Being unable to enter your home can be stressful and frustrating. Such situations often occur at night, when conditions are least favourable.
However, you have several solutions, even if you’re locked out late at night. Before taking extreme measures, such as breaking a window glass or contacting authorities, you should consider a safer approach. You have better options than calling a 24-hour locksmith near you so that we can discuss them in more detail.
Keep Calm and Observe Your Surroundings
The darkness of night can be disorienting, but the first rule in a lockout situation is to stay calm. Breathe deeply and concentrate. Making rash decisions out of panic can be dangerous.
Now, assess your surroundings. If you’re outside – search for well-lit areas. If you are inside a building – find the nearest exit and ensure it’s well-lit. You should put safety first.
Check for Unlocked Windows or Doors
While remaining calm, check all possible entry points. Start with doors, but be cautious. Forcing entry can damage your property and might be mistaken for a break-in. Patio doors, garage doors, and side doors are all worth checking. Never put yourself in a dangerous situation, especially when attempting to access higher windows or balconies.
If all doors are locked, check for an open first-floor window. Ground-floor windows are worth inspecting, but again, prioritise safety. Avoid climbing to higher floors unless you’re certain it can be done safely.
Contact Someone with a Spare Key
Contacting someone you trust can be a lifesaver. Call your friends, family members, or neighbours you trust who might have a spare key or provide temporary accommodation. If you are a tenant, you can also ask your landlord or property manager for backup keys.
It’s a reminder of the value of maintaining a local contact list for emergencies. Consider keeping important phone numbers accessible even when locked out. A little foresight can go a long way in resolving such situations.
Try Improvised Methods of Unlocking
If you don’t have a second key, you can try different methods, such as bobby pins or a credit card. It might work on a spring latch but not on a deadbolt. Be cautious not to damage your credit card. If you manage to unlock the door, consider upgrading to a more secure lock to prevent such situations.
Consider Professional Locksmith Services
In case all your attempts fail, it’s time for an emergency lockout service. It can be your saviour at night. However, you should choose a reputable locksmith service, especially at night. The cost of locksmith services can vary, so discuss the fees and procedures upfront. Always prioritise your safety while waiting for their arrival.
Seek Safe Shelter While Waiting
If it looks like a lengthy wait is ahead, it’s wise to seek a safe shelter. Consider heading to a 24-hour café, checking into a nearby hotel, or asking a friend for refuge. Safety remains paramount, especially when the night is unforgiving.
Whether you stay outdoors or find indoor shelter, choose public, well-lit areas for your peace of mind. If you need to travel to a shelter, consider public transportation or safe ride services. Carry personal safety items like a flashlight or a personal alarm for added security.
Notify Local Authorities If Necessary
Do not hesitate to contact local authorities if you feel that your safety is at risk. In situations of distress, involving the police can be a prudent choice. You can rely on them to ensure your safety and protect you from potential attackers. Provide police with details about your issue so they can help you. Self-care is essential.
Take Proactive Measures to Prevent Future Lockouts
Learning from your lockout experience can help you avoid future nighttime predicaments. Consider creating and securely storing a spare key or entrusting one to a trusted neighbour. Modern solutions like keyless entry systems and smart locks offer convenience while reducing the risk of future lockouts.
Establish a personal emergency plan that includes keeping essential contacts readily available. Preparation is your best defence against unforeseen lockout scenarios.
Consider Your Home Security After a Lockout
Emerging from a nighttime lockout is an opportunity to reassess your home’s security. Consider yourself a potential intruder and identify any weaknesses. Improve security by installing CTTV and burglar alarms or improving lighting. You should consider switching to smart locks- no more looking for keys. They offer security and convenience, which you definitely appreciate.
How to Avoid Getting Locked Out
After successfully regaining access to your home, it’s essential to avoid future lockouts. Taking the following steps will help you:
Keep a Pair of Spare Keys
You should hide a spare key safely, such as at the back of your property, away from the road and your house. Avoid common spots like under the doormat or a fake stone, as burglars often check these locations. Alternatively, attach a spare key to the outdoor air conditioning unit in an area that is not visible.
Install a Keyless Smart Lock
Modern keyless smart locks offer a reliable way to prevent lockouts. You can operate them with a code or with an app on your smartphone. Therefore, you don’t need physical keys. If you want to change to smart locks, ensure you hire a technician for lock installation.
Don’t Forget to Take Your Keys
Lastly, always make sure you have your keys with you before leaving your house. Place your keys with essentials you always carry, such as your wallet or phone. You can even put a note near the front door to remind you to check for your keys.
It can be quite frightening to lock yourself out of your house at night. Using the right strategies and staying positive can help you overcome it safely. Keep calm, stay informed, and prioritise your safety.
As you regain access to your home, keep the lessons learned in mind. Take proactive measures, and consider this experience as motivation for improving your home security. You should always feel safe and secure at home, regardless of the time.