Are you Locked out of your house & unsure what to do? Call us now at (646) 666-9257 for free advice on the best action to take in your situation. Hiring a locksmith usually is more cost-effective than replacing a windowpane or door.
When I was 10 months old, my mother locked herself out of our home – with me inside.
I've heard this story many times. It was a traumatic event that will always live fresh in my mothers mind, as if it happened yesterday. We were living in a tenement apartment in Worcester Massachusetts, which, for those who don't know, is a very urban and busy city. The apartment had two separate entrances, a front main door and a side door. The side door let into a small backyard where my parents used for hanging clothes and keeping plants. Once day, my mother walked out the side door to throw clothes on the line and as soon as she heard the dreadful clicking sound her heart fell into her stomach. My mother realized last minute that she didn't have the keys which were the only way back into the building.
She will never forget the powerless feeling of seeing me at the window, wailing because I couldn't get to her. I had just started learning to walk and perched on my toy chair, crying for her with my nose pressed against the window. Luckily I never left the view from the window (I must have been a clingy baby) and she knew I was safely crying, not walking around the apartment with free reign.
In our neighbourhood everyone knew each other and my mother was able to use a neighbours telephone to call for my father's help. He worked close to home and was able to drive right away to help us out. But what do you do when there is an emergency and your spouse doesn't work nearby?
Or what about those who live alone?
Getting locked out of the house can happen to anyone, any time. At the risk of sounding like a cliché, you should never assume that these situations can't happen to you, no matter how smart or organized you are. It may be while you're in the middle of making dinner, or have a candle burning, that you decide to run out and get the mail.
Being prepared against getting locked out of your home is a necessity. It has happened to me a few times and I feel confident that if you continue reading, these tips will ensure that you will never get stuck out of your house again.
The easiest thing to do is to keep a spare key hidden somewhere outside, but it comes with a risk. Find an obscure location where someone would not assume a key to be hidden. A friend of mine kept her spare key under a flower pot in the middle of a group of pots. In Florida, I kept my spare key in a gap in between the fence around my patio. Don't place it where a criminal is likely to check – like under the door mat or in your mailbox. Use your imagination.
Don't choose your cool new yoga partner because you see her every day or the boyfriend of the week. Keep your key with someone you would leave with your bank account information or passport. Trust is the key word. Remember that this person will have access to your entire life. So choose someone you know will not take advantage of that. A best friend, a sibling, or a life partner. For convenience sake, it helps if this person is local to you as well.
My advice is to locate a locksmith near you as soon as you move to a new area or neighbourhood. Find out what their hours of operation are and keep their phone number saved in your cell. If you can find a locksmith who is open 24/7, even better. Be prepared. Nearly everyone will get locked out of something as some point in time, whether it's your house or car. A locksmith should be among the numbers on your emergency call group.
The most beautiful part of renting – the fact that there is always someone on call in case of an emergency. Be sure to find out your landlord's calling policy. Do they have office hours or can you reach them on their personal cell? Do they live on site? Renting isn't only about choosing an apartment – it is also about choosing a landlord. Find one who is easily accessible, of course within respectable boundaries.
A second pro to renting – renters insurance. Keep your assets safe by ensuring that you are covered in case of damage caused by break-in or wear and tear. Check your renters insurance policy to see if it covers locksmith costs and what the services are. If you are locked out of your home due to a break-in attempt or theft, renters insurance may provide contact information for emergency services, as well as cover all or partial costs.
This should be a last resort. Ask yourself if there is an easy window or door to break in through and assess the damage risk of this action.
Let me preface this next story by stressing that I do not recommend leaving a window to your home open or readily available for a child to find his/her way through.
Once I entered school, my family moved out of the city and into a small rural farm town. It was a safe neighbourhood and we lived at the end of a dead end road, surrounded by families who became quick friends. One of our first floor bathrooms was always kept unlocked and a few times after walking home from school early or from a friends house, I crawled into the house through the window. There was luckily no damage done to the window or windowpane, and we didn't fear any of our neighbours being suspicious or taking notes.
Ofcourse, our living situation was a very safe one but not everyone has this opportunity. Breaking into your house should always be a last minute decision only used in an absolute emergency. Keep in mind that hiring a locksmith is likely more cost-effective than replacing a windowpane or door. If you follow the other steps above, then there should be little to no reason for choosing this option.
If a spare key is not available in case you are locked out, your best option is to seek advise from a highly trained residential or commercial locksmith who is able to unlock the door within minutes without causing any damages.