Did you just get locked out of your own house? If so, you might be panicking right now and wondering how in the world you're going to get back into it.
You should start by taking a few deep breaths so that you can regain your composure. Getting locked out of a house isn't ideal, but you also don't have to let it ruin your day.
By pulling yourself together and figuring out what to do when you're locked out of your house, you should be able to get back inside in no time at all. You should also be able to take some steps along the way to ensure that you don't ever find yourself in this same situation again.
Here is everything that you need to know about what you should do after getting locked out of your home.
What to Do When You Realize You’re Locked Out of Your Home
When you first realize that you're locked out of your home, your initial instinct might be to crumple up on your front porch and cry. But you should avoid doing this at all costs since it's only going to delay you from finding a way back into your house.
Instead of freaking out over the fact that you're locked out of your home, there are several steps that you can take to try and get back into it within just a few minutes. Here are the steps that you should attempt to take right after realizing that you're locked out of a house.
1. See If Any of Your Home's Doors or Windows Are Unlocked
You might not be able to get back into your home's front door right now. But that doesn't mean that there isn't another door or window that you can use to regain access to your home.
You should walk around the perimeter of your home and check each door and window to see if any of them are unlocked. While you should try to make it a point to lock all the doors and windows in your home when you're not around, there is always a chance that you or another family member may have forgotten to lock one of them when locking a house up.
In a perfect world, you'll stumble upon an unlocked door or window and be able to walk right back into your home. This will be the most convenient way to get back into your house when you're locked out of it.
2. Call a Family Member to Come Home and Unlock Your Door
If you live alone, you're obviously not going to be able to call on a family member to come home and unlock your front door for you. But if there are other people who live in your home and have a key for it, they might be able to assist you when you're locked out of your house.
Give them a call if you can't find any unlocked doors or windows in your home and see if they can come home and use their key to get you back into your house. As long as they aren't too far away when you call them, they should be able to get you back inside within an hour or so at most.
3. Think About Who Might Have a Spare Key for Your House
Is there anyone out there who might have a spare key for your home at this time? Maybe you gave one to your neighbor when you went on vacation last summer, or maybe you gave one to your dog walker when you hired them to start coming over at lunchtime to let your dog outside.
Most homeowners have handed out at least one or two spare keys to people that they trust. If you fall into this category, you should see if you can track down someone who has a spare key for your home so that they can come over and unlock your front door for you.
How Can You Unlock Your Front Door Without a Key?
Ideally, you'll be able to locate a spare key for your home after getting locked out of it so that you can get back inside. But if you're not able to do it, there are still some ways that you might be able to unlock your front door without a key.
You should put a few of these tricks to the test before you begin to lose your mind over being locked out of your house. Check out some of the ways in which you may be able to unlock a front door without a key.
1. Contact a Local Locksmith and Ask Them to Assist You
The easiest way to get back into your home when you're locked out of it without a key is by contacting a local locksmith service and asking them to help. There are more than 25,000 locksmith services throughout the country at this time, including at least a few in your immediate area.
You should Google "locked out of house locksmith" and see all the different names that pop up. You should then hire the locksmith that comes highly recommended by those in your community based on the reviews that people have left for them in the past.
It's worth noting that you are typically going to have to spend between $100 and $200 to hire a professional locksmith to help you. But it'll be well worth it in many cases once you see how fast you'll be able to get back into your house.
2. See If You Can Pop a Door Lock With a Bobby Pin or Paper Clip
If you can't afford to spend too much time sitting around waiting for a locksmith to arrive at your home, you might want to try popping a door lock with a bobby pin or a paper clip. Even if you haven't ever done this before, it's not that difficult to do as long as you follow a few simple instructions.
To pop a door lock with a bobby pin or a paper clip, you'll need to:
Bend one side of a bobby pin or paper clip so that it forms an "L" shape
Straighten the other side of a bobby pin or paper clip and bend the end of it to form a "W" shape
Hold the "L" shape that you made with your bobby pin or paper clip and stick the "W" shape into your lock
Use the "W" shape in your bobby pin or paper clip to feel around for the pins located inside your lock
Attempt to push the pins inside your lock up using the "W" shape in your bobby pin or paper clip
With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of patience, you might be able to unlock your front door on your own without a locksmith's assistance. Just be careful about being too aggressive with your bobby pin or paper clip. It could result in you inadvertently doing damage to your lock.
