As a locksmith in Virginia we get a lot of customers that for one reason or another have managed to get locked out of their home or apartment. any homes have multiple (Many) entry points where an apartment usually only has 1 or maybe 2 if on the ground floor. Apartments one the second floor and up usually only have a front door to enter and exit through and for this reason apartments have less options for locksmith entry.
The most common way for a locksmith to enter a home is to pick the lock and in most cases it is only the doorknob that is locked (unless you lost your keys while out) because if you locked your deadbolts when leaving you had a key when you left. Doorknobs are not necessarily easier to pick than deadbolts, in fact I find doorknobs of the same brand as your deadbolt harder to pick that the deadbolt.
So the common method is picking the lock – but sometimes a lock can not be picked and that is not uncommon. Many locks are just not able to be picked and if that is the case other options would be explored. Here are a few options on how to get in to a locked house that a locksmith might try. Never kick in your door it will break your door and frame and cost you hundreds of dollars to repair. It is always cheaper and better to bypass and not break a door or window! If you do not have the money for a locksmith try to think of a way around your locks and windows without breaking anything. you will need some tools and common sense but you might be able to get in yourself without damaging anything.
- Pick the lock with picking tools
- Pump door open a bit and try to manipulate lock where it goes in to the door frame.
- Check windows and by pass a window lock and send someone in
- Remove doorknob and replace it completely (if its a cheap one)
- Drill the lock and rekey or replace lock (should not cost much more)
- Use a mail deliver slot and reach tool to get in
- Lift sliding glass doors off track (works sometimes)
- Got french doors that open on both sides? They can be pumped open and bypassed
- NEVER KICK A DOOR IN CAUSES MAJOR DAMAGE TO WOOD FRAMES (BIG BUCKS)