Security is a primary concern for people these days but don’t lock yourself out. It wasn’t all that long ago when people in many corners of the country could head off to work or out to run errands and simply leave their doors unlocked without worrying about their belongings. Neighbors were always on hand to keep an eye on your home things. They made sure strangers lurking around the neighborhood had no chance to do any harm.
Times have changed, though. These days, we all take extra precautions to make sure our doors and windows are locked uptight. We even arm our homes with security systems and have special window films installed to make sure intruders can’t easily get inside. While those are certainly necessary measures considering the state of the world right now, it also greatly increases our risk of getting locked out of our homes.
You can take certain steps to make getting back inside much easier when you’re locked out, though.
1 – Stay Calm When You Lock Yourself Out
If you’ve locked yourself out, you’re not alone by any means. In fact, an estimated 16,000 people lock themselves out of their homes and vehicles every day, according to a recent report. That amounts to about four million people per year.
People realize they’ve forgotten something in the house, jump out of their cars to retrieve it, and watch helplessly in dismay as their automatically locking car doors swing shut with their keys still inside. Parents lock the doors of their homes to keep infants safe inside while they take out the trash only to find they’ve left their keys behind and can’t get back to their babies. People step out to grab the newspaper off the porch and have their toddlers lock them out.
All those situations and many others could certainly cause a person to panic. In the end, though, everything turns out fine. Panicking only makes matters worse. Doing so clouds the rational side of your mind and leaves you unable to think clearly. As a result, it takes you longer to get back inside and places you under a great deal of unnecessary stress. Just breathe deeply and remain calm.
2 – Think of Other Ways Inside
Keep in mind! The door that’s holding you back isn’t your only option. Stop for a moment to consider other potential entrances into your home. Is there a chance the garage or back door is unlocked? Could one of the windows be unlocked? Is there a separate entrance to the basement that might give you access to your home? Don’t try to break a window or pry open a door. Those measures could leave your home more vulnerable to break-ins and the elements while you’re waiting for repairs to be made. Still, you may be able to find some other safe and effective way to get back inside.
3 – Find Your Spare Key
Some people make it a point to hide a spare key somewhere around their home. It’s never a good idea to stow a key in the obvious places, such as under the doormat or in the mailbox. Those are the first places intruders look. Still, there are plenty of helpful yet discreet hiding places at your disposal.
One of the best options is a magnetic key case that can be attached to the frame of a vehicle. You know they’re there, but they’re out of public view. As long as your vehicle is with you, a spare house key is as well. Fake rock key holders are helpful as well. Of course, it’s important to have other rocks surrounding them. Few things indicate full access to a home quite as well as a solitary rock in a flower bed.
4 – Phone a Friend If You Lock Yourself Out
Many people give copies of their keys to relatives or close friends, people they know won’t take advantage of having access to their homes. If you’ve trusted someone with such great power and responsibility, and your phone isn’t locked inside with the keys, give your designated key holder a call and ask him or her to come to the rescue.
Think of other people who might have a key to your home as well, such as a housekeeper, traveling nurse, babysitter, or dog walker. In the event your phone is locked up with the keys, the chances are a neighbor will let you use his or her phone to call for help.
5 – Seek Professional Intervention When You Lock Yourself Out
Locksmiths are your first line of defense against accidental lockouts. They’re generally on hand around the clock and always ready to handle emergencies. There’s no harm in calling in the professionals for help. Again, if you can’t get to your phone, you may need to plead to a neighbor for assistance. In all likelihood, the majority of your neighbors have been in the same situation at some point, so they’ll understand and be willing to let you use their phone.
Taking Proactive Measures
If you’re already locked out, all you can do is follow those steps to get back inside. That said, you can certainly take measures to keep something like this from happening again in the future. If you don’t already have a hidden spare key or one in the hands of a trusted friend or relative, consider changing that.
You could also upgrade to smart locks. Many people insist they’re the future of even the most basic home security systems. Of course, if your phone is locked inside with your keys, those might pose the same problems as standard manual locks. You could also have digital locks with manual security codes installed. As long as you can remember the code, you’ll be able to get back inside.
No Lockout is Permanent
When you’re unwillingly on the outside looking in, a few minutes can seem like an eternity. Take a moment to mull over your options, including hidden spare keys, people you can call for help, or access points that may not be locked. Don’t hesitate to have a locksmith come to your aid even if you have to borrow a phone to call for help. Above all else, keep calm. Most people’s first reaction is to panic, but that’s painfully counterproductive. You’re not the first person to be locked out, and you certainly won’t be the last. Like all those before, you will get back inside.