If your key has snapped in the lock of your front door, your first reaction may be to panic. Don't worry; you can quickly get back into your home if you follow these steps.
Remove the Broken Key
The first thing you need to do is knock on your neighbour's door and ask to borrow a tool kit. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to grab the part of the broken key that is sticking out of the lock. Rotate the pliers to turn the key to the vertical position and then try to pull it out. It may help to press or pull the door handle to release the pressure from the lock bolt to allow the key to turn.
Use a Spare Key to Get Inside
If you manage to get the key out without damaging the lock, you may be able to use a spare key to get inside your house. If you can reliably open the lock using another key, all you need to do is get a new key cut to replace the one that broke, which is a service that many hardware stores offer. Give this key to a trusted neighbour or friend in case you have any more problems with your keys.
What if the Key is Stuck?
If no part of the key is sticking out of the lock, try inserting a flat head screwdriver into the key slot and using it to turn the lock. This may allow you to unlock the lock and get inside the house. You can use the screwdriver to lock and unlock the door until you can drill out and replace the lock. If you don't have a screwdriver, a butter knife or even the corner of a credit card may work instead, but be aware that you could break your card by trying to use it to open the lock.
When to Get Professional Help
If you can't get the door open, don't have access to tools, or don't feel confident about replacing the lock yourself, you need to call a locksmith to help you regain secure access to your property. Locksmiths can use a range of specialist tools and skills to open locks and retrieve stuck keys. An emergency locksmith can help you get back into your home and replace the lock if it is not possible to retrieve the key that is stuck inside it.