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Six Tips To Increase The Security of Your Rental Property (Apartments, Condos, Etc.)

Everyone wants to feel safe when staying as a guest at a rental property, whether you are checking into an AirBnB, VRBO property, or a privately-rented home, apartment, or condo.

If you are the owner of a rental property, you want your tenants to feel safe as well. There are many ways to increase the security of a rental property and ensure that your guests have a safe, enjoyable stay.

Below are six tips for deterring criminals and securing your rental property.

  1.     Secure the Main Entrance

If legal in your area, installing a double-cylinder deadbolt is recommended as it’s an upgrade from the usual single-cylinder deadbolt on many doors. If your main entrance is close to a window, a double-cylinder deadbolt can help prevent a thief from reaching through your window and opening the door. Installing a solid wood or metal door can also improve security, while door jammers provide additional protection.

  1.     Hire a Property Manager

If you have a busy schedule or live far away and are unable to visit the property often, you may want to consider hiring a property manager. A property manager can help screen tenants, maintain the property, collect the rent, and perform an array of tasks associated with renting out a property. Having someone monitor the premises regularly would also help deter potential burglars, and will allow for routine inspections of the security features that you put in place.

 

  1.     Install a Security System

Installing a security system is one of the most active and effective security measures you can implement. Many modern security systems can be integrated with your smart lock for extra protection and convenience. Making things even more convenient, many systems can be remotely accessible through an app on a smartphone. There are a variety of security systems out there, so look for the one that best fits your needs and your budget. Make sure the one you choose has everything you need, such as door and window sensors and motion-detecting lights. If you’re not willing to spend the money on a sophisticated security system for a rental property, you can always potentially deter intruders by posting “Security Cameras in Use” decals around the property.

  1.     Add Lighting

Lighting is one of the easiest ways to deter burglars. Having proper lighting indoors and outdoors can make your rental property more secure. With indoor lights, make sure all hallways and stairwells are well lit. These lights need to always be on. For outdoor lights, make sure there is lighting in front and back of the property. You can either keep the lights on or make them motion activated, or a mix of both.

 

  1.     Secure Windows

Because criminals don’t always enter a property through a door, you should make sure all windows are secure as well. All windows should have working locks; it is critical that all the locks work so an intruder can’t enter through the fire escape. You could install window sensors that will sound an alarm if the window is tampered with. You may even want to consider installing security bars to windows on the first floor.

 

  1.   Keep Blinds and Curtains Down 

In addition to comprising your tenants’ privacy, curtains and blinds that are always open give potential criminals a view of the valuables contained inside. Keep the blinds and curtains down during a non-lease period, and when you have tenants, recommend that they do the same. When burglars can’t see through the windows, they don’t know whether anyone’s home, especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., which is when most burglaries occur.

Call Pop-A-Lock for Help Securing Your Rental Home

Following these six tips should significantly increase the security of your rental home. If you’re interested in upgrading your security system or implementing additional features, contact a security specialist at Pop-A-Lock today. Want to identify threats to your guests’ security and safety right away? Download our FREE Home Security Audit packet online here and find out how to evaluate your rental property from a security-focused perspective.

Why You Should Re-Key Your New House

There’s no question that every homeowner wants to keep their home (and family) safe and secure. However, you may be especially concerned if you are in a home that recently changed ownership. To feel 100% safe, you will want to have all of the existing locks rekeyed so you can ensure you are the only person with working keys to your locks.

Rekeying your locks is one of the best ways to improve home security. By making this simple upgrade, you will instantly solve the problem of not knowing how many “extra” keys are out there, ensuring that you are the only one with access to your home. Plus, you can save money by having them rekeyed to a single key, which is cheaper than replacing all the locks individually.

New Builds Follow the Same Rules

Even a newly built home should be rekeyed. When a house is under construction, the locks often use a master-key system. Many don’t realize that while the new owner receives unique keys, sometimes master pins have been left in the lock. If this happens, the lock can still be opened with double the number of keys for each master pin that remains in the lock. But rekeying allows the locksmith to remove those master pins so that only a single key will unlock it.

