Locks, Keys and Safes: Buying, Repairing and Maintaining

Preventing lockouts while staying safe

Getting locked out of your home can be an upsetting experience, but it doesn't have to cost you too much in time or money. With the help of your locksmith, you can create a simple solution for lockouts while still maintaining a high level of home security. 

Make duplicates

The first thing you'll need to avoid being locked out is a spare set of keys. Find a local locksmith who offers key cutting services. The process is quick and affordable, especially compared to having to call out an emergency locksmith to let you into the building.

Store them securely 

Once you've got your duplicate keys, you need to put them somewhere safe. Traditionally, people have kept spare keys on top of door frames, under door mats, in flower pots or in similar hiding places. None of these is a good choice; these common hiding places are well-known to thieves and represent a serious vulnerability in your home's security. False rocks and other types of concealment are similarly too well-known to be really safe. Instead, you have two options. The first is to store your spare key somewhere completely different. For instance, you could keep a spare in your workplace if you're happy with its level of security, or in your car. Alternatively, you could leave it with a trusted friend or neighbour. The second option is to store your key in a secure locked box on your property. Placed in an unobtrusive location, this type of secure box opens with a combination and keeps your spare key safe. 

Develop good key habits

Many people find themselves locked out simply because they leave their keys indoors. To avoid this situation, develop a strict key routine. Designate a spot in your home such as a hook or small dish; put your keys there whenever you return and pick them up whenever you leave. Ideally, this location should be a safe distance from doors or windows but still in a spot that'll be visible every time you get ready to leave the house. Develop the right habits, and you'll never have to worry about getting locked out because you forgot your keys. 

Following these steps should help you deal with lockouts. If you've just left your keys inside, simply use your spare to get back in and you'll have nothing more to worry about. If your keys have been lost or stolen, however, there's still more to do. You may need to re-key your locks, especially if you lost both your keys and a wallet or other clue to your address. Talk to your locksmith about the next steps you'll need to take.