Open a locked door with a piece of plastic

Opening a locked door with just a piece of plastic is just as bad and simple as it sounds.
If a lock is not equipped with, or has a deadlatch button that’s improperly configure, it’s very easy and quick to slip the latch and let yourself in.

In the following videos, you’ll see where I make quick work of opening locked doors.
The tool I’m using is nothing more than a thin piece of plastic that’s durable enough to not tear when pressing against the latch, yet flexible enough to move around the door frame. This is an upgraded version of the old “credit card” trick to open doors.
Other tools and materials can also be used to achieve the same result.

Getting into this server room was a breeze.

And, it’s even successful on a typical residential-style door setup.

As you can see, it only takes a couple of seconds, and I’m in.

As mentioned earlier, this shim can be created from many different resources.
Here, my daughter created a plastic shim from a piece of trash. Rounding the corners of the shim helps it to not get snagged on the frame, or something else.

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So, what can you do?

  • Make sure that the deadlatch button is being pressed in order for it to engage.  This prevents the latch from being slipped and requires the handle to be turned to open the door.

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  • You’ll also want to make sure to close off any physical gaps in the door by installing a security astragal and security door sweep, similar to what’s shown in the images below.
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