Locks are a critical part of your home and automobile security system, but they can be quite an inconvenience if you discover that you do not hold the key. At some point, everyone will find themselves on the wrong side of a locked door, and that heart-sinking feeling of panic can lead you to make decisions that jeopardize your safety. Whether you are locked out of your house or vehicle, use these strategies to stay safe while waiting for a locksmith to arrive.
Recognize a True Emergency
When you are running late for work, it can feel as though being locked out is a crisis, yet it is rarely little more than an annoyance. However, a young child locked in a vehicle is a true emergency situation--especially in extreme weather conditions. In this instance, contact your local emergency service immediately, and be prepared to break a window if it is necessary to keep the child safe.
Avoid Desperate Measures
While breaking a window may be necessary to save a child, it will only lead to costly damage should you attempt this to get your keys. Other do-it-yourself tactics, such as prying the door open or pushing a hanger through the window seal, can lead to injuries and ruin your vehicle's locking mechanism. It is far better to call a professional that can use the correct tools and techniques to open your door.
Find a Safe Location to Wait
Do a quick assessment of your current environment once you realize that you are locked out. If it is late at night or your car is parked in a dangerous area, then it is important to move to a safer location while you wait for help. At home, ask a neighbor if you can wait inside for a few minutes. If you are on the road, then look for a convenience store or pharmacy that can provide a safe shelter.
Choose a Reputable Locksmith
According to Consumer Reports, there have been incidents involving scam artists posing as locksmiths that quote one price over the phone and increase it when they arrive. Avoid this risk by doing a quick online search to check on a company's reputation. A reputable company will have few negative reviews, and you should be able to find a long history of quality service.
When that sudden realization that you have been locked out sinks in, remember not to panic. It happens to everyone at some point, and there are professionals available who can help you get back in without damaging your property. As you wait, simply focus on your comfort and safety while using your time to choose the right professional service to fit your needs.