It’s all too easy to lock yourself out of the home – and many of us have experienced that sinking feeling as the door slams shut before we’re ready! But what should you do when it happens?
If you live with someone, swallow your pride and call them – even if it is the middle of the night. There is nothing worse than being stuck outside in the cold and you can apologise to sleepy flatmates, friends or your partner afterwards! If your home is rented, see if you can get hold of your landlord for a spare key. If you live in an apartment, go to the manager’s office so they can let you in with the master key. Don’t panic, but have proof of who you are to hand.
Check for any access routes
Did you accidentally leave a window open? If so, you’re in luck if you can shimmy through it safely. Just don’t take risks – make sure the window is low, large and doesn’t have furniture lying underneath that you could drop into!
Use a credit card
If you have a spring bolt door, try a credit card to pick it. You’ll want a card that can be damaged- laminated ones are good. Press the card in between frame and door where the latch is, and then do a push and wiggle motion. As you push, bend the card away from you and the doorknob to see if the latch will slide back and release. Use some weight against the door to help.
If you manage it, call a locksmith immediately and get those locks upgraded. If you can get in with a credit card, then anyone could!
Call a locksmith
This is the best and most reliable option. Google your nearest locksmith and find out if they’ll do a free callout. Explain your situation and don’t worry – they are well used to emergency calls!
Make sure a trusted neighbour or friend as a spare key, or invest in a password-protected key safe as a back-up. A reminder mantra can also help you to build good habits as you leave the house: remember “coat, bag, wallet, phone… keys!”