What are your options when you’re locked out of your house?
When you’re locked out of your own home, there’s only one thing on your mind: getting back in. This singular goal sometimes leads to irrational thinking, but it’s important to remain calm. Attempting to break in is not an advisable option, not least because you’ll inevitably compromise your home’s security protections in the process, and your insurance policy is unlikely to cover any damage you cause.
So what should you do if you find yourself trapped outside? There are two key options: call a locksmith or call a keyholder. Each of these has its benefits, but one of the options is the clear winner for the security-conscious homeowner.
The pros and cons of calling a locksmith
Locksmiths make most of their money from letting stranded homeowners back into their homes, so it makes sense to think of calling one if you find yourself locked out. A trained locksmith will be able to either unlock your door using a special tool, or, in extreme cases, drill your lock and replace it with a new one.
The downside of calling a locksmith is the prevalence of locksmith scams. Internet listings are full of low-skilled locksmiths looking to leech off locked-out customers. They charge exorbitant fees for shoddy work, often drilling and replacing locks when easier, more cost-effective solutions would have suited.
Avoiding these scammers is possible, but it can be difficult. If you choose to go down this route, make sure the locksmith you use is accredited by the Master Locksmith Association, and secure a quote before he or she starts the job—preferably whilst on the phone—to avoid any surprise hidden fees.
It’s best to find a trusted locksmith before you get locked out, so you won’t be forced to make rash decisions under pressure. With that in mind, there is another equally effective solution that you could consider.
Why professional keyholding is a great alternative
Rather than a handyperson armed with some specialist lockpicking tools and a lot of know-how, what you really need when you’re locked out is someone who has your key. In the past, people have achieved this by giving out “spare” copied keys to their neighbours, or hiding extra keys under doormats or plant pots on the porch. The convenience of this method is clear, but unfortunately for some of those who try it, it can be very dangerous.
Simply put, the more times you copy your key, the more chance it has of ending up in the wrong hands. This is especially true if you hide your spare key in ‘obvious’ hiding places near your front door. Not only can creating spare keys prove risky, it can also invalidate your home insurance. If a burglar gains access to your home without force (ie. they get in using a key) many claims will be invalid.
Thankfully, keyholding services present another way to get back inside if you’re locked out in the cold. We explain what keyholding is in another post, but most importantly for these situations, it is a service in which SIA-certified security professionals hold a single copy of your key at a secure site and respond rapidly to situations in which you need it.
Should you find yourself locked out, a Key Guard will attend your property at short notice and unlock the door for you. Keyholders can also be called to allow named friends or family members access to your property should they lose their keys too.
Whereas locksmiths are experts in locks alone, Key Guards come from a wider security background, meaning they will ensure your premise remains secure after letting you in. Homeowners who fear the dreaded lockout should seriously consider investing in a keyholding service to keep their minds at ease.
Attending lockouts is just one of the various services that our Key Guards can provide. From 24/7 alarm response and routine visits to your property, to performing security checks and feeding your pets, CMS Keyholding offers a comprehensive range of services to suit your needs. Contact us today and discover the unique benefits of CMS Keyholding for your residential or commercial property.