Most of us have done it. We are in a hurry in the morning and rush out the door on our way to work. Then we get home at the end of the day and can’t find our house keys. Talk about panic.
Thoughts run through your mind, and you consider breaking a window to get in, but that is just throwing money away. What are you going to do? Fortunately, there are several options for getting back into your home.
Here is what to do when you are locked out of the house:
1. Check for any open doors or windows
When locked out of your house, you should first check for another open entry. Go around and try all the doors, including your back deck and see if they are unlocked. They may be left unlocked, and you can get inside this way. If they are all locked, it’s time to check the windows.
You will have to do some climbing and contorting, but it’ll be worth it if you can slip inside. Consider letting your neighbours know what you are doing, especially if you have to climb up to a window. They may mistake you for a burglar and call the police, worsening your day.
2. Go through the garage
Most homes have a garage with a remote door, and your clicker will be inside your car. This will at least get you inside the house structure and save the embarrassment of trying to pick the lock or climb to an open window.
There’s a good chance the door to the house is unlocked in the garage. If not, clean up the garage until someone gets home. You’ve probably been putting off that chore for a while anyway.
3. Contact a household member
Unless you live alone, other people have a key to your house. They use it every day and will have it on them. This could be your spouse, your kids, another family member or your roommate, so find out who is closest to you and give them a call.
You will have to drive to their work or wherever else they are spending their day, but it is better than waiting at the doorstep until they get back.
4. Call a locksmith
This is usually a last resort, but it will get you in fast. A professional locksmith has the tool and expertise to legally break into your house without damaging anything.
Emergency locksmiths have 24 hr service if this happens late at night but expect to pay a premium for this service. Sometimes you can’t find anyone else with a key, so this is your best option.
5. Call your landlord
Suppose you rent your house, then you’re not the only one with a key. Your landlord owns the home and will have a copy of his own. Give them a call and ask if they can let you in. They may have an extra key to give you, or you’ll have to arrange to get a replacement key cut.
Drive to their place to get the key so you don’t inconvenience them any more than you have to. If you have lost your set, they may want to change the locks, so let them know if they are missing or inside the house.
6. Get your spare key
When people get the keys to their home, most will make an extra set to give to a friend or family member if they lose their keys or get locked out. These life-savers don’t live at your house, but hopefully, they are not too far away, so you can go retrieve the keys.
It can be a little embarrassing to have to ask for them, but this is exactly why you gave them an extra set in the first place. Thank them and make sure to get the setback to them for the next time this happens (hopefully not.)
7. Break in
When all else fails, you may have to decide to break into your own house. This is another scenario where telling the neighbours first is a good idea. Look around the house for an entry point that is the least expensive to replace. It could be a screen on a small window, or maybe you have a door or window you are looking to replace anyway.
Make your choice and try to keep the carnage to a minimum. This means you shouldn’t kick in a door because you may damage the frame too. Make your way in and patch up the entry point until you get it replaced.
Ultimately, the best option is not to forget your keys or have a hidden spare set. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, go through these steps until you get back inside your house. Then let that serve as a reminder to keep hold of these precious door keys.