It’s happened to nearly everyone at one time or another. You lose or misplace your house key and find yourself locked out of your own home. According to Business Insider, approximately 2 million people were locked out of their home in 2012. While getting locked out of your house is a major inconvenience, there are several things you can do to regain entry.
1. Swipe a Plastic Card
Use a credit card or flat, hard object to try and break into one of the home’s doors. Credit cards will usually work on locks with spring bolts, but not on dead bolts. Dead bolts are generally found above the handle, and cannot be opened with a credit card swipe alone. Wedge the credit card between the door and the frame and attempt to push the spring bolt in to open the door.
2. Unlock the Garage Door
If you have a garage that leads into your home, you may be able to unlock the garage door from the outside. Insert a long piece of metal wire that has a hooked end through the top of the garage door. Use the hook to grasp the garage door latch and pull to open the door.
3. Go through a Window
If you can’t get through a door, the next places you should try are the windows. Check to see if any of the windows are open. If not, you may be able to remove the window frame to get into your home. Borrow a flat-head screwdriver from a neighbor or grab one from your garage. Insert the screwdriver into the bottom of the window pane and jimmy it around, while exerting upwards pressure.
4. Safely Break a Window
If a young child is alone in the home or another type of emergency situation occurs, it may be necessary to break the glass. Wrap your hand in a piece of clothing and strike the glass with a hammer, rock or other blunt object. This strategy should only be attempted in dire circumstances to avoid injury to yourself and damage to your home.
5. Contact a Locksmith
If you can’t easily regain entry into your home, it’s best to call a locksmith. Have a locksmith on speed dial so that you’re prepared for these types of situations. Before hiring a locksmith, get an accurate price quote on labor, parts and fees. When the work is completed, the locksmith should provide you with a detailed invoice.
Becoming locked out of your can present a series of dangers, such as young children left unsupervised, dangerous appliances left on, or food cooking on the stove. When locked out, try the suggestions listed above to try and break into your home.