Being locked out of your house can be a distressing experience, especially if it occurs at an inconvenient time or under difficult circumstances. It’s a situation that many people dread, but with proper planning and precautionary measures, it can be avoided.
This comprehensive guide provides tips on how to prevent being left outside your house and offers advice on what to do should you find yourself locked out.
By following these tips and implementing some preventative measures, you can ensure that being locked out becomes a rarity rather than a recurring nightmare.
Common Causes of Being Locked Out
Before delving into the preventative measures, it’s essential to understand the common causes of being locked out. By identifying these scenarios, you can address them proactively and reduce the likelihood of finding yourself stuck outside.
- Losing Your Keys
One of the most common reasons for being locked out is simply misplacing or losing your keys. This can happen to anyone, regardless of how careful you are with your belongings. Keys can fall out of pockets, be left behind at work or social events, or even be stolen.
- Damaged or Broken Locks
Another cause of lockouts is damaged or broken locks. Locks can become damaged over time due to wear and tear or as a result of vandalism or break-in attempts. When a lock is damaged, it may not function correctly, making it difficult or impossible to unlock your door even with the correct key.
- Accidental Lockouts
In some cases, people lock themselves out accidentally by closing the door behind them without realizing they’ve left their keys inside. This can be particularly frustrating as it’s an entirely preventable situation that occurs due to a momentary lapse in attention.
Precautionary Measures to Avoid Being Locked Out
Now that you know the common causes of being locked out, it’s time to explore the various measures you can take to avoid finding yourself in this predicament.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid being locked out is to have a spare key available. Ideally, you should have more than one spare key and store them in various locations, such as:
- With a trusted neighbour or nearby family member
- In a secure and hidden location outside your home, such as a key safe
- At your workplace, if it’s safe and permitted
By having multiple spare keys in different locations, you reduce the chances of being locked out due to lost or forgotten keys.
Keyless Entry Systems
Another way to avoid being locked out is to invest in a keyless entry system for your home. Keyless entry systems come in various forms, including:
- Numeric keypad locks that require a code to unlock the door
- Biometric locks that use fingerprint recognition technology
- Smart locks that can be controlled through a smartphone app or other devices
Keyless entry systems eliminate the need for physical keys, reducing the likelihood of losing them or being locked out due to a damaged lock. Additionally, many smart locks allow you to grant temporary access to guests or service providers, further increasing convenience and security.
Regular Lock Maintenance
To prevent lockouts due to damaged or malfunctioning locks, it’s essential to perform regular lock maintenance. This can include:
- Cleaning your locks to remove dirt and debris that may cause them to malfunction
- Lubricating the lock mechanism to ensure smooth operation and prevent wear and tear
- Checking for signs of damage or wear and replacing any broken or worn parts
By maintaining your locks, you can ensure that they continue to function correctly and reduce the risk of being locked out due to a faulty lock.
Emergency Contact List
Creating an emergency contact list can be helpful in situations where you’re locked out and need assistance. This list should include the contact information for:
- Trusted neighbours or nearby family members who may have a spare key
- A reliable local locksmith who can assist you in case of a lockout
- Your landlord or property manager, if applicable
Having this list readily available can save you time and stress when you find yourself locked out and in need of help.
Smart Home Security
Investing in a smart home security system can provide additional benefits when it comes to preventing lockouts. Many smart security systems include features such as remote access, allowing you to unlock your doors using a smartphone app or other devices, even if you’ve forgotten your keys or locked them inside.
Additionally, smart security systems often include monitoring features that can alert you if a door or window is left open, helping you avoid accidentally locking yourself out.
What to Do When Locked Out
Despite your best efforts to avoid being locked out, it may still happen on occasion. If you find yourself in this situation, follow these steps to resolve the issue as quickly and safely as possible.
- Stay Calm and Assess the Situation
First and foremost, remain calm and avoid panicking. Take a moment to assess the situation and consider your options.
- Check for Unlocked Doors or Windows
Before resorting to calling for help, check all other doors and windows to see if any are unlocked. You might be able to gain entry through an alternate route without needing professional assistance.
- Contact Your Emergency Contacts
If you’re unable to gain entry through an unlocked door or window, reach out to your emergency contacts. This could include neighbours, family members, or your landlord, who may be able to provide assistance or a spare key.
- Call a Professional Locksmith
If you’re still unable to gain entry to your home, it’s time to call a residential locksmith. Be sure to choose a reputable and licensed locksmith to ensure your home’s security isn’t compromised.
- Plan for the Future
Once you’ve resolved the lockout situation, take the time to review your precautionary measures and make any necessary changes to prevent future lockouts. This may include creating additional spare keys, upgrading your locks, or investing in a smart home security system.
Being locked out of your home can be a stressful and frustrating experience, but with the proper precautions and planning, it’s a situation that can be largely avoided.
By understanding the common causes of lockouts and implementing measures such as spare keys, keyless entry systems, and regular lock maintenance, you can significantly reduce the risk of being left outside your house.
Additionally, knowing what steps to take in the event of a lockout can help you resolve the situation quickly and safely.
Investing in smart home security systems can provide additional peace of mind and make it even more unlikely that you’ll find yourself locked out. These systems offer remote access and monitoring features that can help you keep track of your home’s security status and allow you to control your locks from anywhere.
In conclusion, being locked out doesn’t have to be a recurring nightmare. By taking the time to implement preventative measures and planning for potential lockouts, you can enjoy greater security and peace of mind when it comes to your home’s access.