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Discussion Starter #1
Somewhat embarassing! :eek:

We closed the only/front door to our apartment with the key in the lock on the inside. Ooopsie! :eek:

From the outside the key goes in but won't rotate.
As we were leaving to the airport to go home we just had to leave it.
So it's left "pulled to" only, no dead locking.

Not a massive problem, we'll just have to call a cerrajero on the next visit but was wondering if anyone had any other tips/bright ideas?

Dunno if a soft piece of plastic/credit card might work, the latch orientation should be in our favour??

As it's newish (less that 5 years old) the door/frame is quite close fitting, one of those heavy white doors that deadbolts in a few places with the flat "dimple" type key lock.
 

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On a newer door, the the jamb of the door should be designed to prevent the "credit card" trick, but it's worth a try.
I guess it's very unlikely, but if the inner and outer lock barrels "communicate", there may be a chance to push the key out from the outside, maybe with a thin sturdy wire?

Other than that I think you're looking at a heft bill from the locksmith...
 

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I found that spraying the ‘gap’ with WD 40 or similar makes it much easier to slip a piece of ‘stiffish’ plastic in. Push the plastic through the gap above the latch, and work it downwards so that it engages with the latch diagonally.

Kicking the door when pushing down on the plastic also helps to ‘jump’ the door open.

PS. Ex ray film is a very good material to use as it is flexible, strong and big enough to manipulate

If all else fails, unless you have a reinforced barrel, drilling the lock, just below the key hole, will snap off the locking pins. You can then unlock with a screwdriver or similar tool.

A cordless drill with 0.25 inch HSS bit has always worked for me

Either MO is a lot cheaper than a locksmith. With just a new barrel required. They range from a few euros upwards.

However check your house insurance it may include the services of a locksmith
 

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Further to my post

In my apartment, having accidentally locked myself out with keys in the lock, just like the OP. I used a small screw to wedge the latch in. That way we can only close the door using a key.
 

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Further to my post

In my apartment, having accidentally locked myself out with keys in the lock, just like the OP. I used a small screw to wedge the latch in. That way we can only close the door using a key.
Hola,
By far the simplest way of not locking the door is to fit a door handle on the outside; therefore if the door slams in the wind you can simply use the handle to open the door. BUT you have to lock the door with the key to make the house safe.

If, like the OP above, you have a problem, then breaking the lock if comparatively easy - I have done several and it takes less than ten seconds! Normally the barrel protrudes out from the door. Take a strong / large pair of slide slip pliers and grip the protrusion as tight as possible. Now pull and at the same time push down; the lock will break across the weak point. Remove that half of the barrel and insert a screwdriver to turn the "wheel" that engages with the bolt.

If using plastic then an angle of 60º rather than 45º works its magic better. just vibrate the door steadily saying in time now push in, now pull out, now push in etc.

Davexf
 

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Having also been in the same frustrating and embarrassing position as the OP we now completely remove the front door any time we go out.

We purchased a small trailer on ebay and tow the door on that when out shopping etc

Our new approach also makes it impossible for burglars to open the door- as its always with us.
 

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We called in a locksmith who charged us 50€ and took a few seconds with a large piece of flexible plastic. We then changed the bolt for one that accepted a key in both sides of the lock which solves the problem of it happening again.
 

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We called in a locksmith who charged us 50€ and took a few seconds with a large piece of flexible plastic. We then changed the bolt for one that accepted a key in both sides of the lock which solves the problem of it happening again.
Bit more expensive, 50€ plus a new lock, than a free piece of plastic and a small screw, but it was the solution for you
 

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I never did understand the logic behind the key being in on one side preventing a key going in from the other, other than enriching locksmiths what practical or useful purpose can it serve?

I have French doors with a lock like that and the second key goes in bar about 5mm but doesn't push the other one out. It has handles so is not self locking so no risk of getting locked but it is irritating when a stand alone key is in the inside from being locked at night then you go out and try to lock with the key on the car key ring.
 

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Interesting that we have a few [ex?] burglars on the forum. :D

Our front door has an annoying lock in that if a key is pushed in on the inside, one cannot use a key from the outside. One has to remember to leave the inside key slightly out.
 

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I never did understand the logic behind the key being in on one side preventing a key going in from the other, other than enriching locksmiths what practical or useful purpose can it serve?

.

It is a security measure.

If you are inside and leave the key in the lock, turned at an angle, then no one with a duplicate key can open the door from outside.

Particularly important in a property which one has rented.

Not wishing to be sexist, but maybe even more important for a single female.
 

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If one has an alarm button connected to a call centre (the sort that the aged and or infirm might have) and one has keys with neighbours to be able to come in to help - bear in mind that for their keys to work, the tips for preventing burglars' spare keys opening the lock, should not be used.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks all for the advice for getting back in and avoiding in the future.
Sort of kicking myself I didn't try the card trick before leaving or at least investigating.