3. Try Using a Credit Card to Unlock Your Door
You're going to have a tough time using a credit card to unlock most modern front doors. They're often equipped with locks that you can't unlock with credit cards or other hard plastic cards.
But if you're trying to get into a door that has a standard spring bolt in it, you might be able to unlock it with something as simple as a credit card. You'll just need to work your way through these steps:
Pick out a credit card, debit card, or gift card that you can afford to destroy while trying to unlock a door
Stick your card in between the frame for your door and the door at the location of the latch
Keep your card perpendicular to your door and wiggle it around while pushing it in
Bend your card in the opposite direction of your doorknob while you're jiggling it around to try and slide the latch away from your door's doorjamb
Slide your card in between the frame and the latch so that you can push your door open with ease
Just like when you try to use a bobby pin or paper clip to unlock a door, you should be very careful about how you use a credit card, debit card, or gift card to tinker with a lock. You might end up doing more harm than good if you jam it in between your frame and door too forcefully.
4. Remove the Doorknob From Your Door
If you know for a fact that the deadbolt for a door is locked, you shouldn't even bother trying to take off the doorknob on it. But if the deadbolt isn't locked, removing the doorknob from a locked door is a relatively simple way to get back into your home when you're locked out.
Most doorknobs have a tiny hole located on the side of them. You can stick a bobby pin or paper clip into this hole and turn your knob at the same time to loosen it. Once you have it off, you should be able to get to the locking mechanism inside of your doorknob so that you can unlock it. It's one more way to get back into a locked house without a locksmith's help.
Locked Out of a Rental? Always Call Your Landlord Before Taking Drastic Measures!
When you're locked out of your own house, you're more than welcome to do whatever you want in an effort to get back into it. There are some people who will go as far as to break a window and pay to replace it later to regain entry to their house.
When you're locked out of a rental property, though, you have to be careful about what you do while trying to get back inside. Generally speaking, you should always, always, always call your landlord before you decide to take any drastic measures. Otherwise, you could end up having to pay a pretty penny for a new lock, a new doorknob, or even a new door!
How to Avoid Getting Locked Out of Your Home in the Future
After getting locked out of your house, you're going to want to avoid doing it again anytime in the near future. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to steer clear of getting locked out of your home. Continue reading to learn about some of these things.
1. Hide a Spare Key for Your House Somewhere Safe and Accessible
If you don't already have a spare key somewhere on the exterior of your home, you should change that immediately. There are so many places that you can put a house key so that you always have one handy.
Try not to put a spare key under a doormat, beneath a flowerpot, or in another spot where a burglar might look. There are sure to be at least a few good hiding spots situated in various places outside of your home.
2. Give a Spare Key for Your Home to a Neighbor You Trust
If you aren't all that close with any of your neighbors, you might not feel 100% comfortable giving them a spare key to your house. But if you're friendly with one or more of them, you shouldn't be shy about asking them to hold onto a spare key for you.
They can give you their spare key if you ever lock yourself out of your house again. They can also use their spare key to check up on your home if you ever need them to do it for any reason.
3. Consider Installing a Smart Lock on Your Front Door
If you want to make sure that you don't ever have to worry about getting locked out of your house again, installing a keyless lock on your front door will be the smartest move you ever make.
A smart lock will allow you keyless entry with a punch-in code to lock and unlock your door. It'll also allow you to use an app to lock and unlock your door from anywhere in the world. It'll prove to be a fantastic investment right from the start.
Call ADT to Ensure You and Your Loved Ones Never Get Locked Out Again
Does installing a smart lock on your front door sound like something that you might want to do? ADT would love to tell you all about our smart locks and show you how they'll stop you from getting locked out of your home.
ADT would also love to tell you about the other home security solutions that you should consider installing in your home. They'll make your home safer than ever before and eliminate any worries that you might have when it comes to your home security situation.
Contact us today for more information on our ADT smart locks and ADT home security systems.