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  • How to deal with an emergency lockout

    Getting locked out of your house can be a dire and stressful situation. It gets even worse when your only set of keys is inside, and you failed to leave a spare key with a relative or a friend. If you have found yourself stranded outside your home wondering where you will sleep tonight, you don’t need to despair! We have compiled a small guide on how to deal with an emergency lockout by using helpful tips, some of which are endorsed by professional locksmiths.

    Step 1: Relax! Look for someone to help you

    The first thing you need to do is try to stay calm. Stressing and worrying will not better your situation. Try to remember where you last saw your keys. Are they inside your home? Did you lose them? Did your keys get stolen? It is essential that you determine where the keys might be before you start looking for a proper solution.

    Next, try to find immediate help. If you are renting your place, you could contact your landlord and ask for a spare key. If you are sharing the apartment, get a hold of your roommates and ask them to let you in or even meet them where they are and lend the key for a few hours. Last, but not least, if you live in an apartment complex, you should track down the manager. Administrators normally have spare keys to all the flats in the building.

    If you intend to call emergency services at this stage note; some countries police or fire brigades might help you when you’re locked out. In the UK and London, only locksmiths will be able to help (unless it’s a life threatening situation). It would also cost less as fire fighters will probably break your door on their way in meaning you’ll need to change it. Read more about finding an emergency locksmith services in London.

    Step 2: Look for an open window

    In case you live alone, and you do not have a landlord or a building manager that can help you get back into your home, you will need to look for alternate solutions. One possible way of re-entering your house is through an open window.

    Common sense tells us to never leave unlocked windows when we depart our homes. However, when you get locked out of your house, a lack of common sense could be your best luck. Try to remember if you forgot to lock one of the windows before you last left your place.

    In the rather fortunate situation where one of your windows is unlocked, you can get back in your home by removing the screen, lifting the window and squeezing through the open space. Try not to hurry your way back in since you can injure yourself by hitting the furniture or other household items. Also, if you have pets inside the house, you might want to call them first as not to startle them, especially if they are guard dogs.

    Important note: Don’t risk your health. If you don’t have an open window, if you live on a high floor or if trying to access through a window at your property consist of any injury risk, look for alternate methods.

    Step 3: Use a laminated card

    This method will reminisce scenes of breaking and entering from the movies, but with the right card and a bit of dexterity, you might be able to re-enter your home with a credit card. In fact, any type of laminated card will do because it is more flexible than plain paper or cardboard cards.

    Keep in mind that this technique of dealing with an emergency lockout will only work if the door has spring bolts. Here is what you need to do to get back into your home:

    • Place the card where the latch is, just between the frame and the door.

    • Gently push the card inside and wiggle it a bit to flex the latch

    • Bend the card away from the doorknob and push yourself onto the door. Your bodyweight should

    displace the latch together with the pushing of the card.

    You might not open the door from the first attempt, so keep trying a couple of times. If you succeed, you might want to consider changing your locks in the near future, since any burglar could repeat the same process when you are not home.

    Step 4: Call a locksmith

    When everything else fails, you should consider calling a local locksmith. Professional locksmith services for emergency lockouts can get you back into your home safe and sound. Sometime without even damaging the locks or the door. For an additional fee, they can also change your locks and provide you with enough spare keys to avoid this type of situation in the future.

    Why you should leave it to the professionals

    Making your way back in the house after an emergency may bring you a particular feeling of success and relief. It might also make for a good story to tell your friends. However, attempting to force the entrance to your apartment might damage the door, the hinges and the lock. Eventually, you might end up paying more for repairs than for the fee of a professional locksmith.

    London is home to thousands of locksmith businesses that thrive on unlucky or distracted people who are left locked out. A quick Google search will reveal the services of several companies near your place. Most of these firms offer 24 hours locksmith services that can solve your tricky situation even in the darkest hours of the night.

    How to choose the best 24 hour locksmith service in London

    When you pick a locksmith service, take a second to read some of their online reviews. Other people’s experiences can help you determine if the company that you will call for help will better your situation or do you more damage than good.

    Make sure to understand exactly what service the locksmith is going to provide you with. Find as much details as you can about the task at hand and products that the locksmith is intend to deliver.

    Note that some London locksmiths are lacking the necessary experience and tools. Some others "so called" locksmiths in your area might even have malicious intentions so if a locksmith tells you they will provide you with a lock that comes with only one set of keys, that’s already a sign of warning.

    So look online, ask questions and verify in every way that is available to you who is that locksmith you’re going to trust for providing the service.

    A 24 hour locksmith service should be an industry expert that solves your problem in record time and for a reasonable fee.

    To save some hassle and troubles you can follow this article with tips on how to find the best locksmith near you.

    How a locksmith gets you back into your home?

    A professional locksmith may take between 20 minutes and a full hour to reach your place, depending on the company’s location and on how busy is their schedule. On arrival, the expert will identify the problem and provide you with several solutions, again, depending on the nature of the lockout.

    For instance, if you locked yourself out and the key broke inside the lock, they will most probably be able to extract the key out of the lock. If you then don’t have a spare key to use they’ll replace the entire system and provide you with a new set of keys for it. If you merely forgot your keys inside, the locksmith will attempt to unlock the door without damaging the latch. In case they discover a fault within the lock, they should recommend a few replacement options for it.

    How much does a 24h locksmith cost?

    Depending on the number of services provided by the 24-hour locksmith, in London you could pay anything between £50 and £120. Most London-based companies in this field practice an average price of £60 for emergency lockouts.

    You might also want to check if the service that you approach charges by the hour. In that case, your final bill will correspond to the amount of time that the locksmith spends on location plus the replacement parts that were used in the process.

    How urgent is your emergency lockout?

    When you are stuck outside your home without keys or ways of getting back in, calling a 24h locksmith service is preferable to calling emergency services. The London Fire Brigade spends almost £2 million per year on emergency lockouts. Furthermore, a professional locksmith will do less damage to your door and the lock than the firemen who will be tempted to remove the entire door altogether.

    Avoid getting locked out of your home in the future.

    Once you get out of a tricky situation like an emergency lockout, you need to establish a strategy to avoid getting locked out of your home in the future. Here are some tips that will help you keep your lock and door undamaged:

    • Make a habit out of ensuring that you have your keys with you at all times when you are outside.

    • Keep an eye on your keys when you are in public, and avoid leaving your bag unattended.

    • Share some sets of keys with your family and friends, or with a trusted neighbour.

    • Keep a spare set of keys in a locked safe at a storage facility.

    • Call your locksmith whenever you notice a problem with the lock or the latch. Early prevention can save you from an emergency lockout and a hefty replacement.

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