Locked Out? Tips on When to Try Getting in Yourself or Call for Help!
November 23, 2023
Being locked out of your home or office is not just an inconvenience, it can be a serious problem. You may have kids or pets inside that urgently need your help. You could lose your key, which is a major security risk as that means someone else could have access to your property. While a professional residential locksmith can help you gain access and replace the locks, there are situations where you can’t wait for the locksmith. Fortunately, there are a few ways for you to get back inside.
Understanding Your Situation
One of the first things you need to do is to quickly assess the situation. This includes an assessment of the urgency of the situation. If you can’t wait to get inside, then you may have to improvise.
If you are lucky, you might have a simple solution to the problem. For example, you may have another household member to let you in. If some other family member or neighbor has a spare key to your property, then you contact them to get the spare key. If you live in a rental property, you may also contact the landlord or apartment concierge to check if they have a spare key to your place.
When to Attempt Entry Yourself
If you can’t find anyone with a spare key and you can’t wait for the locksmith, you may have to attempt entry yourself. If you live on the ground floor, check if any windows or doors are open. If an upstairs window is open, it might be too risky to attempt climbing up to get in.
In some cases, you may be able to open the door using a hard plastic card or using bobby pins, or paper clips to open the door. However, it can be extremely challenging to open the door through DIY locksmithing tools. If the door only has a door knob, you can consider removing the knob. This is a non-damaging method to gain access, however, this method will not work if you have a tamper-proof door knob or other types of lock on the door such as a deadbolt. If you have some time, you could consider picking the lock by using a step-by-step guide that is readily available online.
In most desperate situations, you may consider breaking down the door, but keep this as the last option. Not only would you damage the door, you risk injuries to yourself, and others inside.
When to Call for Help
If you can’t get past the door or you need to fix a damaged lock, it is time to call a professional locksmith. They have the experience, tools, and skills to open any type of lock. If you already damaged the lock, they can assess the damage to check if repair or replacement is needed. The rates for a locksmith are reasonable but can vary depending on your location. A locksmith can also share some tips on how to prevent such an incident from happening again and how to improve the security of your property. You should only call 911 when there is an actual emergency, such as a fire or urgent need for help.
How to Choose a Reliable Locksmith
It is best to find a reliable locksmith before you need one. Ask your friends and family members if they recommend any locksmith. You can also check online reviews from reputable websites to identify trustworthy locksmiths in your location. When you contact the locksmith, ask them about their experience and if they have any certifications.
Ideally, you want a locksmith that is close to your location and has a physical presence in your community. It also helps to ask them about their pricing so you don’t get surprises when you need their services. Save the contact information of the locksmith so you don’t have to use up precious time to find their phone number in an emergency.
One of the best ways to prevent a lockout is to go keyless. There are electronic locks or smart locks on the market that operate through a digital passcode. You won’t have to carry a key or worry about losing one. Another way to prevent such a situation is to give away a spare key to a trustworthy neighbor or relative who lives close by. You can also consider hiding a key but make sure you remember where you hide it. You can consider buying an outdoor key holder disguised as a yard decoration or rock.