How to escape being locked outside of the house without breaking down the door

Whether you’re stuck inside and need to break out or you’ve found locked outside and need to get in, having the key or password is rarely your only option. Here are our top 10 favorite tricks for breaking into and out of nearly any locked down environment.

10. Crack an Electronic Safe

Breaking into many types of electronic safes (you know, ones with keypads) is surprisingly easy. You just need to bounce them . It’s a pretty simple technique, but looks like it takes a bit of practice. Basically, you drop part of the safe against the table (or whatever surface it’s resting upon) while turning the locking knob. If your timing is right, you’ll have turned the knob when the safe’s lock bounces open for a brief moment. This works because many cheaper safes have locks that lift. Better safes don’t have this vulnerability and this trick won’t work on them, but if you’ve got a cheap one and lost your passcode you can just do this bouncing trick to open it right up.

Crack Almost Any Electronic Safe with the Bounce Technique

If you have a digital safe with a passcode entry, a few things could go wrong. You could forget…

9. Break Into Your Garage from the Outside

Can’t get into your own house? Got a garage? Just stick a long metal wire with a hook on the end through the door to grab the garage door latch and force it to lift the door open. You can get back into your garage in seconds with this trick. (See the video to the left for a demonstration.) If you’d like to prevent people from doing this to you, all you need to do is bind your opener’s quick door release lever with a zip tie. This will make your emergency latch a bit more difficult to open, but you won’t have to worry about any troublesome individuals breaking into your garage with this trick.

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

How to escape being locked outside of the house without breaking down the door

Jiewen Yu / EyeEm / Getty Images

Cleithrophobia, the fear of being trapped, is often confused with claustrophobia, the fear of enclosed spaces. Cleithrophobia is related to winter phobias due to the potential risk of being trapped underneath a snowdrift or thin ice. Many other events might trigger cleithrophobia, including being locked in a bathroom or other small room. The root word for this phobia is from the Greek cleithro, which means to shut or close.

Cleithrophobia vs. Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia may occur at any time. If you have claustrophobia, you might fully intend to enter a small space, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) chamber or a motion simulator, yet have a panic attack before or during the experience. The specific focus of the phobia itself is the small space.

Cleithrophobia is triggered by actual confinement in a small space. People with cleithrophobia are often fully comfortable entering small areas that they are free to leave. The specific focus of this phobia is being trapped, locked in, or otherwise unable to leave. Traumatic events that lead to this phobia include getting trapped in a small tunnel or deep hole, or being locked in a small space such as a closet, abandoned refrigerator, or the trunk of a car.

Fear of being trapped

Fine with small spaces if there is a way out; but may cause panic if locked in

May cause anticipatory anxiety

Fear of small spaces

May cause panic when entering small spaces

May cause anticipatory anxiety

The difference between the two phobias is subtle but important. However, it can be nearly impossible to distinguish between them. Both phobias often cause anticipatory anxiety, in which you begin to panic long before the actual event occurs.  

Cleithrophobia may mirror claustrophobia if you see even a slight risk of becoming trapped in the space. Likewise, claustrophobia often mirrors cleithrophobia in that many people with claustrophobia may feel trapped or locked in, even if they are actually free to leave.

The two phobias may even exist simultaneously.   For these reasons, a trained mental health professional is needed to make the exact diagnosis. The treatment of the two conditions is similar.

Common Triggers for Cleithrophobia

In general, cleithrophobia is triggered by a lack of escape. Examples of common triggers include amusement park rides that utilize shoulder harnesses or other tight-fitting restraints, locked rooms, and MRI chambers.


The symptoms of cleithrophobia are similar to those of other specific phobias.   If you have this fear, you might experience a panic attack when you feel trapped. Crying, screaming, physically lashing out, freezing up, and attempting to run away are very common.

If you are unable to leave the situation, you might start sweating profusely, feel your pulse rate begin to rise, and develop symptoms of physical illness. You will likely be unable to think of anything other than the need to escape.

