Use These Tricks to Get Into Your House When the Key Breaks in the Lock

Posted on: 5 July 2016

If your key breaks in the lock, don't panic. There are a few tricks you can use to get back into your home. Follow these steps to deal with this tricky situation.

If the Key is Sticking Out of the Lock

If the broken part of the key is sticking out of the lock, don't be too hasty to remove it. You might be able to use the broken part of the key to open the door, allowing you to get back inside your home and grab your spare key. First, knock on your neighbour's door and ask to borrow a pair of pliers. Use these pliers to grab the end of the key and turn it clockwise to open the lock. Once inside your house, turn the key back to the vertical position and pull it out. Remember to get a new key cut to replace the broken key.

If No Part of the Key is Sticking Out

If there is no end of the key available to grab with pliers, you need a different tool to get the lock open. A flat head screwdriver is the best tool, but an old credit card can work in a pinch. Insert your tool into the key slot and apply gentle pressure to turn the lock clockwise. As the toothed part of the key is still inside the lock, it should be possible to turn the lock and open the door. Don't use a credit card that you rely on to perform this step, as it could snap when you apply a turning force.

Once You Get Inside Your Home

If part of the key is still stuck inside the lock once you get inside, you ultimately need to either get it out or replace the lock. In the short term, you can use a screwdriver to turn the lock to the open or closed position, but this isn't secure in the long run. Try applying lubricant to the lock to help the key slide out and then insert the end of a coping saw blade into the lock and use it to coax the key out.

If You Can't Open the Lock

If you are stuck outside your home without any tools and you can't get the broken key part to turn in the lock, call an emergency locksmith. Locksmiths can use specialist tools and draw on years of experience to repair or replace your lock, allowing you back into your home.