Every now and then, despite our best planning, we get locked out of our homes. Whether you’ve left your keys on the counter or misplaced them entirely, getting locked out of your house is a stressful inconvenience.
If you find yourself in this situation, take a deep breath, and tap into your problem-solving skills. Here are five things you should do when you get locked out.
Determine the Level of Urgency
Before you fly into a blind panic, take a moment to determine how urgent it is to get into your house. If it’s a nice day outside and you don’t have any plans or immediate concerns, there’s no need to panic. However, if you have a pet that’s been locked inside all day or you’re caught in bad weather, the issue becomes more immediate.
One of the first things to consider when looking at the issue is where you can seek shelter while you wait for assistance. If you have a vehicle, you’ll have protection from the elements. Otherwise, you may need to knock on a neighbor’s door or head somewhere else while you wait.
Look for Another Access Point
Before you call for help, take a walk around and determine whether there’s another way into your home. For example, you may have left a ground-floor window unlocked.
Be cautious when exploring other entry points. Many people will pull out a ladder and check out the windows on the second floor. Don’t do this if you’re alone with no one to hold the ladder.
If you have a pet door, don’t forget to try reaching through and triggering the lock. If you’re successful, consider the fact that someone else could do that and rethink your security measures.
Call for a Spare Key
If you live with someone else, call them to see if they can bring you a spare key. This option won’t always be feasible, depending on distance and scheduling. Time is also a concern if you have urgent matters to attend to.
If you live alone, it’s always a good idea to leave a spare key with someone you trust. If you live in an apartment complex or condo, call the landlord or super to see if they’re able to let you in.
Call a Locksmith
When all else fails, it’s time to call a locksmith. According to Locksmith Vancouver, a skilled locksmith can get you inside quickly without damaging your door. Furthermore, they can fix any technical issues that may have caused your lockout in the first place— for example, if something is broken inside the lock and your key no longer works.
There are many DIY methods that people attempt when trying to get into their house without keys, using implements like credit cards and coat hangers. However, these methods rarely work with newer locks and can cause damage to your door and weather stripping. It’s best to leave the work to the professionals.
Create a Backup Plan
Once you’re in your house and the immediate issues are dealt with, it’s time to create a backup plan, so this doesn’t happen again. Talk to your locksmith about going keyless or if they have any recommendations on preventing this issue.
If you haven’t already left a spare key in a secure-yet-accessible area, consider doing so now. Keep in mind that some “hidden” key spots are well-known to burglars. Never hide your spare key in a fake rock, barbeque, plant pot, porch light, or under the mat.
Getting locked out of your house is a preventable issue, but we’re all human. Put smart failsafes in place to keep you and your home safe and secure.