Locked Out of the House?

Here's what to do


APRIL 29, 2021

Locked Outside House Desktop

You close the front door on your way out, reach your car, and realize you’ve forgotten your keys — inside your locked home. You rattle the doorknob and check the back door on the offhand chance you left it open, but no such luck.

You briefly consider smashing a windowpane, but you know this maneuver will be a pain to fix later. How do you get into a locked house door without a key? What should you do? And if you’ve never been locked out before (lucky you!), how do you prevent that from happening in the future? Here are seven tips on how to open a locked door.

Check all access points

Before you try breaking into your own house, double-check all the doors and windows on the offhand chance someone left the side garage door or the kitchen window unlocked.

Try a credit card

Have your wallet handy? It may be worthwhile to try to break into your own house with a card, assuming you have a spring latch or slanted latch; this technique will not work on doors with deadbolts. Slide the card between the door and the frame and wiggle to unlock it. Just keep in mind that you’ll ruin that credit card in the process.

Remove a knob

Deadbolt locks won’t work for this method, either, but if you have a doorknob with a plate and screws, you may be able to use a paperclip or small screwdriver to remove the doorknob and gain entry. Properly installed doorknobs have screws on the inside, but if you are able to locate exterior screws and gain entry into your home, make sure to reverse the knob for future safety considerations.

Enlist a locksmith

When the above steps fail, it’s best to defer to the experts. The fee may be higher if you call after hours, but a certified locksmith is your best chance and safest way to get into your home.

Stash a key outside

It’s little consolation if you’ve already locked yourself out of the house, but to prevent future lockouts, hide a key somewhere safe. Don’t put your key somewhere obvious, however. Burglars intent on accessing your home will first check under the doormat, a fake rock, or a planter. Consider a combination lockbox in your garage or a small safe in the shed.

Give a key to someone you trust

Keep backup keys with a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor so you can quickly get back into your home. Choose spare key holders based on their proximity to your house and their accessibility throughout the day. For instance, your stay-at-home neighbor will be a better choice than the family member who frequently travels for work.

Install smart locks and keypads

A keyless entry enables anyone you trust to access your home by entering a passcode. This type of entry is a great investment if you have children, a housekeeper, or houseguests. Smart locks rely on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technologies, and you may lock or unlock them using your mobile device, voice, or fingerprint. With either or both of these technologies installed on your doors, you’ll never have to call someone to say, “I’ve locked myself out of the house again.”

Chances are, you’ve been locked out of your home or car at least once in your life. Installing smart locks on your doors will give you the access you need to your home, even if you’ve left your keys inside. Contact a Brinks Home™ Senior Security Consultant to find the best smart locks for your home.

Allison Clark is a senior writer for Brinks Home. She enjoys educating others on the benefits of smart home security and using technology to simplify everyday life.

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