DIY: How to open a locked door without a key

Posted in Mom Stuff
by Lorain County Moms

By Barbara Kavovit, Hybrid Mom

Your three-year-old has accidentally locked himself in the bathroom. Don’t panic. You can have him out in five minutes without damaging your door.

Tools You’ll Need:

  • precision kit
  • 6-in-1 interchangeable screwdriver
  • 7oz. hammer

Step 1: Make Like a Jewel Thief

You’ve seen probably seen this done in a movie: If the doorknob has a small hole in the center of the handle, simply a long, skinny object and push hard. When the object hits the inside, continue to push while turning the handle until the door opens. Be sure to UNLOCK the door once you have it open.

Step 2: Some Quick Carpentry

To get to the locking mechanism quickly, simply remove the doorstop from the doorframe on the strike plate side (the metal plate that is attached to the doorframe and holds the door closed). Using a hammer and screwdriver, start at the bottom of the doorstop and gently work your way up, pulling at the doorstop until it is removed. Once the door is unlocked, you can replace the doorstop and strike plate. The door is open and with no need to call a locksmith. You did it yourself!

Barbara’s Tips:

If getting locked out of a particular room is a recurring problem for you, consider disabling the locking device on the door handle.

Barbara Kavovit was the founder and chief executive of one of the largest female owned construction management companies specializing in interior renovations in New York City. Her products encourage women to be more self-sufficient, more cost-efficient, and more independent. Learn more at www.barbarasway.com.

  1. Phil Said,

    #2 Won’t work.
    The door knob bolt is held by the strike plate that is screwed to the door frame, with the door closed, you can’t get to the screws to remove it.

    Also if your door frames are steel, you would be able to do that step.

    A better solution would be to buy plastic door knob covers that cover the lock. Look for door knob cover kits.

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