You just got home from work, school, or grocery shopping, and you realize you are locked out. Do not panic! Most of us have also been there. It may seem like an awkward and embarrassing situation, but it can escalate and become very dangerous, especially if it’s snowing or you left the oven on.
1. Call your friends, family or the landlord
If you live with someone and they are not home, call them. If you don’t have your phone, borrow your neighbor’s. Hopefully, your spouse, family, or roommate can come and open the door for you. If you live in a rental, reach out to your landlord or visit the management office. Most times, they will help you out of the jam but may charge you a small fee. Some landlords are very insightful; they may leave a key on the premises that will come in handy during such situations.
2. Try any accessible doors, windows, or the garage
If you don’t have a roommate, there is nobody to let you in, and you cannot reach the management office or your landlord, you must try to find a way into the house by yourself. Canvas the perimeter of the house and look for any reachable windows and doors. If there is any slightly open window, you can try to remove the screen and slide it open. However, if you cannot get into the house, don’t break any windows yet!
3. Seek help from your neighbors
People always say, “Be nice to your neighbors; they may end up helping you out of a jam!” This is one such situation. If you’re locked out, it is highly unlikely that you have a set of tools in hand. However, your neighbors will help you with certain tools such as a lock pick, a ladder, a bobby pin, or a screwdriver. You can use these tools to open your door.
4. Try using a plastic card to unlock the door
According to House Tipster, you can try to pick the lock depending on what type of door your home has. Many new and modern doors will not open using this method. However, you can use your plastic card, either a credit card or a laminated library card, to pick the standard spring-latch lock. It’s important to note that this method may damage the card; therefore, use a card that is not extremely important such as an expired credit card. To pick the lock, slide the card between the frame and the door, while holding the doorknob with your other hand. Keep turning the knob to create some space for the card to penetrate the door and the frame. Keep it parallel where the doorknob latch is and try to feel around the perimeter. Keep trying as you turn the doorknob till it opens the door.
5. Take out the doorknobs
If the credit card method proves futile, try removing the doorknob. Note that this will only work if your doors don’t have the deadbolt engaged lock. The doors may also not have knobs that can be easily removed.
6. Seek professional help
You have tried everything, but nothing seems to work. You have no other options remaining. It’s time to bring in the locksmith. Depending on your geographic area, and the services required, costs for hiring a locksmith may vary. Despite how much you pay, this is the safest option, especially if you don’t have the patience to keep trying everything else.