How to Get Back Into Your House When You’re Locked Out

Being unable to gain entry to one’s residence due to being locked outside can prove an annoying and distressing occurrence. These situations typically arise during times that are least favourable, causing discomfort as one finds themselves stationed directly in front of their home with no obvious means of re-gaining entrance. Before reaching for more extreme solutions, such as shattering a pane of glass or contacting emergency services, it is advisable to consider alternative, safer approaches to resolving the predicament. This article will outline multiple strategies available to aid individuals in recovering entry to their abode without resorting to unnecessary actions. It will also provide guidance on measures to avoid experiencing similar circumstances in the future.

Check the Other Entry Points

One of the first things you should do when you find yourself locked out is to check the other doors of your house. Sometimes, you may have left another entry point unlocked in the rush of leaving or entering. Patio doors, garage doors, and side doors are all worth examining. Remember that trying to force open an outside entrance is not advisable, as it can lead to damage and potential injury.

Look for Open First-Floor Windows

If all your doors are locked, consider checking for open first-floor windows. Many people diligently lock their doors but may not latch their windows. If you find a window that’s large enough for you to crawl through, proceed with caution. Remove the screen carefully and assess the interior before entering to avoid damaging your belongings.

Reach Out to Someone with a Spare Key

In times of need, it’s crucial to lean on those close by for help. If you reside with loved ones or roommates, or have provided spare keys to confidants, now is the opportune moment to reach out and ask for their support. A trusted individual may possess an additional key that can gain entry into your abode. Collaborate with these individuals to obtain entry back into your home. As a renter, you may also consider reaching out to your landlord or property manager, as they typically keep backup keys for emergencies like this.

Consider Removing the Doorknob

In dire circumstances, some individuals may opt for an unconventional solution by disabling their front door’s locking mechanism. To access the interior of the house without a key, one can try the following procedure with caution: locate the tiny latch situated near the bottom of the doorknob, press it inwards, and remove the knob. Subsequently, utilise a screwdriver or your fingers to retract the latch. It is essential to emphasise that this technique should only be employed as a final resort and with utmost care to prevent any potential damage to the door itself.

Try Unlocking with Improvised Methods

If you don’t have access to a spare key or the assistance of someone with a key, you can try improvised methods like using a credit card or bobby pins to unlock the door. This method may work if your lock is a spring latch, but it won’t be effective with a deadbolt. Be cautious not to damage your credit card in the process, and if you succeed in unlocking the door, consider upgrading to a more secure lock afterwards.

Call the Landlord if You’re a Renter

Renters have an advantage in this situation – their landlords or apartment managers typically have spare keys to the property. Reach out to your landlord or building management and explain the problem. Ensure you have proper identification, especially in large apartment complexes, where they may not recognise all residents.

Ask a Locksmith for Help

When all else fails, it’s time to call in a professional locksmith. Locksmiths are experts in handling lockouts and can swiftly unlock your door without causing damage. While locksmith services may come at a cost, it’s a reliable and safe way to regain access to your house. Recommendations from friends or online searches can help you find a reputable locksmith in your area.

Prevent Future Lockouts

After successfully getting back into your house, it’s essential to prevent future lockouts. Here are some proactive measures you can consider:

Hide a Pair of Spare Keys

Select a secure hiding spot for a spare key, such as the back of your property, away from the road and your house. Avoid common places like under the doormat or a fake rock, as burglars often check these locations. Alternatively, tape a spare key to your outdoor air conditioning unit in an accessible but inconspicuous place.

Consider Installing a Keyless Smart Lock

Modern keyless smart locks offer an effective solution to prevent lockouts. They can be operated with codes or smartphone apps, eliminating the need for physical keys. While installing a keyless lock, ensure you hire a professional locksmith to do the job correctly and securely.

Remember to Take Your Keys

Lastly, make it a habit to double-check that you have your keys with you before leaving your house. Consider placing your keys with essentials you always carry, like your wallet or phone. You can even use a reminder near the front door to prompt you to check for your house keys.


Being locked outside one’s residence can be an exasperating predicament. Yet, it is crucial to maintain composure and employ practical strategies for promptly resolving the issue without compromising safety or causing unnecessary harm. Before attempting drastic measures, verify if alternative entry points, such as additional doors or windows, could provide unauthorised access.

In case no alternate routes exist, consult individuals who might possess extra sets of keys or call upon skilled professional locksmiths who specialise in delivering swift and secure solutions. Moreover, to avoid recurring situations like this in the future, it is recommended to keep hidden spares at discrete locations, incorporate electronic keyless systems into your home security infrastructure, and make regular key inspections a habitual part of your daily schedule. By adhering to these recommendations, you can limit the distress and disruption caused by unexpected door unavailability.