WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE LOCKED OF FLAT? | TIPS FOR RESIDENTS LOCKED OUT OF APARTMENT
Probably, every person at least once in his life found himself in a situation when it wasn’t possible to open the front door for one reason or another. To stand in front of the door of your own apartment and not be able to open the lock and get inside is, of course, not the most pleasant experience. As a rule, an active search for ideas that should help get out of the situation begins here. Let’s consider the most common tips that are given when someone is locked out of flat:
Get into your apartment through the neighbors’ balcony.
It is better to dismiss the idea of getting into the apartment through the neighbor’s balcony right away, especially if the apartment is on a high floor. Such attempts end well only in movies. In life, the outcome can be disastrous.
Disassemble the lock using the tools at hand.
If you have a lock in your door that can be easily opened with the help of improvised means, change it immediately. Fortunately, most modern door locks cannot be opened without proper tools and qualifications. Otherwise, your London property would be left vulnerable to burglary attempts.
Kick down the front door.
Such advice is easy to give if the apartment is not yours. But if the door in front of which you are standing was installed a month ago and cost you a fortune, then you have to think hard about breaking it. In addition, such a rash decision will entail additional problems, the solution of which will cost a lot of money and effort.
Call professional locksmiths.
If the door to the apartment slammed shut, and the keys remained inside, the locking device is jammed or a fragment of the broken key is stuck in the cylinder, there is only one way to gain access quickly, without damaging the door and compromising the security of your premises – emergency door opening performed by a qualified locksmith. If you are locked out of house, the experts who provide the service of the emergency door opening will gain entry quickly without any destructive actions; the problem will be solved with minimal loss of time and money. We sincerely wish you do not find yourself locked out of flat. But, if the problem has already happened, we’ll be glad to help.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE LOCKED OUT OF APARTMENT DUE TO A BROKEN KEY?
Such a nuisance as a key that has broken in the lock can be a frustrating experience. It can happen with the front door to the apartment and with any lock in the car, ignition lock, trunk, hood, front and rear doors. The reason may be trivial: over the years, the lock has become dirty, dusty, and has never seen any lubricant. Therefore, the key in the hole began to turn tightly and, as a result, broke. There are other reasons, but only a specialist can accurately establish them. What can be done in such situations? How to open the door without damage if the key in the lock cylinder breaks?
- Try to remove the key fragment from the keyhole. The process of removing fragments from the doors of an apartment and a car is similar. If part of the key protrudes from the lock, grasp it firmly with pliers and pull it towards you so that the hidden part of the key comes out of the groove.
- It is more difficult when the key does not protrude from the lock. Take a flat-blade screwdriver, insert it into the lock and press into it. Pull the doorknob towards you while pressing in. Simulate the movement of the key with a screwdriver to open the doors.
- An even more radical method is to drill out the lock. Resorting to it, you risk finally breaking the lock and damaging the doors. For drilling, you will have to invite a locksmith and then put in a new lock. But if it is more or less simple to change the locking mechanism on the front doors, then in some car models you will have to replace the entire door. Such repairs will significantly hit your pocket.
- In case you are locked out of home, the emergency opening of locks is a safe alternative to the methods described above. Many companies specializing in the provision of such services work around the clock and fulfil orders quickly. As a rule, specialists arrive on site within 30 minutes from the moment of the call. It takes us a little time to extract the key from the keyhole. But the main advantage of professional locksmith services is that the lock remains intact after removing the fragments of the key. Cleaning and lubrication are often all that the locking mechanism requires for further trouble-free operation.
PROVEN METHODS OF EMERGENCY DOOR OPENING
When you are locked out of apartment because the key is lost, broken or forgotten inside the premises, you can act on your own or contact a specialist, because there is a great risk of ruining the door.
HOW DO EMERGENCY LOCKSMITHS WORK?
