you need are in this guide, so choose a method that works best for you. However, it’s best to save money, time, energy, and frustration. Prevention is better than cure, so make sure to also consider the tips listed above.
More importantly, understand that these things happen. Spending time worrying too much isn’t helpful. Remember that you already have solutions at hand, so stay calm! You’ll be back inside your home in no time.