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How to Escape Being Locked Outside of the House Without Breaking Down the Door

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How to Escape Being Locked Outside of the House Without Breaking Down the Door

Being locked out of a house is one of the most frustrating things but it is almost inevitable. If you don’t have a spare key and a family member or trusted neighbor doesn’t have a spare, sometimes you are the only option you have for getting back in. Ideally, you should be able to get back in without causing damage to your home, but in an emergency, you really have to do what is necessary. Below are some ways of getting around being locked out of your house without breaking down any doors.

Check the Windows

While it is never wise to leave a window unlocked intentionally, accidents do happen. Check to see if you or someone in your home accidentally left a window unlocked, as this becomes the ideal entry point when locked out of a house.[1] If there is a screen on the window, it will need to be removed. Then, just open the window and squeeze on through. Do be careful when entering the home through a window, as you will likely be off-balance and there is probably furniture in the way of your entry.

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Standard Spring Lock

Use a credit card on these types of locks if there is no deadbolt. To open a door using a credit card, you will need a sturdy card that you do not mind potentially damaging. You will insert this card between the door frame and the latch. The card should be held perpendicular to the door as you push and wiggle the card between the two. While pushing, bend the card away from the knob as an attempt to get the latch to slide back.

Use your body weight on the card when bending. If successful, make sure that you take measures to make your home more secure because, even though you’re in, you have now seen how easy it is to break into your home.

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Use a Pet Door

This may seem unconventional, but if you or someone you know is small enough to fit through a doggy door, it is worth a shot. Though it should not be a habit for you to leave a pet door unsecured, it will work in your favor if you have the unfortunate occurrence of being locked out of your home. Even if the pet door is blocked off, it may be possible to move the obstructions from the outside.

Pick the Lock

If you think you can, try to pick the lock.[2] While using a bobby pin or a paper clip, do the following:

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  • Straighten the item out flat and do not break it. If there are rubber-coated tips, remove these.
  • Insert it slightly into the lock by 1-2 centimeters. Bend the item back so that there is now a 90-degree angle at the tip.
  • Make a grip on the end that you are holding by curling it around your finger.
  • Take a second pin and bend it to a right angle.
  • Use this second pin (lever) and insert it into the lock. Turn this in the direction that normally opens the door. Use gentle pressure.
  • Insert the first pin now and feel for the lock pins by moving them up and down. If you do not feel the lock pins, ease up on the pressure.
  • Push on the lock pins until they click into place—the pin should be resisting, and you should move it up with your pick.

Smash a Window

While this is definitely not ideal, it could be your only option. If there is a door with window panes, one of the panes can be broken, allowing the knob to be unlocked from the outside.

Remove the Doorknob

This will work as long as there is not a deadbolt in use. Many times, the mounting screws are concealed, but there should be a tiny hole below the knob. Use a paper clip or bobby pin to apply pressure to this and twist the doorknob until it comes off. Then remove the decorative plates to expose the lockset.[3] This allows you to pull back on the lock mechanism to unlock the door.

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Call a Locksmith

If no other options are doable for you, call a professional. It will cost you, but getting a quick quote shouldn’t be a problem. There may be a visit fee in addition to a service fee, so be clear about what is needed.

Featured photo credit: Neshom via pixabay.com

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Reference

[1] Safewise: What to Do When You’re Locked Out of Your House
[2] Qualified Hardware: How to Pick a Lock
[3] How Stuff Works: 10 Ways to Break Into a House

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