(Disclaimer: This method is highly, extremely, most conclusively, impractical for breaking and entering a threshold that is not your own. The frustrated grunting and pushing and doorknob jiggling will unobtrusively alert others to your presence, and that of law enforcement as well. This method is also not universal, but hey, everything is worth a try in any emergency)
Locked Out Of Your Own Home? A Temporary Key Replacement
“Temporary Key Replacement” is fancy talk for “lock picker.” And you really don’t need any fancy talk for when you find that you have lost your keys and have locked yourself out. You have had a long day; you only want to go inside and lie down. At most perhaps, the only talk you can ever manage is an incoherent wail of despair or a long and rather expressive stream of expletives. But fret not, and you don’t need to break in by smashing through the kitchen windows like a common thief. You can use any of the cards in your wallet!
Now, it’s a common trick for TV characters (mostly spies and sassy burglars) to have all sorts of sharp shiny objects somehow included in their cards when picking locks, or make it look too easy by simply sliding a cars lazily through the gap of the doorway. Real life isn’t as convenient (you’ve locked yourself out after all, and are using a card, among other things). Here is what you must do:
First, you must choose a card that is flexible and is relatively unimportant (by comparison of course, to the hundreds of ID’s and credit cards you have somehow managed to cram into your wallet) because a great deal of picking and maneuvering will most likely deform the card. You can’t see into the doorway gap or the lock itself, so a malleable card will make it easy for you to manage.
2. Zone in
Slide the card of your selection into the gap between the door and the doorway and keep sliding as far as you can towards the lock. If you encounter an obstruction, keep sliding past it until you find that you can’t slide any further.
Pull the side of the card that you are holding as close to the doorknob as possible. This is where the strength of your card (and your patience) will be tested. If the card is brittle, it will snap. If it hasn’t yet, then keep pulling. The idea is that you are maneuvering the card all around the lock so that you can have a better grip or coverage on it before you:
Now push your card towards the other direction. If you had covered enough of the lock with the previous step, then you should be able to push the lock back into the door. Then push quickly, with your body against the door until it opens. It is also a good idea to lean against the door the whole time; your weight will assist in the momentum needed to push open the door.
5. (Optional) And again
Of course, you are going to have to try it again, unless you’re really lucky the first time around. As said, this method requires a lot of clumsy moves and clumsy noises.
6. Your important cards
You are going to have to need your identification cards at hand, just in case you find yourself in a position that requires you to prove that you are legally allowed to pick locks because of lost keys. Keep in mind that there are doors that only policemen have keys to!
Therese Shaw is a freelance writer who has been locked out of the house several times. Really, it’s distressing. Nowadays she hides a spare key somewhere for easier access. When not busy getting locked out of her own home, she writes articles for the people who make entering without a key possible, Cardprinting.us. They make awesome plastic cards.