Have you ever found yourself locked out of your home with no way to get in? Maybe you lost your keys or forgot them inside. Or perhaps you left a window locked, and now you need to open it to let some fresh air in. Whatever the reason, learning how to unlock a window from the outside can be a valuable skill to have.
In this article, we will walk you through the steps you need to take to unlock different types of windows from the outside. We will also discuss the tools you need and some safety precautions you should keep in mind. By the end of this guide, you will have the knowledge and confidence to unlock a window from the outside in a variety of situations.
How to Unlock a Window from the Outside – Step by Step
Unlocking a window from the outside may seem like a daunting task, but it is actually quite simple once you know what to do. The process will vary slightly depending on the type of window you are dealing with, so we will cover the most common types here.
1. Sliding Windows
Due to its simplicity of use and widespread popularity, sliding windows are a common choice among homeowners. To unlock a sliding window from the outside, follow these steps:
- Locate the latch on the inside of the window. It will be near the bottom of the window frame.
- Use a flathead screwdriver or a butter knife to push the latch up.
- Slide the window open.
2. Double-Hung Windows
Double-hung windows are another common type of window found in many homes. They consist of two sashes that slide up and down within the frame. To unlock a double-hung window from the outside, follow these steps:
- Find the latch on the upper sash. It will be located on the top of the lower sash.
- Insert a flathead screwdriver or a butter knife into the gap between the upper and lower sash.
- Push the latch up with the screwdriver or butter knife.
- Lift the lower sash up, and then lift the upper sash up as well.
3. Casement Windows
Casement windows are hinged on one side and swing outward. They are commonly found in older homes but are still in use today. To unlock a casement window from the outside, follow these steps:
- Locate the crank handle on the inside of the window.
- Use a pair of pliers or a wrench to turn the crank counterclockwise.
- The window will swing open.
4. Awning Windows
Awning windows are similar to casement windows but are hinged at the top and swing outward. They are often found in basements or bathrooms. To unlock an awning window from the outside, follow these steps:
- Locate the crank handle on the inside of the window.
- Use a pair of pliers or a wrench to turn the crank clockwise.
- The window will swing open from the bottom.
Tools You Need to Unlock a Window from the Outside
To unlock a window from the outside, you’ll need a few tools to help you out. Here are the tools you’ll need:
- Flathead screwdriver: This tool is essential for prying open the window latch. You can also use a butter knife or any other thin, flat tool if you don’t have a screwdriver on hand.
- Pliers: Pliers can be useful for gripping the window latch or removing any obstacles that are preventing the window from opening.
- Coat hanger: If the window has a small opening or gap, a coat hanger can be used to reach the latch and push it open.
- Lubricant: If the window is stuck due to rust or other reasons, you can use a lubricant like WD-40 to loosen it up and make it easier to open.
Make sure you have all the necessary tools before attempting to unlock a window from the outside. Using the wrong tool or improvising with household items can lead to damage to the window or frame, or even cause injury to yourself.
Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind
Before attempting to unlock a window from the outside, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are some safety precautions you should follow:
- Use a sturdy ladder: If you need to climb up to reach the window, make sure you use a sturdy ladder that is placed on a stable surface.
- Wear gloves: Wearing gloves can protect your hands from sharp edges or broken glass.
- Be careful with tools: When using tools to unlock a window, be careful not to damage the window frame or break the glass.
- Don’t attempt if you’re not comfortable: If you feel uncomfortable or unsure about unlocking a window from the outside, it’s best to call a professional locksmith.
Can I unlock a window from the outside without any tools?
It may be possible to unlock a window from the outside without any tools if the window is not fully locked or has a faulty latch. However, it’s best to have a flathead screwdriver or butter knife on hand just in case.
Is it legal to unlock a window from the outside?
It is generally legal to unlock a window from the outside if it is your own property or if you have permission from the owner. However, it’s best to check with your local laws and regulations to make sure you’re not breaking any rules.
What should I do if I can’t unlock my window from the outside?
If you’re unable to unlock your window from the outside, it’s best to call a professional locksmith who can help you without causing any damage to the window or frame.
Learning how to unlock a window from the outside can be a useful skill in many situations, such as if you’ve lost your keys or need to let some fresh air in. By following the steps outlined in this guide and keeping safety precautions in mind, you can unlock different types of windows with ease.
Remember to use the right tools for the job, be careful not to damage the window or frame, and seek professional help if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process.