Current Residents Can Still Benefit

Rekeying makes sense for new homeowners, but it also can benefit people who have lived in the same residence for years. Over time, just about every homeowner has loaned a spare key or two to family and friends, neighbors, or even workers. However, keys you lent temporarily to someone can be easily copied, meaning they can remain in the hands of people you don’t want in your home. If you are unsure if any spare keys to your home are floating around, rekeying all the exterior doors to a single new  key solves this problem instantly. Once you rekey your home, you can control your key inventory and better control who has access to your home.

Rekey Your Home

Trust Pop-A-Lock

Pop-A-Lock is a professional locksmith franchise with over 8,500 locations in the United States and Canada. We train all our technicians in the latest locksmith technologies to ensure you get the best service possible. All of our technicians wear easily identifiable uniforms and drive marked vehicles, so you can be sure you are getting locksmith services from a professional.

To rekey a lock, we remove the pins and springs in the lock cylinder and replace them with pins and springs that work only with a specific new key. This means you do not need to replace the locks themselves, but instead you can be assured all your locks work with a single key that you control. Additionally, the professional locksmiths at Pop-a-Lock will also carefully examine all your locks to check their condition and replace any worn parts. We will lubricate your rekeyed lock to help it function smoothly and replace any locks that are too worn to be rekeyed.

Just like cleaning your furnace or replacing your air filters, periodic rekeying is an essential part of home maintenance. But since rekeying protects the security of your family and possessions, the team at Pop-A-Lock recommends doing this every few years. We will send our professional locksmith to your home to make sure every lock works with a single key, so you know that your family is safe in your home.

Garage Door Safety Tips

Nine Tips to Increase The Security of Your Garage

In terms of residential security, the garage is an area that is often overlooked. While securing your doors and windows should be a priority, the garage should never be neglected in the process. This part of your home serves as a major entry and exit point and is often used to store expensive items such as vehicles,  tools and exercise equipment.

Many people don’t realize that the garage is one of the most vulnerable areas of a residence. Homeowners typically do not take appropriate measures to secure the garage, frequently leaving the door unlocked or open while they are home. This is a mistake, as after trying other major points of entry (front door, back door and first-floor windows), criminals are likely to break in using the garage door.

However, don’t fear! There are many steps you can take to protect your residence from a garage break-in. Check out Pop-A-Lock’s tips below for securing your garage, as these practices will make your home a safer place to live.

Garage Security Tips

  1. Keep Your PIN a Secret: Many garage doors are equipped with an electronic keypad that serves to open and close the door when a specific code is entered. In terms of home security, it’s very important to keep this PIN a secret, only giving it to residents or those who you trust. Minimizing the number of people who know the PIN code reduces your risk of having an untrusted individual use the code to get inside. If children know this code, be sure to communicate the importance of not sharing this information with friends or strangers.
  2. Check Locks on Exterior Doors: Some garages have side entrances, with doors that lead to outdoor yard areas. When evaluating your garage’s security, be sure to check the functionality of these door locks. Do the doors close and lock with ease? If not, it may be time to have a new lock installed.
  3. Consider a Garage Door Alarm Sensor: Garage door alarm sensors can be integrated into your home’s security system. These sensors monitor when the garage is opened or closed and can be a valuable tool in making sure the door has not accidentally been left open.
  4. Invest In a Garage Door Lock: Overhead garage door locks can be used to increase the security of your home. These locks prevent the door from being lifted with brute force and are a great idea if you store expensive vehicles or other valuables in the space. These locks can be placed on the interior or exterior of the garage door, and are unlocked using a key.
  5. Keep The Exterior Of Your Home Well Lit: Entrances to your home, including the garage, should always be well-lit. Thieves and other criminals avoid brightly lit areas of the home, as it makes their actions visible from the street. If your home does not have lighting in these areas, consider having new lights installed for your safety.
  6. Be Mindful About Garage Door Openers: A newer method used by criminals to gain entry into your home is breaking into your car (or stealing your car) and taking the garage door opener. Although it may seem inconvenient, it’s recommended not to leave your garage door opener in the car. If you leave your car with a parking attendant or valet service, be sure to take the opener with you.
  7. Double-Check that the Door Closed, Every Time: When you leave your home, always double-check that the garage door actually closed behind you. Occasionally, garage doors are left open when the sensor malfunctions, causing the system to reverse. The last thing you want is to have this area open and exposed while no one is home.
  8. Always Lock Doors Leading to the Interior of the Home:  If your garage contains an entrance to your home, always lock this door before you leave. Having the garage door closed may create a sense of security that justifies leaving the door unlocked, but for your safety, the door should always be secured. This practice creates another deterrent, should an individual with bad intentions gain access inside the garage.
  9. Educate Children on Garage Door Safety: According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS),  hospital emergency departments treat more than 15,000 injuries from garage doors per year in the United States. If you have small children, talk with them about the importance of garage door safety.  Consider creating a list of rules relating to garage door use, such as no riding on the door and staying away from panels while the door opens or closes.

