What to Do If You Have Locked Yourself Outside in Tampa Florida
The unthinkable has been thunked, you've managed to lock yourself outside of your apartment. What do you do now?
The best option will be to go pick up the spare you left with your good neighbor for this very situation. If not, don't worry there are plenty of other things to do rather than break windows and kick down doors.
Things to Try if You Have Locked yourself Out of Your Home
Call for help
Do you happen to have some fellow residents? A roommate or relative may be the fastest way to gain access to your home. It may be an inconvenience but not one as severe as standing outside of your home for the next few hours. What about a landlord? If you have a landlord, there may be a chance they have a spare set of keys and can help you into your home. In an apartment complex, the building manager sometimes has a set of keys or master key. You will need to provide some proof that you are who you say you are.
Look for unlocked windows
As a rule, to avoid burglary, you should never leave your windows unlocked while you are away -- NEVER! But, if you did you may have a way to get back into your home. Take time to remove the screen and lift the window carefully correctly. Be sure there are no tables or obstacles on the inside before you shimmy through. Be careful climbing into a window as the presence of glass and the awkward maneuvering can cause injury. Attempt this activity at your own risk.
Grab a credit card
This technique just might work if the only thing between you and your home is a spring-lock type doorknob. A credit card will never work on a deadbolt door system
Begin by selecting a card that can be destroyed without great loss. The expired Chuck-e-Cheese membership or gift card will do just fine. A laminated card like the old blockbuster type also works especially well due to the flexibility in the plastics.
- Locate the spot where the latch will enter the door frame.
- Insert the card between the door and the frame at this place.
- Hold the card perpendicular to the latch and begin wiggling and pushing the card into the lock.
- While you push down also bend the card back toward the frame in an attempt to press the latch back into the door and out of its socket. Lean your weight against the door while working it open, this prevents the lock from going back into the socket.
- If you have successfully opened your door, you will want to get a locksmith over to improve the security of your home.
Remove the door knob
If the two sides of the door knob are split, they can be individually removed, and the door opened. This will work so long as the deadbolts are not in place. Most door knob types have a connecting screw or mounting connection hidden somewhere in the handle. If you look carefully, you could find a small pinhole or slot containing a small screw.
The pin can be easily removed with a small screwdriver. If you were to find the small pinhole, look for a paper clip or bobby pin to insert into the hole and apply pressure. You will need to apply pressure against the resistance inside the door knob with one hand. The other hand will be pulling or pushing the doorknob to the side. Push the pin into the pin hole as far as you can and continue working the door knob loose with the other hand. If you feel the progress is being made, no matter how small there is a good chance the doorknob is meant to be removed in this fashion so continue until it comes loose.
The decorative plate can be removed with a screwdriver or pried off to reveal the spring mechanism below.
Call a locksmith
Finally, if you have exhausted all other possibilities of gaining entry to the house, call a locksmith before throwing a brick through the window and possibly causing serious injury. You will want to call a few and find the best fee. Most locksmiths have a regular fee plus a "visit fee" which you will be charged if they show up on-site to open doors.
Set yourself up for success
Once the alarm has passed and you are once again inside take a moment to avoid this from happening again. The fact is history repeats itself, but you will be better prepared if you:
- Give a spare key to a trusted friend or neighbor who lives close by.
- If you live a good distance from anyone else. Consider obtaining one of those inconspicuous looking Hiding spots where you can stow a spare key. You will want to select an object that matches the natural surroundings of your home like a rock or log. Just be very careful of who sees you place this key in the hiding spot.
- Form a small mantra before leaving home each day. Say "Wallet, keys, phone!" a few times before you step out of the door and whenever you come in. A small Post-It reminding you to do this each day will get you started in 28 days.
Consider the Keyless option
In this day of technological paradise, there is no need to be bogged down with these relics of a mechanical world. Today keyless entry automatic doors can be opened and shut without the need of a physical key. Many of these high-tech options can be accessed through a smart device app.
Author: Keri Evans