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Locking yourself out of your car or house, we have all done it. Anyone who says they haven’t is lying, embarrassed or in denial. You have finally moved out of home. A night out with friends has turned out to be one of those nights you wish you could remember. You get to the front door and wave the taxi goodbye. As the car drives off into the distance, you now realise that you have lost your car & house keys or maybe you can spy them on the kitchen table just through the door…
You are now standing alone at 2am, in the dark, outside your house or car with no idea about your next move.
This post is to save you the indignity of breaking into your own house (though let’s face it, some of my best stories from when I first moved out came from wedging myself through bathroom windows in the middle of the night – Blog Boss) or phoning a locksmith from the neighbour’s house at 2am. These tips might sound a little like I have time travelled from 1980, or something your Nana might say but when you have lost your iPhone, and house/car keys in 2014, you may as well be in a time warp.
Think about your night before you head out. Can you leave a spare set of keys with your designated driver? A neighbour? Do you have someone to call or stay with if you are stranded? Have a plan now, drunk you might not be as resourceful. Plan for not having access to your phone (I used to always lock mine in the car with the keys) and know a few key contact numbers off by heart. That’s what this post is all about, not IF it will happen, when!
Always have a spare set of keys, a locksmith phone number and some coinage hidden somewhere in your garden or left with a neighbour or friend/relative who lives nearby for when you lock yourself out. Don’t be obvious and leave those keys under the front door mat, under a pot plant, or in the power box, or on the front door ledge. It’s just a tad too easy for those who dabble in the occupation of theft.
Having a spare set of keys will help you out when you’ve locked yourself out with the keys inside. Though not a great long term solution if you’ve lost your keys. For security purposes you should look at changing your locks if those keys aren’t found.
I don’t know about you but I can only really remember the phone numbers of a few key people. My parents included and I’m sure as heck not calling them in the middle of the night when I’m locked out. So in the age of mobile phones, make sure you actually have a few numbers written down on a piece of paper somewhere you can reach them. We suggest keeping it with your spare keys.
If you are calling in a locksmith (during the night especially) then prepare to pay for it. It will cost you a call out to get them there and if there are any replacement locks or items required you’ll need to pay for that too. At night, most will require cash for the call out at least.
And before you think, stuff it, I’ll break the glass STOP. Not only could you get injured and end up bleeding and alone, but the costs to repair glass might be higher than the locksmith depending on the size and frame of the window or door. Bad plan folks. Think again.
If you live with housemates or a roommate, make sure you both always have your keys on you. Don’t assume the other person, or people, will. I couldn’t even count on both hands how many times my housemate having their keys has saved my butt when I forgot mine. If you share with four people, that’s four chances of getting back in without needing external assistance. Bonus. Now you just have to make sure you can contact them if you need to…
If you lock your keys in your car, depending on the year and make of the car, the car company can remotely access your car locks. Back in the day, you could always unlock your car with a metal coat hanger. Now you may need your roadside assistance company to give you a hand. Fancy right? If you don’t have a car like this then hopefully you have roadside assist who can come and unlock it for you.
Don’t try to call the police if you have locked yourself out of the house, they won’t help you. It seems a bit ridiculous to have to say that, but seriously, don’t call them. Especially don’t call 000. The police DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, see this at a high priority (even though you will) so you need to find someone else. Anyone else really.
Leave Home Blog Boss Melissa says, I don’t know how many times as a university student I required the RACQ to save me from being locked out of my car. It happened so often the service guy would joke about trying to beat his record for getting into my car. At least if all else fails you KNOW there’s someone coming who can access your car and most services start from less than $100 per year.
Good luck, like we said about, it’s not about IF you lock yourself out, it’s a case of WHEN. Got a good lock out story? Share it below.
Lisa Berson is a writer, blogger & mum to 3 boys. Lisa moved out of her childhood home many years ago but has been a renter, home owner & flatmate for more than 15 years in some capacity. She now lives with her family of 5 in south-west WA. Blogging since 2012, Lisa writes about careers, travel, parenting & birth.