We’ve all done it. You’re in a rush to get out of the house for the school run, laden down with the pushchair, lunch boxes, sports kits and children dragging their feet. You get everyone out of the house, grab the last bag and the door clicks shut behind you. With your keys still inside the house. Don’t get stuck on the doorstep. Here’s what to do if you’ve been locked out of the house by mistake.
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Where Are The Spare Keys?
Have you given anyone a spare key? Does your Mum have a key to the house, or does your neighbor still have your spare from that time they fed the cat while you were on holiday? Think hard and if you can think of anyone with a key, call them. If you rent, your landlord should have a key and should be your first call.
Look For Another Entry
Take a walk around the outside of your home and check to see if another door is open. Is the back door locked? Could you slide the patio door open from the outside? Can you get into the house through the garage?
Look for open windows. An open window on the ground floor could be a way in. if the gap is too small for you, could you put one of the children through the window so they can open the front door from inside? Make sure, if you do this, that you choose a child who will definitely understand what they need to do and that you can do it safely.
Call A Locksmith
If you can’t find a way in and there’s no spare key, call a locksmith. This won’t be cheap, but an emergency callout can be with you and have you back inside with a new lock fitted pretty quickly. It’s also safer than trying to break in yourself with tricks like popping the locks with a plastic card or trying to open them with a screwdriver. These methods can work but can cause more damage before you get in. If a locksmith does have to break in, at least you know they’ll have a working lock for you when they leave.
Remove The Door Knob
If you know your neighbors, ask to borrow a screwdriver. Remove all the screws from the doorknob on the outside to allow you to operate the lock from outside. You could even unscrew the hinges in an emergency, for example, if you’re locked out, with young children still inside. In a pinch, a coin or a paperclip can be used as a screwdriver.
This should be a last resort, but in a real emergency, you may have to just a break-in. If the baby is inside alone, someone inside is injured or the bath has been left running, breaking in is the fastest way to get back in. Whether you break a window, smash a glass panel in the door or force the door, getting in should be your priority in an emergency situation.