What to do in different lockout situations
Lockouts happen to everyone at some point. Contrary to popular thought, it’s NOT always the other guy that finds himself on the wrong side of a locked door. You may go out for the morning paper and the front door at home closes and locks behind you. Your ignition keys can be inadvertently left in the trunk where you absent mindedly put them while unloading luggage. Even closed bathroom doors can somehow find a way to get locked, seemingly all on their own! Here at Decatur Locksmith we regularly get calls requesting lockout assistance. Each lockout circumstance is unique but one thing each locked out person absolutely MUST do; stay calm!
What kind of advice is that?
Stay calm; that’s it? You can be practically asleep and that won’t get the door unlocked! Don’t worry; we are about to give some helpful tips on how to deal with the actual lockout situation but getting yourself all worked up about the situation won’t change it; it might even make things worse! Have you noticed? Lockouts seem to only happen when we least expect them or when we are least prepared for them! No wonder people get worked up over them! It’s easy to start placing blame here or there! Why weren’t you more careful? Why did you leave the spare key at home? Who are you going to call? How much will they charge? Will the price be the same once they get to you? What if no one answers? Are you in danger? Who knows where you are? Sometimes emotions can be our worst enemy! Just when we need a clear head, a sense of panic, rage or fear can really cloud our judgement!
It’s really a wonder why more people are not locked out, more often! After all, we are surrounded by locks, locking mechanisms and lock hardware everywhere we turn; at home, at work, at our businesses, even in our cars! We lock everything from high priced jewelry to medicine chests and diaries. With so many locks always present in our daily lives it really does seem odd that more lockouts don’t happen.
These happen more than you think. Lockouts at home are so easy to do. Home is where we can let our guard down and relax. It’s usually during this relaxed state that we absent mindedly go out to visit the mailbox across the street or play with the dog in the front yard. Sometimes, the door closes and locks behind us. This is not a problem if someone else is home but often (as luck would have it!) no one is or the person lives alone. Lockouts at home don’t have to occur in the front of the house, either. Lockouts can happen in the back or even inside! Most houses have a small tool that is similar to a very thin screwdriver that can be used to open a locked inside door. Usually these are bathroom or bedroom doors. If your home has door knobs/locks that have a small hole to insert this tool inside of, get one or more and keep them handy. How often have we heard of small children that lock themselves in bathrooms by accident? Having one of these tools can save you a locksmith service call. Most home improvement stores sell these and they are very inexpensive.
Lockouts at your business
These commercial lockouts happen all the time, though it hardly makes the local Decatur, Georgia news! Our town is home to tens of thousands of companies that range from small, single person offices to huge shopping centers, hotels and hospitals employing hundreds. From bakeries to apartment rentals, each local business has its own set of locks, keys, staff and customers that use them. Lockouts can occur during employee breaks, when the janitor cleans up at night, during working hours; literally anytime!
These are quite common and most people have been locked out of their cars at least once. Driving takes a lot of our concentration. We watch road signs, pedestrians, oncoming traffic, billboards, traffic lights and lots more. It’s common to have so much on your mind that keeping track of your keys can be quite difficult. It’s no wonder that keys are left in the ignition, car trunk or in a shopping bag in the back seat.
Are spare keys a good idea?
For the most part; yes! Have some spare keys made but try and use an original key copy if possible. Making a spare from a worn or slightly damaged key will only lead to lock weakening down the road. If at home, try hiding the spare where YOU will find it and not the crazy guy trying to get inside your house! Under the door mat or over the door sill are NOT good ideas! Try less plausible locations like a rain gutter or inside your backward smoker. You can buy an inexpensive bird house; paint it nicely and hide a key inside of it. Cover the key with seed and make it even more unlikely that your hiding place will be discovered. At your business, try leaving a key with a trusted fellow merchant or in a well-hidden location. Your management office should have a spare key but they may not be open or they may be located in another state. Some smart phone cases or wallets contain hidden parts where a spare key can be hidden. If you trust neighbors, you can give a key copy to them. Another alternative is to give a key copy to a family member, friend or co-worker that you trust. You can call them using your smart phone, and staying on the line with them also helps calm nerves if you are alone or in a somewhat ‘risky’ place. Be smart, be creative and above all, be proactive! Plan your future lockout strategy and if you never have to use it, fine; but if you do; you are ready!