If you’re like most people, you probably double-check your pocket or purse every morning before you leave your house to make sure you have your essentials: your wallet, your phone, and your keys. But even the most careful of us have been in a situation one time or another where we’ve forgotten one or more of these items. While it’s inconvenient, you can live without your phone. Your wallet does carry some essential items, but it’s always possible to go back and grab it when you can. But if you forget your keys and get locked out of the house?
Let’s just say that this event changes the rest of your morning dramatically. Instead of driving to work and fighting traffic, you’re now stuck outside your home, trying to figure out how to frantically get back inside. Everything else in your life has to be put on the back burner until you can fix this problem. So, if you are stuck in this situation, what should you do? Here are a couple of handy tips that could help you out in the future:
Plan In Advance
Of course, this doesn’t help you now, but with a little foresight, this is completely avoidable. There are a couple of things you can do beforehand that can help solve this problem right away.
Give a Spare Key to a Friend or Neighbor
This one is simple: give a spare key to your next-door neighbor or someone else close. In fact, if you trust enough people, give out two spare keys in case one person isn’t home. Doing this in advance can help with a whole host of problems later down the road, and this is only one of them.
Hide a Spare Key Somewhere
Yes, the old “key under the doormat” trick. As predictable as it might sound, this has helped many people out over the years. Of course, it’s also easy for other people to find these keys, so you have to be safe. Today, there are many products on the market that make it much harder for people to find your spare keys. You can hide them in fake rocks, sprinkler heads or put them behind a keyless entry device.
Look for Another Entry
Assuming you’re still stuck out there, all hope is not yet lost. The next thing to do is go around your house and look for an open point of entry. Many times we have an open window or door, and we don’t even realize it. So, take a few minutes and try every single door or window you can find before you start to do anything crazy. Of course, once you’re in the house you’ll want to lock that so no one else can use it.
Use a Credit Card
Depending on your lock, you might be able to jimmy it open yourself. You’ve probably seen this happen in movies: someone wants to break into a house, so they slip a credit card into the doorjamb and jiggle the lock. After a few seconds . . .they’re in!
Do you know why you see this? Because it works. Of course, it does take a bit of skill and luck, and it doesn’t work on every type of door out there. But before you finally decide to call someone, this is at least something to try.
To do this maneuver, grab a credit card or other similar card from your wallet — make sure it’s not an irreplaceable item because it might get damaged. Place it into the door jamb where the door handle is located. Start to slide it up and down. The key is to try and get it to hit the door lock in such a way that it starts to push the bolt back into the lock.
If it doesn’t work, don’t be too surprised — most locks these days are designed to prevent this very thing from happening. But, you never know! Of course, if it does work, then you probably want to consider changing that lock to something a bit more secure shortly.
Call a Locksmith
If you’ve tried everything else up to now, then it’s time to call a locksmith. A professional should have you in your house in a relatively short amount of time.
Make Sure You’re Ready for the Next Time
If you’ve done it once, there’s a chance you’ll do it again. Remember those items from step one? Now might be a good time to do a little preventative maintenance. You might want to consider installing a keyless entry system, so if you forget your keys, it doesn’t matter.
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