It’s happened to the best of us: you thought you had grabbed your keys before locking the door, but you didn’t. Before you grab that rock and try to break your own window, there are a few steps that can be taken to get back into your home.
What About the Other Doors and Windows?
In a moment of panic this can often be overlooked, but this is absolutely the first thing you should do. Go around your house and try all the doors, everything from the back door to the garage. If this doesn’t work, see if one of the windows can be pushed open.
Are There Other Ways of Getting In?
According to Precision Locksmiths, professional local locksmiths in Melbourne, there are other methods you can try, such as using an old credit or gift card. You’ll want to use an old card, because when you push it between the frame and the door you have to wiggle it around a lot, potentially ruining the card.
How Does the Credit Card Method Actually Work?
Push the card into the crack next to the latch and start pushing and wiggling. While you are pushing, bend the card away from the doorknob. Try putting pressure on the door with your body weight; hopefully, you can pop the spring open.
I Have a Deadbolt, Is There Anything I Can Do?
Deadbolts are immune to the card method, so from here you’ll have to actually pick the lock. If you don’t have a lock picking kit, you can use a metal coat hanger, bobby pin, or paper clip. If all of this is out of the question, it looks like you’re going to have to call a locksmith.
What Should I Look for When Hiring a Locksmith?
There are many illegitimate locksmiths out there, so make sure when you call to ask for a physical address and whether or not they are part of an accredited locksmith association. If the answer is no to either of these, you are going to want to go somewhere else.
How Do Locksmiths Get into the House?
There are few ways locksmiths can get in. They usually start with a set of tools to slowly pop the lock pins into position so the door opens. Sometimes they use a technique called bumping. If none of this work, they might need to destroy the lock by drilling through it.
What Else Do Locksmiths Do?
As you can imagine, locksmiths don’t just take care of emergencies. They typically install locks in doors, windows, and cabinets. They can also duplicate existing keys, sometimes on site, and even repair broken locks.
How Can I Learn About Lockpicking?
There are many great guides online about the ins and outs of lockpicking. A good guide will detail how tumblers and the tools work, and multiple techniques for opening up different lock types.
What Are the Best Lock Pick Sets?
When shopping, make sure that the set in question has all the tools you’ll need. A good set will allow you to open cylinder locks, tubular locks, car doors, and padlocks. Also make sure they can be easily organized. Get something with a case so you can keep them together.
How Do I Make Sure I Don’t Get Locked Out Again?
Aside from learning a trade, you can make a few mindful choices. Always make sure you pat your pockets or check your purse before leaving the house. You can also give a spare key to your neighbor, or have one hidden in a secret spot around the house.
Where Are Some Good Spots to Keep a Spare Key?
Some of the best spots to keep a spare key are inside your car, or in a magnetized lockbox underneath it. Other good spots to keep it away from a would-be burglar are near a dog house or in a fake sprinkler key holder.
Where Are Some of the Worst Spots to Keep a Spare Key?
As you can imagine, putting it in an obvious space will greatly increase your chance of getting broken into. Avoid areas like underneath a welcome mat or flower pot, as these are some of the first spots a thief looks. A fake rock in the middle of a garden is also pretty transparent.
What About Electronic Locks?
This can be an excellent choice and is safer than traditional locks as they can’t be manipulated as easy. These locks can come in the form of keycodes, but can also be opened remotely via smartphone or laptop.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
If you get locked out, make sure to try all the other openings before attempting anything else. Locksmiths can be used in an emergency, and typically cost anywhere from $100 to $200 depending on your area.