Experienced locksmiths know the intricacies of the design of the door locks and have the necessary arsenal of tools. In case you are locked out of flat, you will need to confirm your right of access to the property. The operation can be carried out in the presence of two witnesses and a district police officer.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO GAIN ENTRY ON YOUR OWN IF YOU ARE LOCKED OUT OF FLAT?
It is worth performing emergency door opening on your own if the lock does not have anti-burglary protection and there is confidence in a positive result. Among the existing methods, you can choose the most optimal. When you’re locked out of home, the main thing is not to rush so as not to damage the mechanism.
BASIC LOCK OPENING METHODS
In addition to opening locks with original keys, there are several alternative methods:
- Key selection. Most often used for cylinder mechanisms.
- Push up the door. Allows access to the latch. Press on it with a knife or screwdriver to get out of the strike plate.
- Impact with a screwdriver. Insert it into the cylinder and try to crank.
- Lock drilling. It involves drilling out the cylinder and knocking out the levers.
- Using chemicals. Fill the keyhole with acid or liquid nitrogen and remove the mechanism.
TOOLS REQUIRED WHEN OPENING THE DOOR WITHOUT A KEY
The choice of tools for door opening will depend on the type of lock and the direction of opening, indoors or outdoors. Most of the tools are universal and interchangeable. The basic set includes pliers, jigsaw file, metal crowbar, steel wire, screwdrivers of different sizes with flat and cross-blades, hairpin, drill with a set of bits and hammer.
LOCKING MECHANISM TYPES
Lever mechanisms, which are triggered by a double-bit key, are widely used, which is explained by their reliability, but they can also create a lot of problems for someone locked out of house. They are opened with master keys or improvised means. The operation of the lock is based on the fact that one side of the key raises the levers, and the other moves the crossbars. In case of an emergency opening, the sequence of action is reversed. First, the crossbars are pressed, then the levers are raised with a hook. With the brute force opening method, a suitable key or blank is placed in the keyhole and the levers are knocked out. The method is considered effective, but it takes time.
Conventional locks can be opened with a screwdriver or a thin wire. To open the lock, you need to drill a hole at the location of the levers. Insert a bent wire and turn it. With the right actions, all levers will move freely. It is possible to open cylinder locks using master keys. They consist of two parts. One is L-shaped with a flat side, and the other resembles a hook. The first tool is inserted into the top of the cylinder and rotated as it opens. At this time, the second tool turns the pins. After correctly performed manipulations, the doors will open. Alternatively, you can try to open the door with a similar key.
Locking mechanism will give in to brute force. Drill 5mm holes under the keyhole. Instead of a key, insert a screwdriver and turn the mechanism. The outer trim can be removed from the door to allow access to the core. The cylinder is clamped with pliers on the protruding part and removed. After using such a lock opening method, the device will have to be replaced.
SAFE FRONT DOOR OPENING
Careless actions or breakage of the locking mechanism leave the owners locked out of house. Try to squeeze the bolt with smooth movements by placing a flat screwdriver, knife or steel plate in the gap between the door and frame. The next option is to disassemble the lock and move the crossbars manually. It happens that the lock does not open because the key is stuck inside. After lubricating the mechanism with machine oil, it will not be difficult to remove the key with careful movements. If the cylinder mechanism is faulty, it is drilled out and dismantled. Sometimes it is simply knocked out with a hammer. If you have a file or grinder at hand, as well as a sufficient gap between the frame and the door, you can try to saw the bolt.
The owners of cylinder locks sometimes experience such a nuisance as a broken key, when part of it remains in the keyhole. No matter the reason for being locked out of apartment, it is worth trying to open the entrance iron door without destroying the device. It is recommended to lubricate the lock beforehand because if the mechanism is jammed, there is a high probability that a piece of the key will break under load again.
- A jigsaw file, which can be asked from neighbors, will help to pull out the fragment of the key.
- When part of the key is sticking out of the lock, pliers are used to remove the fragment.
- If you can’t get the key or the piece is deep in the lock, you will have to unscrew and drill the mechanism. In such a case, it is better to seek professional help.
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