You pat your pockets. You empty your bag. You jiggle the doorknob desperately. No… It can’t be… You’re locked out! You swear you had your keys when you left the house this morning. So what happened?!
Maybe you left your keys at the restaurant where you ate lunch. Maybe you’ve been the unfortunate victim of theft. Or maybe you just plain have no idea where your keys are.
Whatever the reason, being locked out of your home is a terrible feeling.
Here’s a few ways you can prevent being locked out of your home in the future. If you follow these steps, you can avoid that stomach-dropping feeling of dread that inevitably comes with a home lockout.
Duplicate your key and give it to a friend or neighbor
If you have a close neighbor or a friend who lives nearby, entrust them with a spare key. If you live with with family, they should also have their own set of keys. But if they’re not available for any reason, it’s a great idea to diversify the number of trusted individuals in your area with a key to your house.
Make sure you share your key with someone who has access to speedy transportation. You don’t want to end up waiting outside for a long time because the person with your spare key has no way of getting to your home!
Also, ensure they are organized and reliable. It’s useless to give someone a duplicate key if they’re just going to lose it! Discuss where they’ll keep your key so they know exactly where to go when they get your frantic lockout call.
Carry a spare key with you
If you drive on a daily basis, keep a duplicate key in your car’s glove compartment. If you misplace your main set of keys while you’re out and about, it’ll be a major relief to know you have a spare waiting in your vehicle.
If you carry a purse, bag, or briefcase regularly, put a spare key inside a zipper compartment. If possible, dedicate an entire zipper compartment just to that key. Then you’ll always know exactly where it is, and you can access it easily during an emergency lockout. There’s also less of a chance it will fall out unexpectedly if it has its own special compartment.
Keep your key in one place in your home
Let’s say you live in a dorm, apartment, or home where your doors automatically lock behind you. If you leave your keys inside, you’re in trouble!
This tip probably seems like common sense. But if you’re prone to misplacing your keys, this is a great way to remind yourself to always have your keys when you leave the house.
Get a special bowl or key hook right by the front door. Make it a habit to ALWAYS leave your keys there. You’ll never have to scramble to find your keys on your way out the door again. And you’ll never have that feeling of dread when you hear that door click behind you just as you realize you don’t have your keys!
Save a locksmith’s number in your phone
Ok, so we’ve given you some concrete ways to prevent a lockout.
Well, life happens. Even if you follow every step perfectly, there’s always a chance you might run into an emergency. If that ever happens, it’s best to be prepared.
Research a trusted local locksmith and save their number in your phone. Don’t fall prey to a locksmith scam during a panicked, vulnerable moment. It’s good to be prepared even if you’ve taken every necessary precaution.