How to Prevent Lockouts
It happens to the best of us. It’s so aggravating and inconvenient to see that you are locked out, and it’s particularly infuriating if you’re stranded without your keys after sundown. Right now, you can decide to put some simple principles in place as a daily habit. Choose to adopt these easy strategies from now on, and there will be no reason you’ll ever find yourself locked out again!
Store a spare key in a common-sense hiding place. Putting a key under the mat, beneath a flower pot, or over your door frame, is not a good idea. Every thief knows to look in these places. A fake-rock keyholder is pointless if a professional criminal already knows what it looks like. It’s better to give your extra key to a neighbor you trust - preferably someone who’s home most of the time.
Keys, wallet, phone. Whenever you go out the door, remind yourself: keys, wallet, phone. Make it your basic mantra from now on. Stop. Do a pat-down, check your pockets, and check your purse or pack. (You might want to add a few more items to your list, such as: driving glasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, and so on.)
Replace any faulty locks. Keep an eye on all your locks. Upgrade, fix, or replace them when needed. If any of your locks become hard to open, the key could break inside the lock mechanism. Don’t get copies of keys made that are already duplicates, because they eventually won’t work. If you have any locks that are too worn-out, they’re bound to get jammed.
Always know where your keys are. Stay aware of your keys wherever you go. If you walk out, and you realize that you’ve forgotten something, and then you go back to get it, don’t put your keys down on the table and forget them! Keep your keys in your hand, or inside your pocket or purse. Remember, if you ever lend a spare key to a trusted friend, always get it back as soon as you can.
If you want to be bold, carry a phony credit card. Keep one of those fake sample credit cards from junk mail, or an expired gift card. Don’t use an actual one, because you will definitely ruin it. It doesn’t work like it does in the movies, but it still might work for you - that is, only if there isn’t a deadbolt. It must be a bored door lock, with the sloped ridge of the bolt facing toward you. (If the door opens toward you, then the bolt is probably facing the wrong way.) If the bolt is the right type, and it’s facing the right direction, then give it a try:
- Put the card in the space in between the door and the jamb above the bolt.
- Ever so gently, slide the card down between the strike plate and the bolt.
- Push the card, and push the door.
- If you are fortunate, the door will open, and you’ll leave everything (except the card) undamaged.
If you’re more adventurous, take a pick set with you. If your local and state laws allow you to do so, try picking the lock. Not all locks can be picked, but it could be worth a try. And perhaps some day you will be able to help someone else who’s locked out.
Before you get into a jam, find a legitimate locksmith. The right way to locate a reputable locksmith is to track one down ahead of time, before you ever need one. Do your research, so you won’t get scammed or overcharged.
Ask family, friends, and colleagues for recommendations. Word of mouth from a satisfied customer is always your best bet.
Do your homework. To find a local trusty locksmith, check your phone book and the Web. Write down locksmith companies in your area, with their addresses and telephone numbers. Locate the locksmiths who specialize in the services you need. Utilizing the Internet, you can match up the telephone numbers with the street addresses. A deceptive company may list a fake address, or none at all, claiming it’s local. If someone answers your call with a general greeting such as “locksmith services,” then ask for what the whole business name is. If that person won’t tell you, take it off the list. Bear in mind that some reputable locksmith companies might not include a street address simply because they run a mobile business, so that they can dispatch a locksmith professional local to every customer. Therefore, just ask why their address isn’t listed.
Confirm the locksmith’s credentials. When the locksmith arrives, ask for ID, a business card, and proof of license. The invoice ought to include the locksmith company’s name. The locksmith’s truck should show the company name as well, and match the company name on the business card and invoice. The locksmith must also ask you for your identification, too. Before beginning any work, a locksmith must authenticate your identity, and verify that you’re the actual property owner.
Be skeptical if a locksmith tells you you’re going to have to drill or replace your lock just because you’re locked out. An expert locksmith of integrity will carry the right tools, and have the expertise to know that such drastic measures would be overkill. A true professional locksmith is able to unlock virtually anything.
When you’ve finally found a reliable locksmith, keep that company’s contact information in a logical place, such as on your smart device, on the refrigerator, in your wallet, or on your bulletin board at work - so you’ll always have what you need to get yourself out of trouble . An exceptional locksmith will always be happy to answer your questions.
If you’re in Aurora, Colorado, consider hiring Aurora Master Locksmith, a locksmith company whose staff mobile professional locksmith technicians are available 24/7 to provide automotive, residential, commercial, and emergency locksmith solutions.
What if you’re locked out now? If you don’t have a hidden extra key, or you don’t have a neighbor or friend who keeps one for you, then check to see if you left a window or another door open.
If all else fails, hire a locksmith! You may be tempted to entertain the idea of kicking in the door or breaking a window. But should you really risk being mistaken for a burglar? Of course not. Avoid this mess in the future! Plan ahead!