Few things in life are more problematic (and frustrating) than being locked out of the house or car.
You might be tired after a long day’s work and desperate to get back home to relax. You might have young children in the house who need their dinner. Or you might have left the oven turned on with your evening meal inside.
Whatever the case, being locked out is never fun.
It happens all the time though. Indeed, the locksmith industry’s worth a mind-boggling $7.5 billion in the United States. There’s clearly enough business to go around!
Have you just locked yourself out? Well, it goes without saying that you’ll want to resolve the matter ASAP. Unfortunately, that isn’t easy when it’s never happened before, you’re stressed out, and there’s nobody around to help.
Want some expert advice on how to approach the problem? Keep reading to discover exactly what to do when you’re locked out of your home or car.
Our first tip is one of the most important on this list:
Try to keep a cool head!
It’s all too easy to panic when you realize you’ve been locked out. Your heart sinks and mind races as the implications of the situation hit home. Within moments, you’re rushing to worst-case scenarios and talking yourself into trouble instead of searching for viable solutions.
Feel the stress starting to build? Stop for a second and take a breather. As frustrating as this predicament is, rest assured that everything will work out fine.
The last thing you want to do is make any rash decisions from a place of anxiety. In a rush of blood, you could contact the first locksmith you come across without checking their credentials first. They might be unscrupulous, overpriced, and ineffective, but you’d have no idea!
Staying calm will help you avoid that kind of fate. You’ll be able to think clearly, approach the situation in a logical manner, and find a solution with greater ease.
Try to Locate the Spare Key
Locked out of your house? Well, think about any spare keys you may have stowed or stored somewhere in the past. With any luck, you’ll have one close to hand.
You might have hidden a spare under a plant pot, on top of the door frame, or in the garden somewhere. Now’s the time to go searching for it!
Or maybe you gave one to a trusted neighbor in readiness for this kind of situation. If they’re at home (and still have it), then you’ll be back inside in no time.
Check the Windows & Doors
No joy with the spare key? No worries! You might have more luck searching for an alternative way inside instead.
It’s time to put your burglar’s hat on…
If you’re locked out of your home, then search the outside for a potential opening. For instance, you might have left a downstairs bathroom window wide open. Assuming it’s large enough (or you’re small enough), you can climb up, squeeze in, and open the front door from the inside.
Check the backdoor too. You’d be surprised how often people leave this unlocked when they go out! A reasonably-sized dog door, if you have one, could also be a viable opening to clamber in through.
Anyone locked outside their car should try something similar. For whatever reason, there’s a chance that a back door, the trunk, or a window might still be open. Try them all- just in case.
Contact Friends, Family, and Housemates
The next step would be to contact any loved ones you know who have access to the house or car.
Assuming they have a key, your housemates, parents, partners, siblings, or best friends might be able to help. It’s time to get your phone out, make some calls, and see who’s around to do an almighty favor. If fortune’s on your side, they’ll have nothing on and will come straight to the house (or car) to let you in.
However, that’s far from guaranteed. You may have to wait for ages for them to arrive, and risk annoying them because of the inconvenience involved. All things considered, though, your current predicament could justify it!
Contact Your Landlord or Concierge
Anyone who’s locked out of their rented home could think about calling their landlord.
They might be willing to swing by and let you in!
Sure, he or she might not be over the moon about being called up at short notice. But that’s the lesser of two evils if you’re in a rush to get back inside the house.
Do you live in an apartment block instead? Well, any concierge service that’s available offers a similar opportunity. If you’re stuck outside your room (or the building itself), then the individual who’s manning the front desk should be able to open the door.
Avoid Picking Your Own Locks
You might be getting desperate at this point. You’ve stayed calm and tried everything, but you’re still stuck outside in the cold. Unsure how else to proceed, it can be tempting to take matters into your own hands and attempt to pick the lock.
But we don’t recommend it.
With no lock-picking training, experience, or insight, you’re unlikely to have any success. Some people try using their credit card, others a bobby pin, and many try to remove the entire door handle. Unfortunately, all of the above can cause additional damage and frustration.
Oh, and we definitely don’t recommend breaking a window to get inside either!
It might look good in the movies, but smashing panes of glass and clambering through the opening is a recipe for injury in real life. Likewise, the damage you cause could be more expensive than calling an emergency locksmith! The fact you did it yourself may even invalidate your insurance.
Our advice? Call a reliable local locksmith to solve the problem instead. More on this coming up…
Call a Reliable Locksmith
The simplest way to solve this problem is to contact a local locksmith. Whether you’re stuck outside your house or car, they have the skills, experience, and tools required to open the door in no time.
Make sure you do your due diligence to find a reliable and proficient service though.
Like any profession, there are good and bad locksmiths out there. Some will overcharge, others will show up late, and many aren’t as qualified as they claim to be.
Remember, the first one that shows up on Google isn’t always best. Read online reviews, visit their website, and look for testimonials from past clients. This should give you the confidence to give them a call and pay them to lend a hand.
Another important attribute to consider is their location. They could be the best locksmith in the world, but they’re no good to you if it’s going to take 24 hours for them to arrive! You need a reliable, local service with a good reputation who can show up ASAP.
Have a Source of ID Available
Anybody who calls a locksmith should find some ID and proof of address before they arrive though.
Why? Because the locksmith may refuse to open the door for you without them!
After all, the last thing they want to do is let someone into a residence or vehicle that isn’t theirs. Asking for ID is a way to cover their backs and protect peoples’ property, while still doing their job.
Take Preventative Action
Let’s fast forward and imagine that you’re no longer locked out. The ordeal’s over, you’re back inside your car or home, and you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. There’s one last thing we suggest you do:
Learn from the experience and put measures in place to stop it happening again!
Paying for a key-holding service, giving a spare key to the neighbor, and buying smart locking technology are just a few ways to do this. By taking action now, with the event fresh in your memory, you should avoid the misery of going through it again.
Locked Out? Remember These Suggestions!
Every single day of the week, countless people get locked out of their homes and cars. It’s a natural part of life! It happens to the best of us.
But that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable. In fact, locking yourself out of anything can be stressful, infuriating, and cause a host of practical problems in the process. Thankfully, approaching the situation with a cool head and the right strategy should have you back inside in no time.
If you’ve just locked yourself out, then we hope this post has provided all the information you need to resolve the problem ASAP!