Almost everyone has uttered these words at least once in their lifetime: “I’ve locked myself out of my house. Help!” If you’re in that situation right now, take a few deep breaths and relax, because people have been where you’re standing and they managed to get back inside just fine. The question is only HOW exactly. So here are the best ways to enter a locked house.
Check for an open door or window. Lift your sliding door off tracks. Jimmy the door open by swiping your credit card while jiggling the door knob. Call a person with a spare key. Use a lockpick, paper clips or bobby pins to unlock. Or unscrew and remove the door knob. If these options fail, call a locksmith.
Some of these options are straightforward, others require more explanation. For example, lockpicking is a techinque that can be learned and used immediately, and I’ve shared two videos in this article that can help. So here’s more information on these locked out of house hacks:
How to enter your locked house
1. Check for an open door or window
Check for any potential entrance points. You could be pleasantly surprised by a window that isn’t locked or can be easily opened. If groundfloor windows are closed and locked, perhaps a windows upstairs is open.
If you have a ladder, you might be able to reach an open window that is higher from the ground. But make sure that it’s safe and comfortable before climbing up.
2. Lift your sliding doors off track to open them
Some sliding doors can be easily lifted off the track and opened from the outside. Here’s a video demonstration:
I hope this video also motivates you to secure your sliding doors against such attempts in the future.
2. Check your dog door
If your house has a dog door, it might be too small for an adult person. But maybe a child could get in and open your home. Alternatively, try to reach with your hand and a long object like a stick for a door or window handle.
3. Use a credit card on a springbolt
It’s pretty scarry how most doors can be opened with a credit card. How to do it:
Place the credit card inside the small gap between the door and the door frame. Sliding the card between the striking plate and the door latch will push the door latch in, and the door will open.
Here’s a more detailed step-by-step guide:
- Choose a card you don’t mind damaging or destroying because it will get bent.
- Insert the card between the frame and the door right at the latch.
- Hold the card perpendicular to the door, and push and wiggle the card around.
- While you push, bend the card away from the doorknob to slide the latch back and away from the doorjamb. Push your weight against the door while you bend the card.
- Slide the card between the latch and doorframe. With the card between the lock and the doorframe, you can push your way back into your house.
Here’s a video tutorial:
Try this a few times, as it can take some practice to get a handle on it (no pun intended).
4. Open door with bobby pins or paper clips
You will need two pins or clips to make a DIY locksmithing tool and open the door. If you have only one, you can break it into two pieces. It can still work but it will be harder.
- Bend one piece into an “L” shape. Use this piece to hold the lock in place.
- Straighten the other piece out and then make a small “W” shape into the wire at the end. Use this piece to unlatch the pins inside the lock.
- Hold the L-shaped piece in place to keep tension in the lock, while using the W-shaped piece to feel for the pins in the lock.
- Push the pins up with the W-shaped piece to unlock the door.
Here’s a clever video demonstration that may also help:
5. Call a person with an extra key
This is a no brainer if you have a landlord, concierge or someone else with an extra key. Perhaps a family member or a housemate? See if that person can stop by and open the door for you.
6. Remove the door knob
- Use a thin piece of metal (a straightened bobby pin or paper clip will do). Insert it into this hole and apply pressure as far as possible (there should be resistance) while pulling and turning the doorknob with your other hand.
- Continue doing step 1, applying pressure in the holes while pulling and twisting the doorknob until you’ve removed it.
- With the doorknob removed, pry off the decorative plate in order to reach the lockset. Use your bobby pin or a screwdriver to pull back on the locking mechanism and unlock the door.
Here’s a video on how to remove a doorknob with no visible screws:
7. Call a locksmith
Can I call the cops if I’m locked out of my house?
It’s best not to bother emergency services like Police and Fire Brigade. Contact a locksmith in your area first. If there isn’t one, then calling an emergency service can be a sensible option.
How to prevent getting locked out of my house?
Some ways to prevent this scenario is to have a spare key hidden somewhere outside the house and/or to give one to a trusted person. Another option is to install a keyless door lock that works by inserting a unique code, fingerprint or issuing a voice command.
Getting locked out of your own house is annoying, but not the end of the world. Literally thousands of people get in this situation every month!
Keep a cool head and try some of these tips to get in without anyone’s physical assistance if you like. If all else fails, you can always contact your local locksmith to open the door for you. Hope this helps!