Pop-A-Lock Can Help!

Trusted locksmiths at companies such as Pop-A-Lock can help you with concerns regarding garage security. Our locksmithing professionals can open malfunctioning garage door locks, helping you gain access back inside. We can also rekey or replace these locks efficiently, and with no damage. Our technicians do not mind helping out with programming garage door openers and are always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about this feature of your home.

Contact Your Local Pop-A-Lock Today!

Pop-A-Lock prides itself on providing high-quality professional locksmithing services across the country. All of our locksmiths are certified, highly trained, and ready to help you find the best possible solution for your security concerns. You can call (800) POP-A-LOCK or contact us online for a quote today!

Do You Need A Deadbolt Lock?

Do I Need A Deadbolt Lock?

If you are concerned about your home’s security, you may be wondering if you need a deadbolt lock. The short answer is: yes! This article will discuss the key advantages of having one installed in your home. If you need help installing a deadbolt, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Pop-A-Lock today. The experienced locksmiths at Pop-A-Lock can install a deadbolt quickly and affordably.

Deadbolts offer specific advantages that standard locks do not have. A deadbolt, with its solid steel bar, makes it more difficult for a burglar to break into your home. There are three main types of deadbolt locks: single cylinder, dual cylinder, and keyless cylinder. The most common used is the single-cylinder deadbolt, which is operated by a twist knob on the inside and a key on the outside of the door. The double-cylinder deadbolt requires a key on both the inside and outside for operation. Keyless cylinder deadbolt locks use a password or fingerprint scan to open the door.

Keep in mind that a single cylinder door can still be breached if you have glass panels or windows, as a burglar could break through the glass, reach in, and turn the knob. A double cylinder protects against this type of break-in, because a key has to be used on the inside to unlock.

When installing the lock, the deadbolt must extend fully into the hole on the door jamb for it to function properly. It’s essential that the hole is reinforced with a metal strike plate. If the deadbolt does not extend all the way into the hole, or if a metal strike plate is not used, the lock and door frame can be compromised during a break-in.

Standard locks can be pried open with objects such as a knife because of the spring mechanism. They can also be broken open by crowbars. Because a hardened steel deadbolt is stronger, forcing or sliding them open is nearly impossible.  Deadbolts take longer than standard locks to break open, meaning a burglar is less able to get in and out promptly and, therefore, is more likely to be caught.

Often, when a burglar kicks in a door, it’s the door frame, rather than the door, that breaks. Some locksmiths recommend using a 3-inch screw to reinforce the strike plate and make sure it’s securely attached to the studs of the frame of your home or apartment.

Another advantage of deadbolts is that their simple mechanisms make them extremely affordable. Expect to pay between $30 and $50 for a deadbolt – a cost much less than installing a home alarm system. You may not even need a sophisticated alarm system once you install a deadbolt. While no lock is 100% guaranteed to keep out intruders, installing a deadbolt, as opposed to just having a standard lock, will significantly increase the security of your home.

