Solved: How To Open A Chain Lock From The Outside?

Last weekend I was watching a movie on NetFlix wherein a delivery person killed the entire family breaking into the house. Trust me, the movie left me paranoid, and I was quite scared to open the door to receive my pizza. To my dismay, a day later, one of my colleagues told me about a burglary that took place in her neighborhood wherein a man rang the doorbell and forced into the home when the lady opened it.

As a result, after returning home after work, I straightaway started researching the best chain locks for home. It’s been some time since I had been thinking of installing them, but after the two episodes, I did not procrastinate on the task. 

Even at this age, I prefer keeping myself up-to-date with handling unprecedented situations related to home security and also sharing the information with my readers. For example, when I was reading about whether chain locks can be opened from the outside in case one gets locked out, I realized there isn’t much literature available on the internet. Hence, after figuring out the way, I decided to write this article.

To open a chain door lock from the outside, you need a rubber band or a looped elastic. Slide your hand inside and loop the band around the chain lock as close as possible to the metal casing. Then loop the other end of the band to the door handle and shut the door. Ensure that the loop is wide enough to reach the door handle.

In this article, we will discuss how to unlock a chain lock from the outside. But before that, let us understand what chain locks are and why you should consider installing them in your home.

What Is A Chain Lock?

What Is A Chain Lock?

A chain lock, also known as a door restrictor, is a simple device in the form of a few inches long chain that attaches to the door and is used as an extra layer of security for your door lock. A chain lock allows you to partially open the door when somebody rings the bell before fully opening it up to the visitors.

When properly installed, a good quality door chain is resistant to tampering and requires physical force to open. Hence, the lock significantly increases the security of the home to keep your loved ones and belongings safe.

A chain lock is typically a couple of inches long chain that attaches to your door and the doorframe around the height of 5 feet. The chain prevents the door from opening beyond a point, so there is just enough space for the person opening the door to communicate with the person on the other side.

Why Should You Install a Chain Lock at Your Home?

Every year in the United States, around two million house break-ins are recorded, and there are many cases that go unreported. It is estimated that a house robbery happens every 18 seconds in the US, which translates to around 4,800 incidents each day. You may find the statistics quite surprising, but you cannot ignore the fact that burglary is a crime that may affect any American home. However, the more you learn about home security, the better you can protect your family and belongings. 

Chain locks can protect you from an unwanted intruder into your house as they act as an added security layer to your door when you unlock or unlatch it. Chain locks allow your door to open partially while still being locked with a metallic chain and prevent somebody from forcing into your home.

The front door of the house is usually the main entrance into a home from where the visitors enter and the delivery persons deliver your packages. Hence, it should be the most secure door of your home. Installing chain locks is a great idea to ensure enhanced security. If you have children or senior adults at home, it is even more important to have a lock to restrict the door upon unlatching it. 

However please note that chain lock alone is not sufficient for your door security. It is to be used as an added layer of protection. You might want to take a look at extensive measures of door security that I wrote about a while ago. Check it out here.

How To Open A Chain Lock From The Outside?

How To Open A Chain Lock From The Outside?

Whether your partner is sleeping with the chain lock of the house on, or a child accidentally locked the chain lock and now cannot unlock it, if you ever get stuck in a situation where you get locked out of your home with the chain lock on, I have got you covered. 

It is possible to unlock your chain lock from the outside without any tools. All you need is a rubber band or an elastic that is looped. Donald E. Westlake described this technique of opening a chain lock from outside in one of his novels, but I tried this hack myself, and it worked when I followed the steps correctly. 

Given below are the steps on how you can unlock your chain lock from the outside.

  • Step 1: Unlock the padlock of your door and open the door from the outside.
  • Step 2: Take a rubber band or a looped elastic and slide your hand inside through the door.
  • Step 3: Wrap one end of the rubber band or the elastic around the chain lock close to the metal casing of the lock at the door. 
  • Step 4: Pull the band or the elastic through the loop in the other end of the rubber band. Ensure that the band is wide enough for the loose end of the rubber band to stretch to the door handle.
  • Step 5: Stretch the other end of the rubber band to the door handle and loop it.
    How To Open A Chain Lock From The Outside?
  • Step 6: Shut the door. Once you shut the door, the rubber band should be able to pull the chain lock out of its casing and unlock the chain lock.

You may also refer to the video to see how to unlock a chain lock from the outside.

If you don’t succeed at the first attempt, there are chances that a few more attempts will enable you to unlock the chain lock. Though this hack works for most chain locks, if your locking mechanism is complex, you may not be able to use this to unlock the lock and may have to cut the chain to enter your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Are chain locks for doors effective?

Answer – Chain locks doors are effective as an additional layer of security for a door. The locks are not the primary security system on your door but help in preventing an intruder from force-entering your home upon opening the door. Chain locks are installed along with regular padlocks to enhance the security of your home.

Q2. Where should a chain lock be installed?

Answer – A chain lock should be installed on the main entrance of your home, which you usually open for visitors and delivery persons. The lock limits the opening of the door to allow conversation before opening the door completely.


Chain locks are designed to make our lives easier and stress-free by enhancing the security of your home. However,  if you end up getting locked out of your home with the chain lock on, you may end up frustrated. Figuring out how to unlock a chain lock from outside may be critical in emergency situations. Hence, it is vital to be aware of how to do so. 

The article talks about a step-by-step hack to unlock your chain lock from the outside with the help of a rubber band. I hope you would have found the information valuable. 

In case of any more questions about home security, write to me in the comment section.

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