Getting locked out of your house can make you feel silly, embarrassed, or sick. It’s never a fun experience. The good news is that you can get back in without too much hassle. If you are truly locked out you will likely need to call a locksmith.
Stay Calm and Check Your Options
Check all options – If you think you are locked don’t panic. Calmly try the door one more time, give the handle a jiggle, and see if you can push the door open. Or, there may be another way in. Check other doors and windows to see if you can gain access through an unlocked entry.
Phone a friend – Do you have roommates or somebody you’ve left a key with like a maid, relative, or friend? Calling in a favor might get you out of a bind. If somebody whom you’ve given a key to isn’t willing to help out then maybe they shouldn’t have a key in the first place.
Check with landlord or management – If you are a renter, then your landlord or management company should have a spare to help you get back in. Be prepared to prove who you are.
Try some WD-40 – If you have a key, but don’t think it is working you may need a few sprays of WD-40 to loosen up the keyhole or locking mechanism.
Credit Card Trick – This method generally only works with older locks. If you have a spare credit card push it in between the door and frame aiming for the lock. Apply pressure and wiggle the credit card to push the lock back. This requires continued jimmying and pressure, but you may be able to slide the lock out and open the door.
Call a Locksmith
If you are fresh out of ideas, then a reputable local locksmith is your best bet to regain access to your home. Avoid scams by asking for a cost estimate and extra charges up front. Also, don’t let the locksmith drill your lock. This is generally only necessary for high security locks. For most door locks a good locksmith has the tools and know-how to get you in quickly.
Prevent Getting Locked Out
Remember the axiom “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Take precautions to make sure you are never truly locked out of your house. Here are some tips to prevent a lock-out situation.
Give a spare key to a friend – Leave a spare key with a neighbor or friend who lives close by. If you find yourself locked out of your house, you can simply walk over or call them to retrieve the key for you. Plus, when you are out of town and need to give somebody access to your house they key is already within reach.
Hide a key in wallet or purse – If you don’t have any friends around or don’t want to trouble neighbors then make sure to hide a house or apartment key in your wallet or purse. Placing it in a secure and inconspicuous spot will ensure that in your moment of need you can rely on yourself.
Hide a key outside – If you have a variety of options to safely hide a key outside your home then find a place nobody would think to look. A spare key under the doormat isn’t going to cut it here. Potential intruders can find hidden keys in the obvious hiding places. Make sure you pick a place only you know about. And only access it in an emergency. You don’t want anyone to see you
Keyless locks – Keyless locks ensure that you will never lose the key. Many home automation companies include keyless door locks that you can control from a smartphone. More traditional keyless locks have a keypad to type in a code.