This article provides an overview of getting locked out of a house. It breaks down ways to prevent a lockout.
Who hasn't been locked out of a house at some point? Maybe you're in a rush, or your morning routine is off, and you forget to grab your keys. As soon as the door slams, you realize you just locked yourself out. A lockout situation can be frustrating, especially if you have to be somewhere. Avoid a call to the locksmith with these strategies to avoid a lockout.
You can cut down the risks of needing a locksmith by changing your habits, using technology and having a backup plan. Keep yourself from getting locked out of the house with these strategies.
Keypads and smart locks eliminate the need for a physical key, so you never have to worry about getting locked out of the house. The most basic option is a push-button keypad lock. You choose your code and punch it in using the numbered keys to unlock the door. Some models also have a traditional keyhole and a physical key, so you can use either method to open it.
Smart locks utilize a variety of methods for entry. They might use codes, fingerprints or apps to unlock the door. Some options let you unlock the door remotely, which makes it easy to let someone into your home without giving them the access code. Apps connected to smart locks let you monitor the door to see if it's locked or unlocked. Many models also integrate with other smart home devices and home security systems.
Having a designated spot for your keys that's highly visible during your morning routine could help you remember to grab them. You might hang a key hook near the door or where you put on your shoes before you leave. The keys serve as a visual reminder, so you're less likely to breeze out the door without them.
Changing your routine can also help you remember your keys. You might set a daily reminder to pop up on your phone around the time you leave for work. Getting in the habit of checking for your keys before you leave can help. You might also start exclusively locking the door from the outside with the key so you know you have it with you. These little routine changes can help you remember your keys.
Slipping a spare key under the doormat is the oldest trick in the book, which means it's not a safe option to use. Hiding a key in a planter is also a little too obvious. However, you can buy some creative key-hiding devices, such as a fake sprinkler head or a garden gnome, that blend in with the landscaping. A more secure option is to hide a lock box, such as the ones real estate agents use. Even if a would-be burglar finds the box, they won't have the combination to open it.
You can also tuck spare keys in other places, such as your briefcase or purse. Another option is a phone case wallet that sticks in place and has a pocket for items such as credit cards or a single key. As long as you remember the item that holds your spare key, you'll have a spare house key with you to prevent a lockout.
If you don't feel comfortable leaving a key outside, you can leave one with a neighbor or a friend or relative who lives nearby. This option only works well if you know your neighbors and trust them to always have access to your home. If that trust changes or the neighbor moves, make sure you reclaim your spare key. Changing your locks might also be necessary if you realize you have a key floating around and you're not sure you can trust the person who has it.
While forgetting your keys is the obvious reason you'd need a locksmith, you could experience a lockout due to a faulty lock. Older locks can become loose or the working components may break down or rust, which makes it difficult to use your key in them. You can buy special lubricant for locks to cut down on wear and tear, as well as rust. If you have an older lock that's difficult to use, you might consider replacing it before it fails completely.