Locked out of your house – Tips on what should you do.
So you’re locked out of your property? Don’t panic! Here at Keytek Locksmiths we have some tips for you! Although It is best practice to leave a spare key with a relative, friend or trusted neighbour in case of an emergency such as a lock out, we understand this isn’t always the case, but don’t worry, our guide will highlight other methods of gaining entry into your house when you are locked out!
- How did you you lock yourself out?
- Have you lost your keys?
- Have you keys been stolen?
- Is your lock faulty?
- Is the key snapped in the lock?
- What happens if you’re renting?
- Other methods of entry
There are various ways a person can lock themselves out of their property, each of these scenarios can be extremely stressful, however they can be resolved in a few steps.
Many people find themselves locked out of their property after leaving their keys inside the house, particularly those with locks that automatically lock when the front door is closed, such as a Yale type lock on a wooden door, or a night latch. Often people pop out of the house to simply take out the bins, or retrieve something from their car, and find themselves locked out as they have forgotten to put the latch on the lock, or have forgotten to bring their keys with them. In this instance you could possibly get away with simply gaining entry into your home without having to change your locks.
You may also find yourself locked out of your home after misplacing your keys when out and about. This can be extremely stressful as it is impossible to be sure whether anyone has taken your keys after finding them or if you have misplaced them inside your own home. Following gaining entry into your home, you will have to consider changing the locks of the keys which have been lost; these can include front door keys, back door keys, and shed or outhouse keys.
Having your keys stolen can be very frightening as it means another person can easily gain access to your home. If you suspect your keys have been stolen, it is vital to notify your local Neighbourhood Watch and policing authority, this could help in the process of recovering your stolen keys, and protecting your property.
Keys can be stolen easily when out and about, from unattended bags and from pickpockets waiting to strike when you aren’t paying attention. Keys can also be stolen from inside your home, leaving your property extremely vulnerable. Often people will bunch property and vehicle keys together, leaving them no option but to have all locks changed, including their car lock, as this is the only way to ensure no one has unauthorised access to your property or your vehicle.
Sometimes a lock out isn’t caused by missing or stolen keys, but a fault in the lock itself. Exterior locks can often be affected adversely by the changes in weather, they can get jammed by dirt, and small internal parts may wear out due to use. A professional locksmith will aim to repair your lock when possible, rather than replacing the lock, helping to keep costs to a minimum.
A key snapped inside of a lock can be a panicking incident, and can occur if the lock fitted on your door isn’t of the highest quality. It is important to remember that if this occurs do not attempt to poke and clear it yourself, as this can damage your lock beyond repair. It is best to call a professional locksmith and wait patiently in a safe place.
What can you do when you’re renting a property and find yourself locked out? In a majority of cases a tenant would call their agency and ask them to arrange for a locksmith that they approve of to pay a visit to the property and resolve and issues. This cost is usually covered by the Landlord.
It is always going to be in your best interest to check with your landlord before you take any action to fix the lock as this could cause a breach of your tenancy agreement, as most landlords require you to have their express consent when changing the locks on a rental property.
Is a Locksmith service covered?
Although in most instances some agencies and landlords will cover the cost in full for a Locksmith to visit your rented property to fix or replace a faulty lock, however, in the case where you have lost your keys you may find this is not something covered by agency cost! In this instance they may request that you contact their preferred supplier for Locksmithing services, and depending on your tenancy agreement you may have already signed to agree to only use these services.
Who do I speak with?
Each agency and landlord will have someone designated to deal with the maintenance and care of all their properties, simply contact your agency and explain your situation and they will be able to help you find the right person to deal with your request. If that person is not in the office or is on annual leave… feel free to push the point that this situation needs dealing with right away.
What should I do out of hours
No agency will be open every hour of every day, so some of you may find yourselves in a position where you are locked out of your house and cut off from their support! Don’t stress, even though this is easier said than done, try to keep a calm head. Contact your agency on the number you would normally call, they should have an answer phone message with the out of hours emergency contact number. If you can’t get hold of anyone on this number then pick up a phone book or jump online and search for a locksmith near you!
Last thing to note!
When you are requesting a locksmith to arrive at your property, remember to ask them how many keys will come with the replacement lock as you may need to pass one or two copies to your agency or landlord, and if you don’t sort this while the engineer is on site dealing with your lock, it will be your responsibility to head out after his visit to find a key cutting service locally.
If your property is rented there is a chance your landlord will have a spare key to your home, depending on their current location, there is chance they will be able to give you entry into your property. If you live in an apartment complex or a block of flats, the owner of the block maybe be able to provide a spare key if you are able to confirm your identity.
Although it may be highly unlikely, it is worth checking to see if you have left any other doors or windows around your property unlocked. We advise against attempting to pick or tamper with your door lock to gain entry, as this could damage the lock and result in you needing a replacement or lock repair job, which will be more costly than a simply gaining entry.
Who do I call? Call a reputable locksmith!
When choosing a locksmith make sure to call a trusted and reliable company, who will have your security as a priority. Here at KeytekTM Locksmiths we ensure to provide customers the best possible solution to their home security needs. Whatever time it is, day or night our 24 hour locksmiths are always available to help. Our locksmiths are not only CRB checked but are also assessed and accredited by a team of industry experts, ensuring our customers receive a reliable service and giving them peace of mind.
If you find yourself locked out, call a local emergency locksmith near you on 0808 164 2928. Our emergency locksmiths will ask you the following questions in order to ensure they arrive onsite with the required parts and equipment.
- Where are your keys?
Our locksmith will need to know if your keys are inside your property, stolen, lost? This way they will be prepared to either gain entry, or gain entry and replace your lock. If your keys have been stolen, our locksmith will also need assurance that you have contacted your local police station and can provide an incident number.
- What type of lock is on your door?
Our locksmith with try to identify your lock over the phone by asking questions such as; do you have a wooden or uPVC door? Is the lock on your door shoulder height or waist height?
After these simple questions, a reputable locksmith will run through costs with you and get someone on the way to you asap. If you are waiting anywhere other than the property, we recommend requesting a ‘warning call’. This way the locksmith can let you know when he is near so that you can make your way over to the property which should reduce the time stood waiting at the front door.
Is it an emergency?
Locked out? Don’t call your emergency services, call a local locksmith!
The London Fire Brigade reported that from 2010 – 2015 they spent a whopping £9.5 million on ‘locked out calls! They have been reported to attend around 16 a day with most of these not actually being deemed as an emergency when they have arrived on site. These incidents ranged from people trapped in cemeteries to people trapped in toilets, shops and cupboards.
Fire brigades and other emergency services across the UK are looking to reduce these types of callouts; the majority of emergency services have advised an emergency locksmith should be called to these types of incidents unless someone’s life is at risk. So if you find yourself locked out of your home or locked in, please remember to call your local locksmith rather than the emergency services as a local locksmith can usually be with you in as little as 30 minutes to an hour!
How to prevent being locked out in the future
There are various ways to ensure you do not find yourself locked out of your property in the future.
- Distribute your spare keys with family members you trust and trusted neighbours.
- Consider buying a high security key safe, which can safely store spare copies of keys.
- Get into the habit of ensuring you have your keys with you when closing the door. A locksmith can fit a door restricted to prevent your door from closing behind you if this is something you require.
- Make sure to keep an eye on your keys when out and about, never leave your bag unattended.
- If you find your key is sticking, or notice any wear or tear to your lock, call a locksmith to repair or replace your lock before they fail completely, leaving yourself and your property unsecured.
Consider smart, keyless security- Read out blog on Smart Security which would be the best one for you.