9 TIPS TO AVOID HOME LOCKOUTS
Home lockouts are inconvenient at best. At worst, they can be downright dangerous. As you go about your busy life, it’s likely that something will fall through the cracks at some point. However, your house keys shouldn’t be one of them. Each year, millions of people misplace their keys, have keys stolen, or are forced to deal with broken locks. So, how can you avoid this all-too-common, and totally preventable issue?
Learn more about how you can prevent locking yourself out of your home and improve the overall safety of your home.
Here are 10 tips to avoid home lockouts.
MAKE IT A HABIT TO CHECK FOR YOUR KEYS
The easiest solution is prevention. Make it a habit to double-check for your keys each time you leave the house. Stack the habit of checking your keys with another ritual you maintain when you leave, such as putting on your shoes. Tie your laces and check your pocket, purse, or wallet for your keys. Over time, these two behaviors will become ingrained in your mind and easier to execute without thought. You’ll be feeling more secure and better protected anytime you leave your residence.
INSPECT YOUR KEYS AND LOCKS FOR SIGNS OF WEAR
If you live in an older home, apartment, condo, or other dwelling, consider the timing of the last lock change. Keys and locks that are worn, rusty, or overused can begin to “lose their grip” or become more difficult to manage as they age. This can lead to damaged keys or locks, breaks, and other concerns. As a general rule of thumb, change your locks every 10 years – perhaps more often if you have special circumstances such as you rent your home to guests, you travel frequently, or you experience more wear and tear.
KEEP A SPARE KEY HANDY
We don’t recommend the old “key under the welcome mat” trick, but we definitely recommend keeping spare keys in easily accessible locations. You may find it best to keep a spare key in the glove box or center console of your car, in your handbag or wallet, or inconspicuously outside your home. Do not place spare keys in areas where they might be easily discovered. Remember, you want to be able to locate your key in case of emergencies, but you don’t want your keys to be easily located by thieves.
DON’T USE INTERIOR LOCKS ON EXTERIOR DOORS
In some areas of your home, such as patios, sun rooms, and wash rooms, you may be tempted to install or maintain easy-to-use knobs and locks. Interior knobs and locks, when used improperly, can lead to security risks for home. Lock systems with deadlocks are always more appropriate for exterior-facing doors. This helps improve the overall security of your home, keeping vulnerable spaces to a minimum.
USE A KEY HOLDER
Get creative with spare key storage to keep them out of sight. Discreet key holders come in many different shapes and sizes, making them ideal for stashing away a key with little worry about discovery. Explore key holders shaped like sprinkler heads, camera devices, flashlights, and more. Just remember to keep your key’s true location out of sight of thieves and those who mean your home no good.
CHOOSE A TRUSTED PERSON TO KEEP A SPARE KEY. AVOID HOME LOCKOUTS
When appropriate, choose a person that you trust outside of your home to keep a spare key.
You may select a neighborhood, a family member who lives close by, or a friend to hold your key. If needed, this person can not only retrieve your key on your behalf, they can enter your home if you are unable to, such as in the event you are traveling or need other assistance. Be sure the person you select will be responsible with your personal belongings and readily available when needed.
USE SMART LOCKS AND KEYLESS ENTRY
If you struggle to keep up with keys, choosing a smart lock with digital entry can eliminate the problem entirely. Keyless entry doorknobs and locks make it possible to select a passcode and use that code to lock and unlock your doors. Some smart locks are even biometric-operated, with the use of a fingerprint reader. You can even create passcodes for family members and guests, along with a master code you can use to override any system. This method of entry eliminates the need for physical keys and helps ensure greater security in your home. You’ll just need to keep up with the passcode you have selected!
USE A PHONE KEY HOLDER
Another option for maintaining your keys is to use a key holder fastened to your smartphone. Keep a separate key holder for your phone in your handbag or car, or choose a smartphone case equipped with a key holder to safely hold your house key and even credit cards or your ID. This method can make your key more easily accessible, but it can also make your keys and valuables more susceptible to being stolen. Be mindful of your location, places you frequent, and the general safety of areas you frequent when choosing this option.
KEEP A LOCKSMITH ON SPEED DIAL
Whether lockouts are commonplace or an incessant worry on your wind, keeping a locksmith on speed dial can help you feel more secure in case of emergencies. Professional locksmiths need not just be a 911 when lockouts or break-ins happen. You can request the services of a locksmith to improve the general safety of your space – upgrading security systems, replacing keys and locks, and offering security inspections for your home as well. Ensure your peace of mind and find a professional locksmith near you!
At South Shore Locksmiths, we have decades of experience assisting Florida residents just like you. No matter your locksmith needs, we are available to help with prevention and provide solutions in case of emergencies. Give us a call at 561-531-2619 for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help. Whether you’re interested in replacing locks, changing keys, or learning about keyless entry options, we’ve got you covered.