Locked Out: A Guide To Dealing With House Key Emergencies 2024


A well-locked house is a source of security and peace when you are out at work or elsewhere. However, the importance of holding the key to your home in your hand, where all your belongings are kept safe, is often overlooked until you misplace it and get locked out.

Whether a broken key lost key, losing entry to the house can be a source of panic and frustration. However, panic only makes the problem bigger. When locked out of house, a locksmith should be the number one person you contact. A locksmith can help unlock the door without causing damage or high cost. They will also procure a new key if you have lost or damaged the existing one.

Depending on the weather, your schedule, your time, and your neighborhood, getting locked out of your house can bring different levels of panic. However, if you stay calm and composed, you can try a few methods to open the door until your locksmith arrives.

How To Deal With House Key Emergencies


You can try the following in case you damage your key, lose it, or forget it inside the house and get accidentally locked out:

Call Your Family Member

If you don’t live alone, and all the household members are out and about, you can call and ask if they could come back and help you.

Call The Person You Have Given Your Spare Key To

People who live alone generally hand over a spare key to the apartment for such situations to people they trust. This could mean a family member in the same city, a neighbor, or a friend.

You can call them or go to their house and borrow the key, making it simple for you to get in. You can later get a new copy of the key and give them back for safekeeping.

If you live in a rented place, you can call your landlord and ask to borrow their copy. If you live in an apartment building, contact your superintendent, as they usually have a copy of every flat’s key.

Check For Doors Or Windows That May Be Open

If you cannot arrange a key in good time and need to enter the house immediately, you can always check for any windows or doors you may have left open. While you should always lock such entrances, there might be a chance of human error.

However, first, look inside to check for any signs of forced entrance or robbery. Then, wiggle the windows, back doors, or garage doors to check if you may have left them open, making it your lucky day for the particular situation.

Try Using Make-shift Tools


Generally seen in movies, you can use items such as a credit card or a screwdriver to help open the lock or wiggle open a window. While this may not work 100%, there is no harm in trying.

If you have a spring-latch lock, try sliding a laminated card between the latch and door frame. Then, push the card in the opposite direction of the doorknob and wiggle open the door.

You can also use bobby pins or paper clips to try to pick a lock. Bend either of these into an L shape, and the other into a small W. Hold the lock with the L piece and slide the W into the lock as a key. Then, wiggle it around to help unlock the door.

If you don’t have these tools, you can ask your neighbor for help and borrow theirs.

Take Off The Doorknob

Ask your neighbor for a screwdriver to remove the knob. Different door locks are removed in different ways. You can perform a quick google search and follow the instructions to help remove the door lock.

Call A Locksmith

The most preferred way to get entry to a locked house is to call a locksmith. However, trying to unlock the door with traditional methods can cause damage, costing you a new lock. If you want to avoid such trouble, you can contact a locksmith.

Locksmith services are generally available throughout the day and will reach you as soon as possible. They will use their tools to open the lock without breaking in.

This saves you the cost of a new door or a window, which is more expensive than a locksmith’s service.

Break In

The last resort is breaking into your house in case of an emergency, such as your child being alone, and your spare key or a locksmith will take considerable time to reach.

Try kicking in your back door near the knob. If you do not have another door to enter the house, break a back or side window. However, ensure that the inside is explicit and remove any glass scraps before going through the window frame. Only do this in an emergency as it has a high risk involved.

How To Prevent A Lockout


You should avoid locking yourself out of the home rather than panicking if you lose your key. The following tips can help prepare for such a situation:

  1. Hide a set of spare keys around the house, such as in a tree, in your outside air conditioning unit, or under well-hidden rocks.
  2. Give your trusty neighbor a set of spare keys, as they are the person you can reach most quickly.
  3. You can also upgrade to a smart or keyless lock which you can open through a passcode or your smartphone.
  4. Keep your keys near the door inside the house so that you remember to pick them up before you step out.


Anyone can get locked out of their house due to a lost, broken, or forgotten key. It can be a situation of panic depending, regardless of the conditions. With varying levels of panic, it can be challenging to make smart decisions.

If you cannot find your way in with the help of a neighbor, friend, or an open entry, calling a locksmith is the best option, rather than trying to break in and end up hurting yourself.

Written by Rebecca Eulikk