What to Do When You’re Locked Out of the House


There are, of course, more frustrating things than being locked out of your house— although, to be fair, it’s not a very long list. So you’ve somehow gotten locked out of your house. Now what?

Not only do you run the risk of looking like you’re breaking into your own home, but you also face the possibility of having to fork over some cash for a locksmith to let you in or any damage you might cause to a window you use to get back in.

Ideally, you’ll already have given a spare house key to a trusted neighbor or friend for a day just like this. But if not, here are a few things you can try:


Ask for help

Do you live alone? If not, maybe consider contacting someone who lives with you to help you get in. Sure, it might be pretty inconvenient to ask your housemates to come let you in, but not nearly as inconvenient as being stranded outside your house.

If you’re renting, try reaching out to your landlord. Chances are good that they’ll have a copy of your house key and, depending on their location, might even be close enough to swing by and let you in. If you live in an apartment complex, stop by the manager’s office and ask to be let into your place. You’ll no doubt need to provide proof of who you are and the fact that you do indeed live in the complex.

call locksmith

Look for unlocked windows

Of course you would never leave your windows unlocked, but on the off chance you did, an unlocked window is the perfect entry point. Simply remove the screen (if there is one), open the window, and shimmy through. Be careful as you enter through the window, as you’re likely to be off balance. Also be aware of what furniture or items may be lying below the window, such as end tables, TV’s, or other household items.

open window

Call a locksmith

When you’ve exhausted all your option, it may be time to call a local locksmith. Start by getting some quotes on how much they will charge to unlock your house. Many shops charge a visit fee on top of the actual service fee, so depending how on bad you want to get into your house, you may want to call around to get the best deal.



Set yourself up for success

Once you’ve finally gained entrance to your home, try and take steps to prepare for the next time you inevitably find yourself on the wrong side of a locked door.

  • Give a spare key or two to a close friend or neighbor for easy access
  • If you aren’t close with your neighbors, consider buying and stashing a “hide-a-key”. Look for a realistically designed one made to blend in with natural surroundings, like a rock or something innocuous. But be aware that potential thieves are fairly aware of these, so choose a location that is unnoticeable and out of the way.

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