Contact Us

Having a deadbolt installed by the trained home and residential lock installation professionals at Pop-A-Lock will ensure it’s proper and secure performance. If you’re interested in learning more about deadbolts, or you would like a professional locksmith to come to your home to install one, call Pop-A-Lock today. We will make sure you have the right lock for your home that will keep you, your family, and your belongings safe from harm.

Home Security Tips For While You Vacation or Travel

Taking a vacation from work with the family or traveling for any reason at all can be fun and exciting. But the planning, preparation, packing and everything else leading up to the trip can be stressful. Then, when you’re finally gone, worrying about the security of your home can put a damper on the vacation. Don’t let stress ruin your adventure!

Fortunately, the residential security experts at Pop-A-Lock have a list of tips and tricks to help relieve this stress and ensure your home’s security while you’re gone!

Before You Go

In addition to trip research and packing, your pre-vacation to-do list should include security measures for your home. Below are a number of things you can do before you leave for your trip to keep your home secure so you can rest easy while you’re away.

  • Set your lights on timers. Having lights turn on and off automatically can make it look like someone is home, even if they’re not. This is a great way to deter potential thieves from entering your home.
  • Take all spare keys inside. If you typically keep any keys in a lock box, under a rock, in the mailbox  – anywhere outside you home – take them inside. Don’t give thieves any temptation.
  • Have exterior lighting. A well-lit exterior – particularly with motion-sensored lights – will likely scare off anyone creeping around your property.
  • Don’t post publicly that you’ll be away. A tell-tale status update can flag to someone creeping online that your house is going to be empty.
  • Unplug non-essential electronics, like computers and TVs. Apart from the threat of someone breaking into your home, there’s also the possibility of a power surge. Unplugging extra electronics will help minimize damage and the threat of an electricity fire while you’re away.

While You’re Away

Now that you’ve done all the prep work and it’s finally time to leave on your trip, there are a few more security measures that we suggest having in place while you’re away.

  • Hire a company to keep your lawn mowed and landscaping kept up. Overgrown grass and bushes can signify to crooks that the home has been vacant for some time and tempt them to go inside.
  • Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail for you. Or, if you’ll be gone long enough, put a temporary stop on your mail. Like the grass, an overflowing mailbox is another signal to crooks that the house has been empty.
  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house. Neighbors can make for great eyes and ears while you’re gone. They’re already in the neighborhood, and can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity around your home. If they know you’re gone and aren’t expecting anyone to be at your home, they’ll know something is wrong and can call the police.

Proactivity Will Keep Your Home Secure

It can be nerve-wracking to leave your home for any extended period of time. But there are a number of things you can do to increase your home’s security and alleviate that stress!

Our locksmithing experts have created a free home security audit. The checklist can help you create a safe environment for you and your family – while you’re home and away.

If you’re interested in re-keying your home or upgrading your home’s locks, contact your local Pop-A-Lock today!

Home Security Fails: What You Absolutely Shouldn’t Do

Your home is your nest, your place to escape the world outside,  a place to be comfortable and safe, where you can raise your family. With so much at stake,  don’t skimp on security. If it’s important to you to keep your family and valuables safe, be sure to evaluate your safety standards on a routine basis and make sure that you are not guilty of  these common home security mistakes that others frequently make.

Common home security mistakes

When looking for  homes to break into or vandalize, burglars and vandals choose places that seem to be easy targets. When surveilling a neighborhood, they look for homes with predictable patterns of when people come and go. They look for well-maintained homes with nice cars in the driveway. They also look for easy ways to get into your home–such as open windows, unlocked doors, or open garages.

You don’t want your home to be a target, whether you are at home or when you are gone. Here are some common mistakes that people make  that can threaten the security of their homes:

  • Hiding your spare key under a rock/doormat/flower pot–Many people have a spare key outside their front door for when they accidentally get locked out, or when a neighbor or family member needs to drop by when you aren’t home. Just don’t hide it in a conspicuous place.
  • Leaving windows and doors unlocked–unlocked windows or doors are an invitation to burglars to enter your house, either at night or when you are gone. Make sure all the doors and windows are locked when you leave the house.

