Being locked out of your home or car can be a real nightmare, especially if your key somehow breaks in the lock and gets stuck inside. If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, don’t panic! Here are some steps to help you out of your predicament.
Can you remove the key?
Depending on how much of the key has broken off in the lock and whether you turned the key before it broke, you may be able to get it out without the need for an emergency callout. If you can’t reach it with your fingertips or a pair of pliers, then you may be able to rake it out with a long narrow tool that can hook onto the key, such as the blade of a coping saw. Spraying a lubricant into the keyhole can help to make the key slide out more easily.
You may also be able to use a thin pair of tweezers to pluck the broken key out of the lock, but doing this also risks pushing the broken fragment further into the lock. If you have turned the lock slightly before the key broke, then you will need to realign the mechanism before the key will be able to slide out. You can do this using a screwdriver to return the lock to its default position.
If you’re lucky enough for your key to be made out of a magnetic material, then it may be possible to attract the broken fragment out of the lock using a strong magnet.
Call a locksmith in an emergency
If you do a lot of poking and prodding about trying to get your broken key out of the lock, then you could end up damaging the lock. This could lead to you needing to replace the lock as well as your key. Locksmiths have special tools, such as a broken key extractor, to remove keys from locks if you are unable to do this yourself or don’t want to risk worsening the situation. We offer emergency locksmith services in Winston-Salem for anyone in need of a lockout service, lock repair, or emergency rekeying.
Replacing the key
Once you manage to get the broken key out of the lock, don’t throw it away. Depending on the condition of the key, a locksmith may be able to get a replacement key cut using the broken fragments. If it is bent or severely damaged and you don’t have a spare key to have a new one cut from, then the lock will have to be rekeyed by a locksmith.
Hopefully you never find yourself in this situation. But, if you do, JB’s Lock and Key are on hand to get you out of your tight spot. Contact us for locksmith services in Winston Salem, High Point, Lexington, and surrounding areas in North Carolina.