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I'm Locked Out of the House — Now What?


on November 23, 2021


It’s happened to the best of us: you left your keys on the kitchen counter and now you can’t get back into your home. In times like these, we often feel like turning to desperate measures, but in truth, breaking a window is never a good plan. Not only can it cause costly damage to your home, but it could run the risk of causing bodily harm. The good news is that there are plenty of other workable options that can get you back indoors quickly and safely.

What To Do When You're Locked Out

If you find yourself locked out of your house and don’t know what to do, keep a few of these ideas in mind.

Call Someone With a Spare Door Key

Sometimes, getting back indoors is just a simple waiting game. If your spouse, child or other family member has a door key, call them to see if they can make a quick trip back home to let you in. If they can’t come back right away, here are a few additional ways to try to get back inside your home.  

Check for Unlocked Windows and Doors

While we would never recommend intentionally leaving your home unsecured, you may have accidentally left a window unlocked the last time you opened it to let in a cool breeze. Be sure to try all back doors and patio doors first before resorting to more creative options. 

Depending on the style of window or door you have, you may be unable to enter even if the unit is unlocked. Certain windows come with an AutoLock, which automatically locks when a window is closed. On patio doors, you may have a foot bolt, which keeps your door secure in the open or closed position. If the foot bolt is engaged, you won’t be able to open your door, even if it is unlocked. 

In any case, don’t do anything that could cause damage to your home or yourself in the process. You don’t want to be faced with replacing a window or door sooner than necessary.

Once you do get back inside, make sure to lock up more thoroughly and consider hiding a spare key in a secure location outside.

Call a Locksmith To Unlock Your Door

When all else fails, be grateful for modern technology that can get you in touch with a locksmith quickly. Although you may not be happy to pay top rates for an after-hours call, it’s much better than paying for a replacement window.

How To Avoid Getting Locked Out of the House in the Future

In the end, the best defense against getting locked out of your home is to have plenty of backup plans that will help you regain entry if you find yourself in this situation. While it may not bring much comfort to your current situation, you can chalk it up as a learning experience that’ll prevent you from dealing with the same problem again.

Create a Back-Up Front Door Key

One solution for the future is to keep a backup key somewhere safe and accessible. While we don’t recommend keeping a spare under the doormat, as everyone knows that trick, having it in your wallet or car is a great alternative, as you’ll always have it with you. 

Implement Keypad Home-Entry Access

If a spare key won’t work for your situation, you can add a garage keypad to your home’s exterior. The garage offers plenty of secure areas for you to tuck a spare key away if you want to keep a spare key outside the home, but not in your car or wallet. To gain entry, you just enter your custom code; no additional keys to worry about or potentially lose. 

There are also a variety of keyless smart locks on the market for those who regularly misplace keys. With just a few quick button presses, you can get back indoors right away.

Update Hardware on Entry and Patio Doors

If your keys are lost, not just locked inside, it’s important to replace the locks on your home’s doors and get new keys. To avoid replacing all the locks each time you lose your keys, however, opt for a one-time hardware replacement featuring SmartKey® Re-Key technology. It adapts your door’s lock to new keys in seconds.

Visit any of our showrooms throughout the US and Canada to see our hardware offerings firsthand, or simply reach out to us online. Remember, replacing your door’s hardware is a lot more affordable than replacing an entire window you may have damaged while locked out of your home.

Schedule a free consultation to find windows and doors for your home.