Losing your home keys will always be a stressful and frustrating ordeal and it always seems to happen at the most inconvenient of times. Imagine coming back home after a long and exhausting day only to realize that you can’t access your house because you can not find the keys to your house. Whether they were stolen or misplaced, losing your keys and as a consequence getting locked out of your home can be an unpleasant and challenging experience, and in that moment, nothing will matter more to you than regaining access to your home.
Studies show that house keys are one of the most commonly lost items and according to research, on a yearly basis, over 20 million keys are lost in the United States alone. So basically, as a homeowner, what this means is that the probability that you will lose your house keys sometime in the future is quite high. Now, considering the fact that you will most likely lose your house keys at least once in your lifetime, what you should plan for is the course of action that you will take if you ever find yourself in this rather unpleasant scenario.
As stressful as this situation can be, you must remain calm and not panic. Losing your cool can cause you to do irrational things which might either danger your life or damage your property, putting you in more trouble than you bargained for. So what exactly do you do if you lose your house keys? Fortunately for you, in this article, we have compiled a number of viable and practical solutions to take that can help you open your door and access your home, as well as protective measures you can implement to ensure you are never left stranded and locked out of your home. Keep on reading to find out.
Things to do when you lose your house keys
1. Use your spare key
This is the easiest and most convenient solution to home lockouts if you lose your house keys. Having a spare key to your door locks is often recommended for situations like this. A lot of people typically have a spare key hidden somewhere on the property: under a mat, in the flower pot, in the window sill and so on. If you are one of such people, then you can always easily retrieve your spare keys from the hidden spots whenever you lose the copy you had.
If you do not have a spare key lying around and you happen to live in a rented home, you might want to contact the property owner or manager to find out if they have a copy of the keys to your front door. Most homeowners and property managers typically have master keys to every lock on their property for emergency situations and if you are in luck, your property manager might have one you can use in case of a home lockouts.
Sometimes, homeowners might give their spare keys to trustworthy neighbours, family members, house sitters or key holding service companies for a variety of reasons. Think about if you have ever given your spare key to anyone and if you have, then if you lose your house keys, you can always reach out to them to retrieve the spare. Nonetheless, this solution only works when you have a spare key. If you do not have a spare key or maybe they are locked inside the house, then you should move onto another means of entry.
2. Find another entry route
Going through your front door maybe your main method of accessing your house but technically, they are not the only means. This is where windows, side doors and back doors come in. So when you come home from work after a long day and you realize you do not have your keys on you, instead of panicking, go around the perimeter of your house and check for any open/unlocked windows or doors.
In a typical situation, it may be unlikely you would leave any door or window unlocked but also, ideally, your home keys wouldn’t be missing either. So go ahead and try the doors and windows to see if any one would open up. However, if every potential entry point is securely locked, in your desperation, do not try to do something irrational like breaking a window or door. Such decisions will only leave damages that may incur more expensive repairs at the end or the day. Or worse, someone could mistake you for a burglar trying to break in and there’s no telling how that could end.
3. Try to circumvent your door
Okay, so you do not have a spare key you can use, you are quite the meticulous person so of course every door and window was securely locked and now you are back to square one, what happens now? At this point, you might want to consider going around the door, it can be your front door, side door or back door but it is recommended you go for the door that will offer the least resistance. This is because going around the door basically entails trying to manipulate the door to gain access to the inside.
This is where you can try to pick/manipulate the lock if you can. Common tools used in DIY lock opening hacks include lock pick set, bump keys, credit cards and paper clips. However, these tools only work with certain locks not to mention that they require a certain skill set, effort and a lot of patience. So if you need to urgently get inside your house, maybe it’s getting darker or you are in an emergency situation then you might not want to spend your time on this.
4. Hire the services of a professional technician
Assuming neither of the above mentioned steps are practical in your case, your final resort would be to call a reliable locksmith for professional help. Locksmiths have the expertise and resources needed to solve issues regarding lock and keys. Therefore, when you lose your keys and you need an efficient, safe and viable solution that will help you gain access to your home, locksmiths are the field experts you ought to call.
