I was painting a few things for work in my garage this afternoon, so I decided to leave the garage door open to let the fumes air out. Being somewhat safety conscious, I locked the door to the garage from the house so that someone couldn't just walk in unannounced. I'm attempting to sell my house so this isn't completely unrealistic. The problem with this idea is that I have Schlage locks. For any of you familiar with these locks, they'll let you out but they won't let you back in. Well, I went back out to the garage to check on the progress of the paint without thinking about the locked door. It didn't take long for me to realize what I had just done to myself.
I (foolishly) don't have a spare key anywhere outside the house, so that really left me with just two alternatives:
a) Go over to a neighbor and use their phone to call a locksmith.
b) Use a big hammer to smash my way through the lock.
As you can tell from the picture, I chose option 'b'. It turns out those Schlage locks are really tough. I basically had to completely demolish the side of the handle facing me so that I could gain access to the mechanism inside. Even after doing that, it took me some time to find just the right sized tool to wedge in the lock so I could release the latch. I'm sure someone skilled in breaking and entering could have done the job more quickly, but overall I was pleased by how secure the lock turns out to be.
My door is now held shut with some invisible tape, a bottle of Purex laundry detergent, two hand towels and a piece of junk mail. I'll be making a trip to Home Depot tomorrow afternoon to fix this properly. The handle was losing its finish anyway, so this was probably a good thing.
I'm sure there is a lesson to be learned here. I think it has something to do with not locking yourself out of your own house.