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What to Do When You’re Locked Out: Prevention and Solutions

Smart Home

April 04, 2019

It’s the worst: reaching for your keys to open your locked door and realizing you don’t have them. Whether you lost your keys or locked your keys in the house, it can leave you feeling panicked and stranded. Knowing what do to when you’re locked out of the house — and how to prevent it — can save you time, effort, and distress.

Avoid losing your keys

Preventing a problem is always better than having to solve it. Consider getting a key tracker to prevent the possibility of losing your keys. These devices are simple: they consist of a GPS tracker embedded in a keychain or a small tile you can attach to your key fob. This key finder pairs with your smartphone, so if you lose your keys, you can simply pull up an app that tells you where they are. Most key-tracking systems allow you to pair multiple trackers to your phone in case you have multiple sets of keys.

While key trackers are a handy technological solution, there’s another time-tested method you can use as a backup: leave a copy of your key with a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative who lives nearby. Calling a friend or neighbor is much better than calling a locksmith. If you don’t have a trusted contact nearby, you might consider hiding the key on your property. Just remember not to leave it in obvious places, like the mailbox or under the welcome mat. Most robbers are also wise to the fake rocks designed to hold a spare key, so you’ll need to get creative. Look for (or create) a distinctive or securable place, such as inside a utility box on the side of the house. Lock your secure location with a combination lock to ensure you can access it without your keys.

If you don’t have a spare key, don’t panic: getting a spare made is simple. Most hardware stores offer key duplication services. The process takes only a few minutes and shouldn’t cost more than a few dollars. If you rent, you may need your landlord to do this, as tenant keys are often marked “do not duplicate.”

Take keys out of the equation

The best way to avoid losing your keys? Not having keys at all. Smart home locks give us the power to open a locked door without a key. These WiFi-enabled devices offer the most convenient way to avoid a lock-out, allowing you to remotely control heavy-duty deadbolts for keyless home entry. You can lock and unlock the door with a unique code on your smartphone, or even just by standing close to your door — no keys required. You can also use smart home door locks to remotely let in guests or workers who arrive while you aren’t there.

With Xfinity Home, you can integrate your smart locks into your smart home security system, making it easy to manage your home’s security from afar with your smartphone.

Regain entry with patience

Of course, you can’t plan for every situation: neighbors may not be home to give you the spare key. Maybe your phone is locked inside the house, along with its key tracking software or smart lock app. You forgot the combination to your locked spare key. Whatever the situation, if your backup plan fails, you’ll probably need to call a locksmith.

Locksmiths are available 24 hours a day, but you’ll pay a premium for emergency or after-hours visits. Before you call, be sure you have proof that you live in the house (such as a picture ID that shows your address), or the locksmith may refuse to help you. If you rent your home, you should call your property manager or landlord first.

As with most problems, it’s better to have a prevention plan in place than having to problem solve on the spot. Consider smart home door locks that you can operate remotely, no key required. Smart locks cost more than a conventional lock, but you’ll gain peace of mind, and you’ll never be left out in the cold.

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