Coping and Treatment

If your symptoms are severe or life-limiting, it is always best to seek advice from a mental health professional. Systematic desensitization and other cognitive-behavioral techniques work very well with phobias, but should not be tried without the assistance of a professional.  

Those with milder symptoms, however, sometimes find relief from a variety of self-help techniques. Leaving an escape route, such as cracking the bathroom door or removing the locks from rooms in your home where you might might feel trapped, may help you feel calmer in certain situations. But this is not always possible or practical. You may not be able to avoid locked doors in public places.

If you begin to panic, try using purposeful breathing or guided visualization to calm your anxiety. If you have a supportive friend or relative nearby, ask that person to speak calmly with you about light topics.

Some people find that the Stop! Technique helps curb anxiety, while others find that it does not work in the middle of a panic attack. This technique is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy aimed at stopping racing thoughts or obsessive worrying. When thoughts of the fear arise, you yell Stop. At first, you may do so out loud but eventually, you progress to doing so silently.

A Word From Verywell

You should seek help if this phobia is having an impact on employment, relationships, or the ability to enjoy social activities. Although cleithrophobia is unpleasant, it typically responds well to a variety of treatment methods. With hard work, you may get relief from this fear and be able to enjoy more activities in your life without restriction.

How to escape being locked outside of the house without breaking down the door

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Picking a lock is something that some people will have to do from time to time throughout their life. Picking locks is somewhat simple as long as you know what you are doing, but can be difficult if you have never performed this before. Picking one lock will be the same for almost every other lock, and once you know how to pick a lock you will be able to do this time and time again. Don’t ever pick a lock that is not your own.

Pull the bobby pin slightly apart to widen the space between the two arms. Insert the bobby pin into the lock. Make sure that the arm with the bumps on it is facing the same side as the tumbler pins inside the lock.

Push the bobby pin all the way into the lock and turn the handle as you are pushing the bobby pin. Pull the bobby pin back out and push the pin back in. Keep turning the handle as you move the pin in and out of the lock.

Repeat these steps until you have correctly lined up all of the tumbler pins inside the lock and the handle turns, opening the door. Make sure that every time you push the bobby pin into the lock you are applying pressure to the tumbler pins inside the lock and turning the handle.

  • “Lock Picking Basics”; Mark McCloud and Gonzales de Santos; 2004

Living in Tucson, Ariz., Robert Good has been writing from 2003 on a wide variety of subjects ranging from sports, gardening and cooking to auto repair, home maintenance and travel. Good holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of the State of New York.

To dream that you are entering through a door indicates fresh opportunities that you will encounter. You are moving into a new chapter in your life and to a different level of consciousness. A door that opens to the outside represents your desire to be available to others more. A door that opens inward suggests your wish to have self-realization or internal discovery.

To dream about opened doors represents your ability to take on new thoughts and ways of doing things. To see light behind the door indicates that you are on the path to better spiritual faith.

To dream about locked doors indicates that you have either been denied chances or that you have missed them. If you are on the outside of a locked door, then you may possess some characteristics that others would call anti-social. If you are on the inside of a locked door, then you must accept the knowledge of a difficult lesson.

To dream that you are locking doors indicates that you are shutting yourself off from others. You have difficulty letting people get to know you and this is significant of a halt in development or maturity.

To dream of revolving doors indicates that your life is simply moving in circles and nothing is moving you forward. You could be sensing that your choices are going nowhere.


To dream that you are locked out speaks of your feelings about being left out and unaccepted by your peers. This mirrors your inability to effectively channel your feelings and emotions. Think of which aspect of your waking life makes you feel locked out.


To dream of a locker suggests that there are things about you that no other people know about. Consider and take note of items that can be found inside the locker. For example, to dream of a school locker signify hidden feelings and thirst for knowledge.

To dream that you cannot open a locker or that you forgot the combination means that you are hesitant to take a stand in situations in which you are unsure about the outcome. In dreams where you cannot find your locker, this symbolizes your insecurities.


In a dream a locket represents a hidden memory. This memory may have been treasured in the past and has recently been rediscovered.
To open a locket in a dream is to rediscover something of value which you had lost, such as a connection to a family member or friend.

