- April 14, 2022
- |Home Security Tips
- | 0
Have you ever locked yourself out of your home? If so, this blog is for you. We can all agree that getting locked out is not a fun experience. It wastes a lot of time, especially if you are on your way to work. And what’s worse is that it does not just affect you but also the rest of your household. It’s such a hassle having to call your partner, sibling, or a roommate who has a spare key to unlock the door for you.
Imagine you’re in their place, having a glorious time with your friends, tasting champagne. Then, you get a call asking to borrow the key to the front door. As you may have guessed, it sucks for you and them. It’s even worse if you get locked out during bad weather or past their bedtime, which is usually when it happens.
What’s the Most Common Reason for a Lockout?
Many Australians confess to forgetting to check their keys before going out, and it’s not surprising. Considering our busy schedules and juggling several things at a time, we’re bound to get locked out of the house at least once in our lifetime.
How to Prevent Lockouts: 8 Steps
The good news is that lockout misadventures are easily preventable. Below you will find the steps that Diamond Lock & Security locksmiths approve. The following steps will help you from getting yourself locked out of your house, apartment, vehicle, or office in the future.
Step 1: Get a Spare Key
If you often forget your front door key, listen to the universe telling you to get a spare. When getting a spare, here are two mistakes you should avoid:
- The oldest trick in the book: hiding the key under a doormat
- Having just one spare
Instead of the doormat, place the spare under a rock or inside a shoe. Hide it in a location that you can safely and covertly access. It should also be something that you can easily remember. Even if you’re not too forgetful, you need more than one spare key. Or better, have more than two! Give at least one of them to trusted people, even though they may not live close by, although that’s a more convenient option.
Of course, you should retrieve the key copies in case your relationship with those individuals changes; otherwise, it could become a safety issue.
Step 2: Store Your Keys in a Specific Place You Can Easily Remember
Throwing your keys on the table, couch, or anywhere that’s convenient is a risky business. And that’s why many homeowners lose their keys inside the house. When it is time to go somewhere, they cannot remember where they placed their keys. So, what are your options?
- Key Cabinet: Have a key cabinet or board to hang your keys, so you can just grab the one you need. Install the board next to the front door, in the living room, or the garage. But be wary. Key boards are useful for finding and storing your keys almost effortlessly – so much so that intruders are also thankful for them. Positioning them in areas that can easily be seen presents an opportunity for thieves to access your house easily.
- Interior Safe: For better protection, use an interior safe, which you strategically place inside your home, preventing wandering eyes from detecting them.
- Exterior Safe: This safe is helpful if you get locked out all the time. It’s a more sophisticated solution than leaving your key under a rock or shoe. Exterior safes are installed within the metre box or even an outer wall. It’s not as easily accessible as you may think because these exterior safes work almost like a programmable keypad.
Step 3: Ensure Your Locks Are In Good Condition
Locks are not designed to work forever. They can also fail, especially cheap, low-quality ones. And since you get yourself locked out of the house, chances are you have tried to turn the knob or pull the lock forcefully several times in the past.
Front door locks are more durable and bolstered for homes to get adequate protection. However, even though they are strong enough to withstand the abuse, they can still deteriorate quickly, usually when exposed to quick weather changes.
One of the most significant clues of a malfunctioning lock is that it does not budge despite using the correct key. Additionally, the key might break if you keep forcing it to open the lock that’s already stuck. And in most cases, a broken key also damages the lock. This problem cannot be resolved even if you have a ton of spare keys. Therefore, your locks must be all functioning so you don’t face any issues when you’re about to enter your home.
Step 4: Invest in Technology for Your Safety
Some options include:
- Key finders: Also known as key locators or electronic finders, key finders are small devices that you attach to keys (or any items you could lose) to find them easily. The key finder may be linked to an app that you download on your smartphone, giving you the exact location of the missing key. Some locators will sound off, letting you follow the noise and find the key.
- Programmable locks: Also called electronic locks, programmable locks do not require you to use a key to open your door. They use a card with an RFID chip, which will unlock the door for you. If you lose that card, you can still gain access with a PIN code.
Step 5: Have a Backup Plan
You can leave an upstairs window slightly open without making it look inviting. It’s incredibly rare for burglars to carry a ladder anyway. You can climb up to that window using a cheap or a refundable ladder that may be useful for you.
Step 6: Never Leave the House without Checking for your Keys
You’ve probably heard that it takes about three weeks for people to create a new habit. For some, it does take longer. But regularly checking for your keys and making a conscious effort to do so whenever you’re about to leave your house can help significantly.
Although it’s going to be challenging at first, consistency is essential. Get into the habit of frequently practising looking for your keys before you step out, and it will soon become second nature.
Step 7: Call a Professional House Lockout Service
The easiest way to ensure you do not get locked out of your house, building, or place of work is to call a professional locksmith service.
Step 8: Don’t Forget to Get Replacement Keys
Contacting a locksmith means you do not have access to your original keys anymore. A reputable locksmith who understands code cutting can duplicate them even when you don’t have the original. Using a code cutter allows for the identification of the lock’s key code using its groove depths.
How to Deal with a Lockout
I just locked myself out of the home. What should I do? Let’s say that despite following the steps above, you still got locked out. Fear not; it’s a survivable feat. Here are ways to handle a lockout situation:
1. Stay calm
Most people locked out of their houses will start yelling out for help. It’s their way to let someone inside the house open the door for them. Don’t ever do this, especially in the middle of the night. Panicking and shouting for assistance may alert intruders regarding your situation, which is not something you want to do.
If someone lives with you, this problem can usually be solved by texting or calling another person. You can also ring the doorbell to let them know you are home. However, if you are alone, we don’t recommend that you start calling out for help from your neighbours. Instead, you can check any unbolted doors or windows where you can gain entry.
2. Check your pockets
Are you sure you can’t find your keys? Recheck your pockets. If they are not there, chances are you have them in your bag or even in your car. Carefully look inside these places to ensure you did not misplace your keys.
You may have forgotten the keys back in your office. Call someone to do a quick crosscheck for you. If you did leave your keys there, you could ask your colleague to store the keys in a safe place, so you do not lose them. You may call for an emergency house lockout service at this point if you do not want to drive back to your office.
3. Look for your spare keys
We have mentioned how crucial it is to have spare keys. Even if you have never locked yourself out, there will come a time when these keys will be useful. Don’t wait for that time to arrive before you get your spare.
Some people who often lock themselves out give their spare keys to others they trust, such as a friend or a relative close by or a neighbour. If you cannot find the duplicate, the best and easiest way is to simply call a locksmith.
Contact Diamond Lock and Security
Even if you haven’t been locked out before yet, it’s always a possibility. Many people forget to have their keys with them. They remember after closing the front door or when they’re in another location. Others find out when they just came back home from work. Either way, getting locked out is a stressful situation to be in.
We recommend that you follow our recommendations above, especially having immediate access to a spare key. Give us a call to request our locksmithing service today.