Pop-A-Lock’s Home Security Services

  • Letting mail pile up–Everyone knows that a collection of mail or newspapers signal to any passersby that you are out of town. Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail or newspapers when you are gone–or ask the post office to pause your mail delivery temporarily.
  • Having outdated or non-functioning alarm systems–Keeping your alarm system working and up to date is essential. Otherwise, why have an alarm system at all? If your home security system isn’t working correctly, we can help.
  • Not having a  deadbolt lock–Burglars can break into your house even through a locked door–if the door doesn’t have proper safety locks.
  • Failing to  rekey locks upon getting a new home–If you have just moved into a new house, you don’t know who has a copy of the keys. Previous tenants, realtors, construction workers, or handymen could all have keys that would allow them entry. Or maybe you have lived in your house for several years now. 
  • Think about how many people might have had access to your keys in the past, including neighbors, dog walkers, former roommates, cleaning staff, handymen, other family members. Anyone who has had your keys in the past could easily make or distribute copies. It’s essential to rekey your locks so that you can control who has access to your keys and entry into your house.

Here at Pop-A-Lock, we provide several valuable home security services to homeowners and renters alike. 

Our specialized  home security audit will help you identify the areas in your home that might be weak points to home security, inviting burglars into your home. Our home security professionals will walk through your home to review your windows, doors, and other potential entry points to your house. We will check the locks, doors, and windows, evaluate them for safety and give you sound advice and recommendations for improving any  areas that are not secure.

Five Home Security Tips You Should Teach Your Children

Home security practices are not just for adults. If you have kids at home, they need to know about safe home security as well, especially now that summer is here and they’re likely spending more time at home alone. Here are eight tips you should teach your children, along with practices you should implement to make your home safer for kids.

  1.   Set the alarm. If you have a home security system, give your children a demonstration of how to operate it. Explain to them its purpose and importance, showing them what they should do when you leave the house. Many security systems are linked to the phone, so you’ll need to show them how to answer the phone and explain to the security company if it’s a false alarm or a real threat. Make sure your kids remember the passcode. Have them recite it aloud and tell them not to share the code with anyone. Quiz them on the code every so often to ensure they know it.
  2.   Lock up. It is essential to teach your kids to lock all the doors and keep the windows closed. If you’re not ready to give a set of house keys to your child, use a smart lock that you can unlock remotely for them. You may want to consider other security solutions such as surveillance that can be viewed remotely and smart doorbell cameras. A doorbell camera would allow you to see if a visitor is a family member, for example, and you could let them in your house using your smartphone.
  1.   Call 911. Your children probably already know to call 911 in case of an emergency. However, don’t assume that they know when and how to contact emergency services for help. Communicate with them and put an emergency procedure in place. The goal is to instill emergency preparedness without making them fearful. Teach your kids what to do in a variety of emergency scenarios, such as a break-in or a fire. Make a list of emergency numbers and information they might need to provide to emergency dispatch. Running practice drills for emergencies is recommended so that your kids know what to do and where to go. Be sure to answer any questions they may have about the process.
  1.   Do not answer the door for strangers. Children at home alone must know to never open the door to anyone else other than their family. It’s best if your children know ahead of time who they can let into the home if you’re not home and the doorbell rings.
  2.   Lock away guns. If you have firearms at your house, make sure they are not loaded and are locked away in a safe place. Be sure to talk to your kids about the dangers of guns and gun safety.

Contact Pop-A-Lock

Looking to improve the security of your home? Pop-A-Lock® can help. We’ve created the Home Site Security Audit as a way for our customers to evaluate their current home security measures. This security checklist will allow you to create a safe environment for you and your children. If you’d like to schedule a home security audit with a Pop-A-Lock Security Specialist, call 1-800-POP-A-LOCK today!

