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What Should You Do When You Are
Locked Out of Your House or Car?

Locked out

No matter how careful you are with your house keys, you will eventually lock yourself out of the house. Whether you've lost them or simply can't find the spare key, the moment of panic will hit immediately. But what do you do? Don’t worry — help is at hand! Always keep a spare set of keys in a safe place for emergencies. It’s a good idea to have a spare set hidden somewhere in your home so you can access them easily when you’re in a pinch.

Call a locksmith if you can't find the spare key

If you can’t find your spare key, call a locksmith. You can learn how to change a car key yourself, but the process is difficult and may take a couple of hours. A locksmith can usually cut a spare key for you in less than an hour. Locksmith prices these days are very reasonable. Make sure you know what you're doing. Worse yet, if you lose those keys, it’s too late to make sure you are locked out of the house. Make sure you follow instructions that you’ve clearly read and memorized. Especially when trying to use the deadbolt, a misplaced key is like litter on the sidewalk — it could send all your belongings to the dumpster. If you don’t plan to leave the house in a hurry, store your keys in the house. Never use the phone or the internet to look up how to change your key. Some people pack spare keys and just leave them on their porch when they go on vacation. This better ensures you don’t forget, even if someone else might. Once you are locked out, your first order of business should be to call a locksmith and get them to change your lock. Unless you’re a locksmith who also happens to change property keys, chances are good that they will be able to change the key for you.

If you're locked out of your house, don't panic!

There are things you can try that might just help you get back inside without too much effort. The first thing you should do is to try to take the doorknob off. The majority of doorknobs are held on by a screw on the other side. Take a screwdriver and try to take the doorknob off. If it doesn’t budge, press the button on the key fob until it does. The number one use of your house key is its ability to open any lock. Whether the property is in an apartment complex, a single-family home, a mobile home, a condo, or a boat, your home key will work on these types of doors. Any lock, however, requires a code to open. These codes vary by the door type and are usually permanent. In other words, if you lose your house key, you won't be able to go into any other door until you get a new one. Fortunately, with today’s technology, you can take your home key codes with you whenever you leave the house. However, even with today’s technology, someone could find a way to enter your home right after you exit. If you need a place to lock up, try finding a friend or family member nearby who has a key. Most of the time, the last person who leaves the house will usually be the person who has the least amount of access to it. Although you may not want to leave it unlocked, don’t lock yourself out of your home unnecessarily. After all, you don’t want to go through a terrifying procedure when there is a chance something may break in the process.

Leave the Lights On

As soon as you lock yourself out of your home, the first thing you should do is turn on the lights in the living room, bedroom, dining room, and kitchen. Even if the person who is trying to break in doesn’t enter through an unlocked door, the light will almost certainly scare them off.

Use a screwdriver or ice pick to get back into your house if all else fails

If you find yourself locked out from house or car, you can use a screwdriver or ice pick to break a window and get back inside. Here’s how:

  1. Use a screwdriver or ice pick to break a small amount of glass, just enough to stick your hand through.
  2. Reach through and unlock the window from the inside. Change the lock without opening the locked door.
  3. Once inside, get a sleeping bag to cover your head.
  4. After getting your sleeping bag on, use the screwdriver or ice pick to open the panel that locks the front door.

Once opened, take the handle away, stick your hand through the hole and unlock the front door. Sometimes you just have to break the window to get back in — other times, though, you can almost always get back in by pounding the door with your fist or cutting through the lock with a knife blade. This technique is best for wooden or metal-framed doors. Make sure you practice the steps when you're practicing any other technique or skill you’re trying to improve because they don’t always work the same way. Getting locked out of your house is a situation that can be very serious. Don’t make it worse by trying something unsafe! Your most important tip is to get well-rested and avoid doing anything to disrupt the calm and safety inside your home. These four tips will help you get out of a jam.

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