Friday, March 2, 2007

Help! I'm locked inside my new house...?

I'm sure Katie will soon do a post on how great our house is and show plenty of pictures, but me and the new digs got off to a rocky start. Even before we moved in yesterday, I took some stuff over from the office. It was meant to be a quick dump and run...but then once inside, I couldn't open the door to leave. After trying every possible combination of keys, handles and strengths, I was stumped. The normal lock seemed to open and close but I couldn't get the deadbolt to slide clear no matter what I did. As I tried to quell my annoyance I realized the kitchen windows didn't open and the garden had no alley exit--so I was truly locked in unless I wanted to hop into someone else's backyard garden or jump down from the 2nd floors window. Then I started to worry the phone had been turned off. And I had no cell phone on me. Whew--a dial tone. I sheepishly called Katie who was very nice about it (she could tell how angry and embarassed I was) and said she would be right over. Fortunately, she was only about a 10 minute walk away. As I stewed, I wondered if I had broken the deadbolt slamming the door. Finally, Katie arrived, quickly opened the deadbolt and set me free.

Apparently the deadbolt is not broken--it's a security feature of the lock! When one leaves, one can set it so the deadbolt cannot be opened from the inside (The idea is that a thief breaking in through a window would be prevented from walking out the door). When I opened the door to enter the house, I must have turned the cylinder in the wrong direction and engaged the inside lock setting. I've seen this before in the U.S. but there's usually a keyhole on the inside of the deadbolt that can be used to open it in a pinch (fire!). Not so here.

Well, we now know how not to lock ourselves in by turning the deadbolt the right way. Any visitors might want to remind us to teach them that little lesson!
--jt

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