There’s nothing worse than closing the door behind you and realizing you’re locked out. Luckily, there’s tips and tricks to avoid this calamity. Your stomach sinks. Your heart pounds. There’s a buzzing in your ears from nervous tension. No, you’re not on an international spy mission. You’re locked out of the house and you don’t have your key.

James Bond Tips For When You're Locked Out of the House

If you can’t find your key and don’t have a key hidden anywhere, you’ll need these Jame Bond tips to get back in. From climbing in a window to breaking into the garage, we’ve got everything you need.

Becoming James Bond

James Bond wasn’t as stealthy as everyone thinks that he was. If you have ever read Casino Royale, you’ll know that he makes just as many mistakes as he had successes. Don’t worry if you feel like you look silly. James Bond did, too.

Locked Out? Climb In A Window

If you can find an open window, then you can get in the house. It doesn’t have to physically be open. If it is unlocked, that should be enough. Even first-floor windows can be difficult to reach. Since you are breaking into your own house, there’s no problem with getting caught. Go to the backyard or wherever you keep your lawn chairs and use one of those to give you a lift up. Now that you can reach the window, lift the screen. Just slide it upward. Don’t remove it. Once you slide it up, you can reach the glass part of the window. This is the part you would lift up from inside the house if you wanted to feel the breeze. Lift up the glass part, and now you can get in. If there’s nothing to grab onto to lift the glass, try pressing against the glass with your fingertips. Most of the time, slight pressure from your palms combined with a lifting lotion will help slide the glass up.

You have probably heard someone say that they were glad the couch was there to break their fall when they finally got into the house. Here’s how to land softly if there is no furniture to break your fall near the window. First, try a few stretches. It will go a lot easier if you’re limber and able to flex your limbs when trying to climb through. While a window might be a small opening, warmed up arms and legs are more likely to fit through. The two widest parts of the body are shoulders and hips. Try fitting your head and one shoulder through first, then you can turn sideways and pull the other shoulder in. Once you get to the waist, turn the hips sideways also so they can come through the widest part of the window.



Climbing In An Upstairs Window

The above text may not be helpful if you are one of those people who always lock your windows. In this instance, you may have to try an upstairs window. You won’t be able to reach these with a lawn chair, making your spy moves trickier but not impossible. You’ll also have to break into your shed or your garage to get a ladder. Once you have the ladder, you can use the same tips as above to open a second-floor window.

How To Pick A Padlock

When you need to get into your garden shed, you’ll often have to get past a padlock to do it. If that’s the case, you can follow these instructions to get the padlock open if you don’t have the key. You’ll need both a lock pick and a tension wrench. If you don’t have one, check the car for a paper clip. Chances are you can find one, either in a crevice somewhere or the bottom of your pocket. All you have to do is open it up and break it in half. Now you have two tools. Use one for the lock picking tool and one for the tension wrench. A typical padlock has the pins on the top. Hold the padlock upright so that you’re looking at the hole for the key like you could insert the key with teeth up. If you would have to insert the key with teeth down, you need to turn the lock over.

Once the lock is the right way up, take one of your paper clip pieces and stick it in the bottom part of the lock, where the key’s teeth wouldn’t be. This is also the part of the lock without the pins. The clip should feel tight, and you should be able to press down without it slipping out. If the clip slides out when you push down, then try again. Feel around with the metal clip until it wedges into a place that you can apply pressure. With the bottom clip holding tension inside the lock, you can use the other half of the paper clip to adjust the pins and open the lock. With the straight side of the clip (not the rounded end), insert it into the top part of the lock where the pins are. Push it all the way to the back to work on the last pin first. Jiggle the clip around, and push harder on the tension wrench as each pin releases. You’ll feel each pin give a little as you find the right position. Move the lock pick forward and work on the next pin as each one releases. This video helps explain the dynamics and give you a visual for the instructions.

James Bond Tips For When You're Locked Out of the House - how to pick a padlock

How To Break Into Your Garage

The lock picking instructions above aren’t recommended for a front door lock. For one thing, the pins are heftier and a paper clip won’t be strong enough to move them. It will bend or break and could get stuck in the lock. The other problem is that in addition to the lock, there’s a deadbolt. Picking that lock is much more complicated. Now that you’ve picked the lock on the garden shed, you should be able to get a ladder out to get into a second-floor window. If for some reason it doesn’t work, though, you can try breaking into the garage. Either the door from the house into the garage may be unlocked and you’ll be able to get in, or you’ll be able to find a ladder in there to let you into a second-floor window.

You can use a coat hanger to pull the emergency release on your garage door from the outside. If you can find a hanger inside your car from dry cleaning (check the trunk, too–you may have left one from a road trip that you forgot about), all you have to do is straighten it out so that only the hook on the end remains. Now it should be long enough to reach the emergency release. Think of the red emergency release cord hanging inside. Now reach inside with the hanger, over the top of the garage door, much the same way you would if you locked the keys in the car. Hook the metal safety release that the red cord is tied to and pull down. Now you can manually pull the garage door up and either get in your home or retrieve the ladder.

How To Hide A Key Outside the House

If you want to prevent this from happening again, the best thing to do is hide a key outside the house in case you ever have to get in. Get a magnetic key container and search for a hidden place no one can see. Rain gutters can be great hiding places for house keys. There are also plenty of stealthy, James-Bond-like key hiders disguised as regular items like a sprinkler head or a garden rock. Fake unwanted items are even better locations, like a fake hornet’s nest or false dog poop. No thief will think to look in those places! They aren’t too expensive most of the time. You can also slide a key in between the siding on the house, as long as you tie a string to it so you can retrieve it.

All these ideas are preventive maintenance so that you don’t get locked out again. They don’t help you get into the house now. If you’re still stuck outside and nothing has worked to get you in, a failsafe option is to call this locksmith for help. A professional can get you into the house a lot faster with the right tools for the job.

Home Sweet Home

When you’re locked out, it feels like you’re trapped and you don’t know what to do. Instead of freaking out, follow these tips to climb in a window, pick the lock on a shed and get a ladder to the second story, or open the garage. Remember to hire a locksmith for professional help, and hide a key next time so you don’t have another emergency. Check out more handy articles on our blog.