It’s a situation we’ve all been in: You approach your front door, searching through your pockets or purse, only to realize that you’re locked out. Whether it’s a minor inconvenience or a major problem depends on factors like the weather and time of day. If you find yourself locked out at night during a cold winter month, it can even be dangerous.
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How to Regain Entry to Your House
No need to panic. Here are some ideas on how to get back inside your home as quickly as possible.
1. Check Other Doors
The first and most obvious step is to check all the other entry points of your home. You may have forgotten to secure one of the other doors, like the patio, garage, or side doors. While this may sound unlikely, it’s worth giving it a try. Just make sure not to force open any doors as you could damage the door or injure yourself.
2. Check First-Floor Windows
If all the doors are locked, you can try looking for an open window on the first floor. Many people tend to lock their doors but forget to latch their windows. Carefully remove the screen and check if there’s a window big enough for you to crawl through. However, be cautious not to damage any valuables inside or hurt yourself during the process.
3. Find Someone with a Key
Reach out to your significant other, roommate, or a family member who may have an extra key to your home. If you’re a renter, contact your landlord to arrange a meeting to pick up a spare key. Apartment dwellers can approach the superintendent to explain the situation. Make sure you have your identification with you, especially if you live in a large complex.
4. Ask for Help
If you don’t have any tools on hand to open your door or window, try asking your neighbors for assistance. Most people are willing to lend a helping hand to someone in need. They may even invite you in for a warm drink on a cold day. Listen to any advice they offer on getting back into your home.
5. Use a Credit Card
Although not always recommended, using a credit card might work if you have a spring latch. It’s important to note that this method won’t work with a deadbolt. Choose a laminated card for better flexibility, but avoid using a card you rely on as it may get damaged. Once you’re back inside, call a professional locksmith to replace your lock for added security.
6. Remove the Doorknob
Another option, though not universally recommended, is removing the exterior doorknob. You’ll need a screwdriver to accomplish this. Locate the small latch near the base of the knob, push it in, and remove the knob. Finally, use the screwdriver or your finger to pull the latch back.
7. Call a Locksmith
When all else fails, it’s time to call a professional locksmith. Locksmiths are experienced in handling emergency situations, and they can quickly and efficiently help you regain access to your home. If you’re within a 10-mile radius of Riverside Park, Md., give us a call at Ernie’s Lock. We offer prompt assistance and free estimates over the phone.
How to Prevent Future Lockouts
Once you’re back inside your house, it’s important to take steps to avoid getting locked out again.
1. Hide a Spare Key
If you choose to hide a spare key, avoid obvious places like under the doormat or inside a fake rock. Instead, find a secure location, such as a tree in your backyard, and hang the key on a nail on the side facing away from the road and your house. Alternatively, tape a spare key to your outside air conditioning unit in an easily accessible spot that won’t cause harm.
2. Give a Spare Key to a Trusted Neighbor
Consider entrusting a reliable neighbor with a spare key. It doesn’t have to be someone next door; anyone in the neighborhood whom you trust can be the keeper of your spare key. This is especially beneficial if you’ve experienced lockouts multiple times.
3. Install a Keyless or Smart Lock
Keyless or smart locks are more affordable than you might think. These modern options use codes or smartphone apps to grant you access to your home. If you decide to install one of these locks, make sure to have a professional locksmith handle the installation.
4. Develop a Key Routine
Make it a habit to pick up your keys along with other essentials when leaving the house, such as your wallet and phone. Consider placing a reminder near your front door to ensure you don’t forget your keys.
When You Need Help, Call Ernie’s Lock
If you ever find yourself locked out of your home, don’t hesitate to contact Ernie’s Lock. With over 60 years of experience, we’ve been helping Maryland residents regain access to their homes. Our team provides emergency services within a 10-mile radius of Riverside Park and can offer free estimates over the phone. So, if you’re locked out, call us at 301-277-1126. We’re also available to assist you with other residential security needs. You can find more information on our contact us page.