What to do if you're locked out and how to prevent it from happening again

Embarrassing as it is, we've all locked ourselves out of the house at one time or another. Whether you've had your bag stolen or simply left your keys on the counter, getting locked out of your home isn't the end of the world. Once you're back inside, there are a few steps you can take to remedy the situation and make sure it doesn't happen again. 

Make sure you're really locked out

Sometimes, we panic when we're unable to find items in the place we think we left them. Take a moment to breathe and then check your bags and pockets thoroughly for your keys. It's possibly you just haven't found them because they're in the 'wrong' pocket. 

Call a locksmith

If you really can't find your keys, and you can't wait for another family member to come home and let you in, it's time to call a locksmith. Be sure to choose a qualified locksmith that belongs to professional organisations such as the Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL) or the Master Locksmiths Association of Australia (MLAA). Your locksmith will be able to open your door for you and may also be able to advise you on future steps to secure your property. 

Locate your keys

If you've simply left your keys inside, you're probably done with your locksmith. If you can't find your keys, however, or if they've been stolen, you may need to change your locks. This is especially true if you've lost your keys together with anything that contains your home address. In this case, ask your locksmith for advice on new lock installation. 

Enlist a friend

It may seem tempting to hide a key on your property in order to avoid the embarrassment and expense of being locked out of your home. However, this is a bad idea. Concealed keys are a gift to opportunistic thieves. Instead, consider leaving a spare copy of your key with a trusted friend or neighbour who can be called quickly if you ever find yourself locked out. 

Work on your memory

If you keep forgetting your keys, work on ways to make them more memorable. Designate a place in your home, such as a dish on a side table or a hook near the door, and always keep your keys there. Add an eye-catching object or piece of art to make the area harder to miss. If you're looking for a higher-tech solution, you can even get wireless keychains that send a signal to your phone, letting it know where your keys are. 

Being locked out of your home can be frustrating, but if you take it as a wake-up call, it can lead to changing your key habits and never being locked out again.