Locker Room

To dream that you are in a locker room denotes that you need time alone for relaxation and contemplation. It also means that you are in the process of experiencing some rough times in your waking life. It may also be that you are pursuing a love interest.

How to escape being locked outside of the house without breaking down the door

I’ve met so many people who thought that reinforcing a door to keep the bad guys out is either expensive or time-consuming.

As it turns out, it’s simply not true.

You can secure your door from being kicked in for just a few bucks, and in less than an hour. I promise that making your door kick proof is well worth the investment and it will not only give you peace of mind but also a real sense of security.

In this post, I’ll share with you the best ways you can prevent burglars from kicking in your door and invading your home. These are all tested and proven methods. And each of them will dramatically improve your door security.

1. Replace the Deadbolt Strike Plate and Reinforce the Hinges

First of all, if your front door has only a cheap cylinder lock and nothing else, it’s an easy target for criminals and it’s only a matter of time when they’ll appear in your home.

Add a Grade 1 deadbolt to your door as soon as possible (it’s the most secure category according to ANSI classification). Low category deadbolts attract crooks because they know they can bypass them in a matter of seconds. On the other hand, Grade 1 deadbolts are very durable and reliable. They withstand 10 strikes of 75 pounds of force. They’re also a great visual deterrent as most criminals will recognize these type of security locks. I recommend you to check out this model from Kwikset.

However, you’ll only benefit from a deadbolt if there’s a reliable strike plate installed on your door jamb. Box strikes are the most durable type of strike plates because unlike many standard strike plates they don’t have a flimsy rectangular hole but a steel cup the bolt locks into. And it makes them much more resistant to kick-ins and other force attacks. I installed this inexpensive model a few month ago and it does a great job.

Another thing you should do is to replace all the original screws (that are often shorter than 1 inch) of the strike plate and hinges to new ones that are at least 2 1/2 inches long. Short screws are unable to anchor the strike plate and the hinges to the door frame properly and highly increase the chance of a successful break-in. Note that it’s easier to replace one screw at a time. This way the hinges and the strike plate won’t move from their original location thus you don’t have to adjust them.

Installing a new box strike and reinforcing the hinges with long screws cost less than 10 bucks and can be done within an hour.

Pro Tip: Installing hinge bolts under and above the hinges is another affordable way to improve door security. Hinge bolts add an extra layer of protection as they make your door more kick-resistant.

Installing hinge bolts are especially important if your door opens outwards because in this case, invaders have free access to the hinge pins.

Smart door locks are getting more and more popular. If you want to learn more about them, check out our article about one of the most popular (yet affordable) smart deadbolts here.

2. Reinforce Your Door Frame

Reinforcing the door jamb will significantly improve the overall door security and reduce the chance of a kick-in burglary.

There are many ready-to-use door frame reinforcement kits available at the stores (this is one of the most popular door reinforcement sets). These are basically metal strips (or shields) that you have to install on the door jamb. The kits usually contain secure strike plates and hinge shields as well. However, if you don’t need those, just buy a single jamb shield.

If you prefer making your own jamb shield, you’ll find the instructions on this page.

And, here’s a video that shows you exactly how to install a door frame reinforcement kit:

Yup. Most people I know don’t even bother with key locks, they just suck. Wait to build until you can make a codelock. If you insist on using key locks, put a stash outside near your base with an extra key in case you get killed.

Yup. Most people I know don’t even bother with key locks, they just suck. Wait to build until you can make a codelock. If you insist on using key locks, put a stash outside near your base with an extra key in case you get killed.