Tips to Prevent Home Invasions

According to The US Department of Justice, 1.03 million home invasions occur each year. And the average loss of a home invasion is approximately $2,000 per home.

These statistics can be alarming. Nobody wants to be the next victim of a home invasion. Don’t worry! The more aware you are of the risks, and the more proactive you are in protecting yourself and your home, the lower your chances of a home invasion.

Ensure All Entryways Are Secured With Locks

The best way to prevent a home invasion is by enhancing security. Installing the right locks, in the right places, can go a long way. It’s shocking how many burglars (40%) enter a home through an unlocked door or window.

First and foremost, make sure every door in your home has a durable lock on it. High-quality deadbolts are solid metal (not hollow) with a throw (the distance which a lock bolt travels when turned) at least 1.5 inches long. If you want to go a step further, there are a variety of smart locks available today. These locks can allow remote access, have more controlled access through codes or phone apps, and can even have built-in cameras to increase security.

In addition to all doors, it’s imperative to make sure every window in your home has a lock on it as well. A window at any level – from basement to upper stories – is a potential entry way for thieves lurking around your property. If your windows are newer, they should come with locks on them. Check that every window is locked every night before bed or before you leave your home. If your windows are wooden or older, they may not have come with locks. If this is the case, you can easily buy bars or deadbolts to install on any window.

The last piece of advice we can give you regarding locks  is do NOT leave any spare keys hidden outside. This probably seems obvious and you’ve heard it time and time again. And yet, people continue to do it. If you need to leave a spare key outside of your home for any reason, put it in a secure lock box or something similar.

Additional Tips From Locksmith Professionals

There are other things – beyond locks and keys – that you can do around your house or property to increase security and lower the risk of home invasion. Some of them include:

  • Keep your house lit, inside and out. Install outdoor lights (preferably motion-activated) near all doors and garages. Put indoor lights on varied timers, so they turn on and off even if you’re asleep or not home. Having these systems in place can make it look like someone is home and deter thieves from targeting your property.
  • Use radio and TV. The same idea applies here – if someone is roaming your property and they hear a TV or radio on inside, they’re more likely to think someone is home and awake. This will lower the risk of a home invasion.
  • Install a smart doorbell or security camera. Many smart doorbells have cameras built in that allow you to monitor your front porch and yard. Having some sort of camera system in place can let you check in on your house from afar and alert you if someone is on your property.
  • If it’s been a while since you rekeyed your home (or you never did when you first moved in), it may be time to consider doing so. Between  babysitters, contractors, cleaners, children, past relationships, and more, the number of keys to your house roaming the world can quickly rack up. Rekeying your house is a simple and painless way to ensure only those who needs keys to your house have them.
  • It doesn’t matter what kind of security you have in place if you don’t use it. Lock your doors, turn on the alarm system, make sure the timers on the lamps are set and ready to come on at  various times.

 

The thought of a home invasion happening to you is frightening. But the reality is a lot of them  are preventable! If you take steps to increase security and protect your home appropriately, you’ll lower your risk of being the next victim.

Call your local Pop-A-Lock today to learn more from our trusted locksmith professionals about what you can do to protect your home! We also have a home security audit checklist you can download for free.

When Should I Rekey My Locks?

The condition of your locks is probably something that rarely crosses your mind, but rekeying your locks is a practice that can significantly improve the security of your home. Key locks provide security for our families and possessions and give us peace of mind, but if we don’t rekey our locks occasionally, the level of protection they provide can diminish.

The Difference Between Changing Locks and Rekeying Locks

Changing locks is pretty self-explanatory: it means you replace the old locks with new ones. For example, you may change your locks if you want to upgrade to an electric lock system, or if you want them to better match the new paint colors or finishes in your home. Rekeying locks is different. When you rekey a lock, you adjust it so that it no longer works with the current set of keys. Once a lock is rekeyed, the keys you  had for it will not be able to open it.

