One of the most common reasons people call a local Locksmith is because their keys have been lost or stolen. When you lose your keys, it can be a stressful time and you can struggle to think what your next step to take would be, but there are some essential things that need to be done and thought about to ensure your safety and the safety of your belongings.
Lost or Stolen House Keys
If your house keys are lost or stolen, you may need to consider changing your locks. This is an absolute must if they have been stolen, as the thief could use your key to enter your house. If you do not get them changed and someone accesses your house through the door with a key, your home insurance may be invalidated. Even if you have just misplaced your keys, it is still best to change the locks to give you piece of mind. You could have lost them; at work, whilst shopping or just visiting a friend, but you will not know who might have picked them up. Whenever a lost key situation arises the most important factor to remember is security.
It is best to employ a professional Locksmith to change your locks, as if you do the work yourself, your home insurance may not cover you after a break in. Keytek® Locksmiths can make sure that all your locks are up to insurance standards.
What Do You Do When You Lose Your Keys?
Firstly, you should notify your local Police Authority or Neighbourhood Watch group that your keys have been misplaced or stolen. Describe any notable features i.e., a particular key ring, so if they are handed in it may help to make a recovery easier.
Secondly, call out a local Locksmith to get your locks changed, as unfortunately you can never be sure of who might have taken then or picked them up. To ensure that your home is secured, it’s always better to be safe then sorry.
Lastly, contact your insurance provider to tell them that your locks have changed. This helps to keep your insurance policy up to date and valid. Insurance companies will sometimes have minimum security requirements on the type of locks you have, therefore it is always important to keep your insurance provider informed and understand the requirements of your policy.
How Do I Replace a Lost Door Key?
There are a few ways to replace a lost door key, the one that we as your local security experts highly suggest is to change the lock. This ensures that your home is secured against anyone who might have picked up your lost keys, but also helps to ensure that your home insurance policy is up to date and remains valid.
Your other options include getting a key cut from a picture or key code, key impression or dismantling a lock. We go into more detail here (anchor to further down the page) about these processes but ultimately, we would advise against these methods as most of them require more expertise, are more expensive, and potentially don’t secure your home from people that might have picked up your missing keys.
What Was Attached to Your Keys?
As it’s very unlikely that you will just lose a single key, it’s more likely you will lose multiple as they were on a key ring. You need to think about what else was on your keyring. This could include a key or access fob to your workplace, a neighbour’s key, your car key, or the key to your garage/outbuilding. You will need to inform any person that may be affected by the loss or theft of your keys, as they might also need to take steps to secure their homes.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Lock on a Door?
To replace a lock on a wooden or uPVC door, you can expect to pay an hourly labour rate and the cost of the parts. Depending on the situation, type of door and lock needed, multiple locks can be changed easily within an hour, so if you need multiple door locks replaced, this can easily and quickly be done by an expert Keytek® Locksmith.
Check With Your Insurance
Some insurance policies, whether home or vehicle, cover key loss and theft. This can be in the form of paying for a replacement to be made or covering the cost to gain entry. It is always beneficial to check with your insurance to know what your options are. However, you should always also check whether this will affect your no-claims, although it might be more costly to find a solution yourself to might be more cost effective in the long-run.
For further advice about home and car insurance, please visit our Guide to Insurance.
Lost or Stolen Car Keys
If you lose your car keys, then you will need the services of an Auto Locksmith. These specially trained Locksmiths are able to cut new spare car keys and can reprogram your car so that the lost or stolen keys can no longer be used. Auto Locksmiths are often mobile, so they can come to you ensuring that the process is as easy as possible for you.
To ensure that Locksmiths are helping the rightful owners of the car, they will ask for proof that you are the titled owner of the car. You can provide this evidence by providing the V5 document, the VIN number and some proof of your own identity like a driving license or passport.
Can You Replace a Lost Car Key Without a Spare?
Yes. There are a two main ways that you can do this, either through an auto Locksmith or through your car dealership.
Going to a specialist auto Locksmith is often the more cost effective and easier option as most auto Locksmiths are mobile and will come out to you. Auto Locksmiths can reprogram a cars locking system to render the lost key useless and then can reprogramed and cut a new key as well. The only issue that can occur from using an auto Locksmith is that depending on the age and model of the car they may not be able to reconfigure the door locks to exclude a lost manual key.
A cars dealership although offer the same services, are often more expensive and can take longer.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Car Keys?
The cost to replace a lost car key can vary, depending on the vehicle model and the type of key. Newer cars keys can be more complicated to replace and therefore can take longer and require more specialist equipment.
Lost Garage or Shed Keys
Like with lost house keys, its best to replace the locks of the keys that have been stolen or lost. This is especially true if you keep valuable items, such as expensive bikes or power tools in these out buildings.
Can You Replace a Garage Door Key?
If you have lost your garage door key, this can easily be replaced by an expert Locksmith. An expert will be able to cut a new key for your garage lock, however we would strongly suggest that for security reasons you replace the lock to ensure that the items which are stored in your garage are secured.
How Do You Open a Shed Door Without a Key?
If the keys to your shed have been lost or stolen, an expert Locksmith can usually open the shed without damage. They can do this through picking the lock, bumping the lock or in extreme cases drilling out the lock, depending on what lock you have. If you have secured your shed with a padlock in most cases a Locksmith would just cut with off.
What Should I Do if I Have Lost the Keys to my Shed?
If you have lost the keys to your shed, the first thing you should do is call out a Locksmith to change the locks. Not only would they be able to open the lock so that you can gain access to your shed, but can also change the locks to ensure that your valuables are secured.
Yes. Whether you have lost keys, or they have been stolen, the most important thing to consider is security. You never know who might have your misplaced keys and what their intentions might be, therefore changing your locks not only ensures that your home is secured but that no on can enter your home with a key – which could actually invalidate your insurance.
For whatever reason you have changed your locks, you will need to tell your insurance provider as it may invalidate your insurance otherwise. Your insurance will have a set of requirements that may include minimum safety requirements for your locks; if a future incident occurs such as a break and you wish to make a claim, by not meeting the listing requirement you can run the risk of not having valid insurance.
There are many different ways that a trained Locksmith can cut a key without needing the original, with the most common, cutting the key from a code, key impression or through disassembling the lock.
One of the easiest ways that a replacement key can be made is through cutting the key to code. The key code is the one that is used in manufacturing to fashion to right key for the lock from a blank key. With access to the key code, a Locksmith can very easily cut you a new key, but this is dependent on the Locksmith gaining the key code.
Another way, a key can be cut is through a lock impression. This is through a process of inserting a blank key into the lock to gain the impressions of where the key will need to be cut to fit the pins. However, this is a very difficult process to learn and should always be carried out by a trained, professional Locksmith.
Disassembling the lock is often the last resort as the lock will be dissembled for the Locksmith to try and reverse the engineer the key from the alignment and height of the pins within the lock cylinder. An important aspect to remember about this method is that a Locksmith would most likely need to pick the lock beforehand to then dissemble it and would need to ensure that non-destructive methods are used to not damage any of the mechanisms. If the mechanism were damaged, it would most likely result in a new lock being needed.
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