Seems like a weirdly broken part of the game, make a key, lose it and you have no way of removing the door unless you break it which requires many hatchets or pickaxes. this wood must be super ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ hard grade

Seems like a weirdly broken part of the game, make a key, lose it and you have no way of removing the door unless you break it which requires many hatchets or pickaxes. this wood must be super ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ hard grade

just dont use key locks, or get a buddy to wait in your base with a key opening the door for you until you can get a codelock

just dont use key locks, or get a buddy to wait in your base with a key opening the door for you until you can get a codelock

Currently solo playing, think I picked a weird server though as nobody has ever spoken everyone is KoS even if you are naked lol

Yeah if you use a key lock make like 2 of those stash crates. The ones you can bury in the ground and store extra keys in them. I usely won’t build till i can make a sheet metal door and a codelock though. All yeah if you have a bag in the house make sure to keep a box in there with a couple extra keys as well so you don’t get locked in. If you die and spawn back in your house.

Lock is not “weirdly broken” . locks require keys. Seems to work fine.

So if I die and lose the key I can never replace it without breaking it? it’s not even the front door its just part of the base thats annoying as i cant get upstairs but can access the forge etc lol

Seems like a weirdly broken part of the game, make a key, lose it and you have no way of removing the door unless you break it which requires many hatchets or pickaxes. this wood must be super ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ hard grade

So if I die and lose the key I can never replace it without breaking it? it’s not even the front door its just part of the base thats annoying as i cant get upstairs but can access the forge etc lol

You can replace the key if you want. There are only 100 combinations for keylocks. So if you make 100 locks and 1 key of each lock. One of the 100 keys fits your lock. But if you’ve got a wooden door, break the door with some hatchets. In the future you’ll make codelocks and metal sheet doors instead.

I’m on a vanilla server and I’m only like 6 hours in solo. I don’t have the spare metal to just constantly make hatchets and throw them away as I can’t get a repair bench :’)

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Oct 17, 2016

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What To Do When Locked Out Of Your House

Few things in life are more frustrating than being locked out of your house- especially during the colder seasons! 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 dough for a locksmith to let you in or any damage you might cause to a window you use to get back in.

Sigh. You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do…

If you ever find yourself locked out of your house in the future, rest assured knowing there are a few ways you can get back in:

If you left a ground floor window opened before leaving home, you might be able to wedge it wide enough to climb through. 70 pounds and 10 years ago, I was the go-to crawler charged with entering through the front and back windows on the occasions that my mother or sister had forgetten their house keys somewhere else and the rest of the family wasn’t expected back home for many hours.

It’s possible to jimmy your door opened by swiping your credit card through the crack while simultaneously jiggling around with your door knob. Angie’s List has detailed instructions on how to do it.

If you’re renting your place, your landlord most likely has their own set of keys to the home. If they live close enough, they probably wouldn’t have a problem dropping by your place to let you in, either.

If you’re locked out of your apartment, it’s safe to assume you can’t scale the high rise building to get in through that window you left open. Apartment buildings are typically required to hold a master key to every unit, so feel free to give your concierge or building manager a ring asking to be let in.

How to escape being locked outside of the house without breaking down the door

I know this is the piece of advice we’ve all been dreading, but if all else fails your best bet to getting back into your home is to call a locksmith to change the locks. Granted, it will set you back over $100 but at least you’ll be back in your home relatively quickly.

How to escape being locked outside of the house without breaking down the door

It’s way past midnight and it’s been a really long night at the restaurant where you work. You only need to repair that broken shelf in the walk-in freezer and then you can go home. After you enter the frigid air, you decide it might be a good idea to get your sweatshirt — the shelf may take a few minutes to fix. You push the door but nothing happens. Then you try pressing the safety release handle and realize the shelf isn’t the only item in disrepair. You think, “Now what am I going to do — why did I agree to lock up by myself tonight?” Since you’re all alone, there’s no point in ringing the safety bell. You glance at your watch and realize it’s going to be about six hours before the breakfast crew arrives…

What do you do in a situation like this? First, let’s take a look at your surroundings to see what you’re facing:

  • The temperature is probably somewhere between 0°F and -10°F (this would meet the FDA requirement for walk-in freezers).
  • The ceiling, walls and door are four to six inches thick — made of some kind of insulating foam like urethane covered in sheets of galvanized steel, stainless steel or aluminum
  • The floor is also covered in galvanized steel, stainless steel or aluminum.
  • There are stainless steel shelves loaded with plastic bags filled with meat, poultry, fish and other frozen foodstuffs.
  • A single vapor-proof fixture provides dim lighting.
  • A row of thick plastic curtains hangs in the doorway.

