We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling of returning home after a long day, reaching for your key…and it’s not there. You’re locked out of the house. Not only is it inconvenient, it can also be dangerous. The longer you spend standing outside frantically searching, the more likely you are to become a target for anyone lurking in the area.
What is the fastest, easiest, safest way to gain access when you’re locked out of the house with no key? Call a locksmith.
Questions to Ask Your Locksmith
A 24/7 professional locksmith can help when you’re locked out at home, but there are a few questions you should ask yourself once you’ve gotten safely into your home. (And to prepare for if this ever happens again.)
How Fast Can They Get There?
You make the call saying “I’ve locked myself out of the house!” After that point, the situation is out of your hands. It is essential that the locksmith responds to your location as quickly as possible. (And even with the best planning, we’ve all forgotten our house keys at one time or another!)
Once you provide your address, the company should provide an accurate estimate of how much time it will take to reach you. You may call several locksmiths to find out which one has the fastest response time.
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Are They Insured, Bonded, and Licensed?
You’re trusting the locksmith with your home safety and security, so you need to ensure they are reliable professionals.
The locksmith should be insured and bonded in case they damage your property while gaining entry. They should also be licensed, indicating they can do business in your area. (In Illinois, the locksmith license process can include training in basic electricity.) These requirements ensure that your locksmith is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and background-checked.
Do They Offer Mobile Key-Making Services?
If you’ve simply locked the keys in the house accidentally, then having a locksmith open the door is all you need. Many people, however, lose their keys while they’re out of the house and need a replacement set made.
In this case, a mobile key-making service can be a life saver. The locksmith can make new keys for you on the spot. With this handy service, you can avoid the hassle of going to another location to have the keys cut.
Do They Have Good Reviews?
If you have the time, look at the company’s online reviews. Other customers’ experiences can help you feel more comfortable with the locksmith, or highlight potential red flags about the company.
What to consider when choosing locks for your home
What Shouldn’t You Do When You’re Locked Out of the House?
Unsure of what to do when locked out of the house but not ready to call a locksmith? Now that we’ve gone over what to do when locked out of your house, it’s important to mention a few alternative options.
Use Bobby Pins
You can try to pick a lock with a pin or similar object, but this can cause significant damage to your locks. Once your lock has been damaged or broken, you will need to replace the entire lock. Replacing the entire unit costs significantly more than simply replacing the key. To add insult to injury, using bobby pins is very unlikely to unlock a modern door lock.
Use a Credit Card or Gift Card
This old-fashioned method is often shown in movies and on TV when characters are presented with a locked door. While it might look great on screen, you’re very unlikely to gain access this way when you’re locked out. It does not work on modern locks, and you will most likely break or permanently damage the card.
“I locked myself out of the house…and I also snapped my credit card in half.” Something no one wants to say.
Knock Out the Door Lock
Homeowners sometimes try to pop the lock out of the doorknob with a sharp object. This method causes irreversible damage to the locking mechanism and the knob itself, and you’ll need to replace it. You are also likely to damage the door itself in the process.
“I locked myself out of my house…and now I’ve broken the doorknob and scratched the door.” You’ll absolutely need to call a locksmith.
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Remove the Doorknob
If you have access to tools, you may try removing your door handle entirely. You may find you can no longer replace the doorknob once you have taken it out, meaning you will not be able to lock your door or secure your home.
If it’s late at night and you aren’t able to get a new door handle right away, your home will be open and vulnerable.
Break a Window
This method is obviously a last resort. If you’re panicking (“I locked myself out of my house and now I’m in danger”), you may choose to break a side window or door panel if you have French doors. This method may provide you with access, but it also often results in physical injury. A broken window also provides an easy way for intruders to get into your home.
Best Ways to Avoid Getting Locked Out of Your Home
You may be wondering “What are some simple ways to prevent getting locked out of my house?” When you find yourself locked out of the house, a locksmith may not always be immediately available to unlock the door.
DO: If you’re worried about how to get into a locked house, you can easily avoid the hassle. Provide a set of spare keys to a trusted friend or family member. If you don’t have anyone nearby, hiding a spare key in a secure spot is a good idea.
DON’T: Avoid leaving windows or doors unlocked when you leave the house. Most burglaries are opportunistic. Criminals can simply walk from house to house, checking the front door and windows that reach to the floor for any open points of entry.
Locked Out of Your House? Locksmith to the Rescue
If you find yourself locked out of the house, a locksmith is your safest option. Quicksmith is the most trusted locksmith in the Chicago area, providing residential, commercial and automotive services for over 10 years.
All our locksmiths are highly trained, insured, bonded, and licensed. We provide the fastest 24/7 response time, and we offer mobile key making for your convenience. Quicksmith can repair or change locks, and also add deadbolts and door viewers. Locked out of your house right now? Call us toll free at 866-205-6412. We’ll let you in and make your new house key on the spot.