Discovering that you’re locked out of your home is a sinking feeling. It can be a major inconvenience, and depending on the hour, it could also end up costing you quite a bit of money for a locksmith to come out.
No one plans on getting locked out of their home, but it can happen to anyone, and you’ll have a much easier time in this situation if you’ve prepared for it. Here are five tips that can help should you ever get locked out.
Save a Locksmith into Your Phone
If you’re locked out and a spare key isn’t an option, your best bet is to call a locksmith. One can come out and have your door open in a short amount of time, making it by far the best solution.
Your other options would be to pick the lock or break in. Picking the lock is great if you can do it with whatever supplies you have on hand, but most locks are too secure to MacGyver your way in. And if your lock is that easy to pick, then you need a new lock, because your home isn’t safe. Breaking in should be an absolute last resort, as the cost will almost certainly exceed the cost of a locksmith.
Know Your Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance Policy
Many people don’t realize that homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies sometimes provide coverage for locksmith services in the event of a lockout. It pays to know this, because you’ll have peace of mind that you can call a locksmith and get back into your home without needing to cover the cost.
If you’re a renter, keep in mind that you can also get in touch with your landlord for assistance. The only problem with that is you may need to wait around if the landlord isn’t in the area.
Consider Leaving a Spare Key in the Garage
If you own a house, your garage is one of the best places to leave a spare key, provided you keep the garage closed. Since the typical garage opens when you type in the correct code on the keypad, you can just enter your code and go get your spare key. It’s highly unlikely that a criminal could guess your code, making the garage a secure place to stash your spare. The only time this won’t work is if the power goes out, which would render the keypad inoperable.
Give a Spare Key to Someone You Trust
Let’s say you can’t keep a spare key in the garage. In this case, the smartest thing to do is find someone you trust, preferably someone who lives nearby, and ask them to keep your spare key. This obviously needs to be a person you’ve known a long time and really trust, not just the person who happens to live next door.
Resist the temptation to hide your spare key outside. There’s no hiding spot you can think of that a resourceful criminal couldn’t find. That includes the ever-popular fake rock.
Upgrade Your Locks
Technology has provided plenty of ways for homeowners to replace their old locks with keyless systems that don’t leave you at the mercy of a set of keys. You could switch your old locks with keypad locks that require you to punch in a code for entry into your home. There are also locks that you can open through smartphone apps. No lock is perfect, and you could forget your code or lose your phone, but these types of locks are at least more effective than traditional locks, and upgrading to a keyless system can be done for under $200.
Whether getting locked out is a huge difficulty or a minor hassle depends in large part on how you’ve prepared for that situation. If you have a contingency plan in place, you won’t need to stress should you ever lose or forget your keys. If you’ve upgraded your locks, you may not even need keys, at all.