Lock mechanisms contain key pins that correspond to the keys that open a specific lock. When you rekey a lock, you adjust the workings of the key pins so that a new key is needed to open the lock. A locksmith will need the current key in order to rekey a lock. This practice will  improve the security of your home, especially if pins are added.

When To Rekey Your Locks

The following are common reasons to rekey your locks:

  1. Moving Into a New Home: If you buy a home that someone else has previously lived in, it’s a great idea to rekey the locks. You want to be certain that only  people you know and trust have access to your new home. Rekeying locks on a previously owned home helps you ensure that only you and your family members have the keys that can grant access to your home.
  2. Changing Older Locks: If you’ve lived in your home for a while, or if you’ve recently bought an older home, rekeying your locks is a great way to improve security. Lock mechanisms can get dirty and worn down over time, which  leaves them vulnerable to break-ins. Rekeying older locks is a great way to decrease the chances of successful tampering.
  3. You’ve Lost Your Keys: If you’ve lost your keys, rekeying your locks is paramount to the continued safety of your home. There is no  reason to risk a stranger using your keys to enter your home, especially if your keyring had any access or address information on it. Getting rekeyed locks and new keys is the best way to ensure that you and your family remain secure in this situation.

If you have questions about changing locks, rekeying locks, or need assistance determining which option is right for your situation, an experienced Pop-A-Lock locksmith can assist you. Our trained and certified technicians have extensive experience with both replacement and rekeying of locks, and quality work is our priority. Visit the Pop-A-Lock website to find our location nearest you.

I’m Locked Out Of My House, What Do I Do Now?

I’m Locked Out of My Home. What Do I Do Now?

With our busy daily schedules and the frequent distractions of everyday life, it is easy to make common mistakes like locking ourselves out of our own homes. We’re only human, after all.

Locking yourself out of your home can be a minor inconvenience that results in, say, running late to work. However, it can be a much more dangerous situation if young children or pets are locked inside. If you lose your keys or lock them inside your home, don’t panic. You  have many other options for getting back inside quickly and easily without damaging your property by trying to break in through a window or by breaking down a door.

Instead, don’t panic, remain calm, and consider the following options for getting back inside safely.

Call a Friend, Roommate, or Family Member

It’s a great idea to give someone you trust a copy of your key for situations like this. Give a trusted neighbor a copy of your house key for safekeeping. Make sure to choose someone who is responsible and is usually available (not traveling frequently) to help in an emergency.

If you have a roommate, friend, or family member that has a copy of your key, it should be easy to call them and ask if they can let you into the  house. If you don’t have access to your phone to call them, ask to borrow one from a neighbor or a local business.

Locate a Spare Key

Many people hide spare house keys around their homes for situations just like these. While it is not a good idea to hide your key in well-known hiding places like the front doormat or under a potted plant (see our article on Common Home Security Fails for more info on this), there are safer solutions for securely hiding keys like outdoor key safes, fake rocks designed to hold spare keys, and other smarter alternatives.

Double-Check Other Access Points

Is there a chance that a back door, side door, or window was left open? Don’t attempt to get back in by breaking a window, since you could potentially hurt yourself and the repairs can be expensive. Only enter through a window or other door if you’re able to open it from the outside safely.  Does your back door have a doggie door for access for your pets? If you can squeeze through there, you’ll be in!

If you have access to a toolset, you may be able to get inside by removing a doorknob on doors that don’t have deadbolts. Check to see if there are any screws on your doorknob or a plate that can be removed by a screwdriver. Make sure you’re using the right screwdriver for the screws on your doorknob.

Call a Professional Locksmith

If you find yourself in a situation where none of the solutions above will work for you, you can always call Pop-A-Lock for professional locksmith services. Calling a locksmith is often the safest, easiest, and quickest way to regain access to your home or car. The technicians at Pop-A-Lock are certified and trained on the latest locksmith technology, and we’re always here when you need us. Give your local Pop-A-Lock a call, and we’ll have you back inside your home as soon as possible with fast, professional, and reliable service.