Basically, you’re inside a tightly sealed, extremely cold, giant metal box. You need to worry about:

  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Air supply

The normal core body temperature of a healthy person is 98.6°F. Hypothermia occurs when a person’s body temperature drops significantly below normal:

  • Mild hypothermia – core body temperature between 93.2°F and 96.8°F
  • Moderate hypothermia – core body temperature between 73.4°F and 89.6°F
  • Severe or profound hypothermia – core body temperature between 53.6°F and 68°F

A person suffering from hypothermia will become tired and confused. He or she may have slowed breathing and speech followed by a loss of feeling or movement of their hands. Persons with severe hypothermia are at high risk for cardiac arrest and possibly death.

In order to keep hypothermia at bay, you need to maintain your core body temperature. Your best bet at doing this is by fashioning some kind of protection from the cold.

How to escape being locked outside of the house without breaking down the door

You’ve locked yourself out of your house. Now what?

A lockout can pose a serious problem, especially if you have pets and kids inside who need your help or dinner in the oven.

Thankfully, we’ve got a few options to get you back inside.

Steps to take if you get locked out of your house

How to escape being locked outside of the house without breaking down the door

Option 1: Ask for help

Call your partner, roommate, or anyone you live with to see if they can come home and let you in. It may be inconvenient for them, but you’ll spend less time stranded outside your house.

If you rent your place, try reaching out to your landlord. They will usually have a copy of your house key and may be close enough to unlock the door.

If you live in an apartment complex, stop by the manager’s office and ask for access to your unit. Have proof of identity on-hand alongside evidence that you do indeed live in the complex. But beware: many apartment complexes charge lockout fees if the staff has to help you get back inside.

Option 2: Call a locksmith

Locksmiths aren’t the cheapest option, but calling a professional locksmith is a surefire way to get back into your home.

Lockout services can cost anywhere from $30 to $90 depending on your situation, 1 but a residential locksmith is the best option in an emergency or bad weather. Whether you’re locked out of your house because you lost your keys or the key you have won’t turn, locksmiths are often on call 24/7 to help with home or vehicle lock-outs.

Check out Thumbtack to find locksmiths in your area.

Option 3: Look for unlocked windows or doors

Unlocked windows and doors are invitations to invaders, but they can also get you out of a tough situation when you’re locked out. If you’re stuck, it doesn’t hurt to check all the entrances to your home.

When entering through a window, remove the screen, lift the window, and shimmy through. Be careful, as you’re likely to be off-balance when you land—and look out for items below like furniture, end tables, and TVs.

Option 4: Improvise tools

Movies make lockpicking look easy, but it’s much trickier in real life. Bobby pins and paper clips can serve as DIY locksmithing tools.

It’ll work best if you have two bobby pins or two paper clips, but if you have only one, you can break it in half to create two tools.

  1. Bend one of the metal pieces into an “L” shape. This tool becomes your tension rod for holding the lock in place.
  2. Straighten the other piece out and bend a small “W” into the wire at the end. This piece will help you unlatch the pins inside the lock.
  3. Hold the L-shaped piece in place, keeping tension in the lock.
  4. Use the W-shaped piece to feel for pins inside the lock.
  5. Push the pins up with the W-shaped piece to unlock the door.

For a standard spring bolt, you’ll need a hard plastic card.

  1. Choose a card you don’t mind destroying. It’s better to ruin a used gift card than your debit or credit card.
  2. Insert the card between the frame and the door right at the latch.
  3. Hold the card perpendicular to the door, and push and wiggle the card around.
  4. While you push, bend the card away from the doorknob in an attempt to slide the latch back and away from the doorjamb. Push your weight against the door while you bend the card.
  5. Slidethe card between the latch and doorframe. With the card between the lock and the doorframe, you can push your way back into your house.

If you successfully unlock your door, call a locksmith. You have proven how easy your home is to break into and should consider upgrading your locks.