However, when you need a locksmith, it is important to ensure that you hire a credible and efficient technician whom you can trust to do a good job. Locksmiths offer a variety of services which they can use to resolve your lock problem in the least destructive way to enable you enter your home once again, without damaging your door or compromising the security of your home. In most home lockout cases, finding a locksmith is the best and most recommended solution.
Protective measures to take if you lose your home keys
Once you have gone through the frustrating ordeal of losing your home keys, you would want to take some precautions to ensure that you never find yourself in that position again. However, beyond the traumatic experience of losing your keys, lost keys also pose a threat to the security and safety of your home. This is especially common if you believe the lost keys were stolen. If someone intentionally stole your house keys, then you have every reason to be worried as the thief could possibly visit your home with the intention of breaking in and robbing you or worse harming you or the lives of the people who live with you.
This doesn’t mean keys that which were misplaced out of your own negligence are not a cause for concern as there is still the possibility, no matter how slim, that someone can pick up the keys and trace them back to you, and consequently your home. The chances of this occurrence are even higher if your lost keys have a key holder bearing a means of identification that can be tracked back to you.
Thus, whenever you lose your keys, implementing certain protective and preventive measures is not just for the purpose of ensuring that your are never locked out of your home again, but to see to it that the lost keys do not compromise the security of your home by giving dubious persons or strangers unrestricted access to your home. With that said, below are some highly recommended protective measures you should take when you regain access to your home after losing your keys.
Change your locks
Losing your house keys doesn’t always warrant changing your locks, but as earlier stated, if you are absolutely certain that your keys were stolen, then it is in your best interest that you change your locks. Whether it was a master key or spare key, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize the security of your home by not changing the locks. The security and safety implications of such negligence are too big to ignore.
Also, you may have to change your keys if your locks were damaged in the process of trying to unlock the door to enable you access your home. This process also gives you the opportunity to reassess the security system of your home and upgrade to high security locks if you need to. Changing your locks might be a slightly expensive protective means but it is a measure we highly recommend and nothing can beat the peace of mind you will get from knowing that your house is safe and secure.
Rekey your locks
If you do not want to go through the process of changing your locks or maybe there was no mechanical damage to the locks that would necessitate a replacement, you can go with the rekeying option. Rekeying of locks, like changing of locks is carried out by professional technicians and it involves replacing or rearranging the combination of pins inside the main cylinder of the lock such that it can no longer be opened by the original key. Rekeying is less expensive than replacing your old locks with new ones, especially if your home uses high security locks and it also serves the purpose of not allowing unwanted guests into your house.
Cut new keys
Locksmiths have key cutting tools which they can use to cut new keys to replace the old ones that were lost. Key cutting is cheap and doesn’t take time so you can always opt for this option if you are on a budget. However, we recommend that you only cut new keys to replace the old ones when there is no chance that your lost keys may have gotten into the wrong hands. When you cut new keys, ensure that you make duplicates of the original key and put the spares in strategic spots around your house or give them to a trustworthy neighbour so that you can always have a spare key handy whenever the need arises for one.
Opt for keyless lock system
If you tend to lose your keys quite frequently, then you might want to try out the automated or electronic types of lock systems that has no need for keys. These keyless lock systems are not just safe, they are also quite convenient and will save you the stress of worrying about keys every time you go out.
Get a home insurance
If you are a homeowner with home insurance, check if your insurance policy makes provision for lock and key repairs. If it does, then anytime you get locked out of your home as a result of losing your keys, you can always count on your insurance company to cover the expenses that resolving the lock problem will incur. If your current house insurance policy does not cover this, then you might want it reviewed for future purposes, after all, there’s no telling when next you will lose your keys.
Whenever you lose you home keys, always remember to stay calm and go with the solutions provided above. Do not forget to put protective measures in place to ensure that the security of your home is not compromised and to ensure you do not have to face this problem in the future.