It my be my parrtner visiting on her own next so may have to bite the bullet and arrange a locksmith as it's too high risk for her to go there and try the suggestions.

But I'll definitely look at seeing if we can fit a handle on the outside too, seems the neatest solution for the future.

Thanks again :)
 

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I locked myself out on the first-floor balcony yesterday while cleaning the windows. They are the sliding-door kind, and I accidently pushed it too hard and it clicked shut. Imagine my embarrassment. Had to yell my head off to attract OH´s attention, as he was downstairs in the garage working with power tools. Sometimes I'm really glad I don't live on my own.
 

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Our internal doors have pretty, ornate, handles with fake porcelain grips held on to die-cast zamac bosses.

A couple of weeks ago I was opening the bathroom door from inside when the die-cast piece snapped off flush with the escucheon plate.

The bathroom is two rooms and a corridor away from the kitchen, where my wife was, so shouting and banging on the door had no effect.

If I had been alone in the house I would probably have kicked a panel out of the door.

There wasn't much in the bathroom in the way of tools except the contents of my sponge-bag, but I eventually managed to jam a nail file into the nub of the zamac piece by hammering it in with the back of a hairbrush, then used a large pair of scissors to get enough leverage on the file to open the latch.

I found that the door handle had been weakened by banging against a cupboard when opened too far, so I have now fitted a stop to prevent this happening again.
 
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Our internal doors have pretty, ornate, handles with fake porcelain grips held on to die-cast zamac bosses.

A couple of weeks ago I was opening the bathroom door from inside when the die-cast piece snapped off flush with the escucheon plate.

The bathroom is two rooms and a corridor away from the kitchen, where my wife was, so shouting and banging on the door had no effect.

If I had been alone in the house I would probably have kicked a panel out of the door.

There wasn't much in the bathroom in the way of tools except the contents of my sponge-bag, but I eventually managed to jam a nail file into the nub of the zamac piece by hammering it in with the back of a hairbrush, then used a large pair of scissors to get enough leverage on the file to open the latch.

I found that the door handle had been weakened by banging against a cupboard when opened too far, so I have now fitted a stop to prevent this happening again.
and, hopefully, a new handle! :D
 

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Our house has conventional solid wooden window shutters and electric roller shutters on the outside doors, so our only way in if the electricity is cut is through the garage.

Normally when we go out in the car I drive it out of the garage, closing the door behind me, and my wife leaves by the main house door, locking it and closing the electric shutter by the key switch on the outside.

One day she decided to leave with me via the garage, checked all the shutters were closed and locked the main door, but left the whole bunch of keys in the inside of it.

She waited in the garage until I drove out, then locked the "up and over" garage door from the inside and slammed it shut.

"I hope you've got the keys" I said. - Oh!

After a choice selection of expletives I eventually found that if I pulled the door as far as possible to the left, by its handle, a small gap could be opened on the right hand side.
My wife jammed a flat piece of wood handily lying around into the bottom of the gap, after which I managed to lever the gap wider with tools from the car, finally reach the latch, and push it over to unlock the right hand side.
With my wife forcing that corner inwards beyond the frame I levered the whole bottom of the door to the right so that I could release the left hand lock, and the door was open.

A few weeks later I found a much easier way, when I accidentally backed the car into the garage door (don't ask me why).

I didn't hit it very hard, no damage to door or car, but it was sufficient to dislodge the two 6 mm coach screws on each side and the single one at the top, fixed into the block wall with plastic plugs, and the entire door and frame fell flat on the garage floor.

I have now replaced the screws and plugs with nine 8 mm expanding bolts, three each side and three more at the top.
 

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and, hopefully, a new handle! :D
Yes. Fortunately Mr Bricolage across the road still sells the same design.

But the handles come in pairs with escutcheon plates, held in with circlips, and the relative positions of the handle and keyhole are different, so have to be bought in pairs and dismantled to get a spare handle.
 

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Our internal doors have pretty, ornate, handles with fake porcelain grips held on to die-cast zamac bosses.

A couple of weeks ago I was opening the bathroom door from inside when the die-cast piece snapped off flush with the escucheon plate.

The bathroom is two rooms and a corridor away from the kitchen, where my wife was, so shouting and banging on the door had no effect.

If I had been alone in the house I would probably have kicked a panel out of the door.

There wasn't much in the bathroom in the way of tools except the contents of my sponge-bag, but I eventually managed to jam a nail file into the nub of the zamac piece by hammering it in with the back of a hairbrush, then used a large pair of scissors to get enough leverage on the file to open the latch.

I found that the door handle had been weakened by banging against a cupboard when opened too far, so I have now fitted a stop to prevent this happening again.
You must be the only person left in the western world who doesn't take their mobile phone into the bathroom!
 
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