Anyone that has a home or apartment has asked “What do I do if I get locked out of my apartment or house” at least once in their life. For some people, it’s not a question, but a situation has happened at least once if not more time. If you end up locked out of your apartment or home, it’s not the end of the world.
You can usually get back into your home or apartment quickly if you follow these steps we’ve outlined. It may be a stressful situation, but you’ll be back inside in no time at all.
Are You Safe?
This should be the first question you ask yourself before doing anything else. If you have an apartment that opens to the outside or are locked outside your house, then you need to know your safe. If you live in a crime-ridden neighborhood or if the temperature is dangerous to your wellbeing, heavy rain, etc., then you might want to find shelter as soon as possible.
Fiddling with windows or locks aren’t worth it if your safety could be compromised. Check your surroundings and if everything is ok, then move on to the next step.
I’m Locked Out of My Apartment, Now What?
The first thing you should so call friends or relatives that might have a spare key. Many times, people will give extra keys to parents, friends or boyfriends so the have access to the apartment or home for emergencies, etc.
We would consider being locked out an emergency. Depending on how long it can take for your friend to arrive, you may be locked out for a while. This method is the easiest, most cost-effective and least embarrassing method of getting back into your home or apartment.
You might get the occasional stare from passersby, but that’s about it.
Check for Other Openings
If you’re in a hurry and don’t mind a little climbing, then you can try entering the home or apartment through an open window, storm door, etc.
Once again, consider your safety before trying it. It’s one thing to crawl through an open window on the ground floor and another to climb a tree to get to the second-floor bedroom window you left open.
Don’t compromise your safety just to enter your apartment. The other problem with this method, especially if you don’t know your neighbors, is people might think you’re breaking into the residence.
They may not recognize you and call the police or come over to question you. The good news is there’s nothing illegal about breaking into your own home. If police are called and arrive before you get inside, do everything they say and explain yourself in a calm and rational matter.
You don’t want to accidentally escalate the situation by being belligerent and rude.
Call or Visit Your Landlord, Leasing Office
If you rent your apartment or home and have a landlord or building superintendent, then call them and have them bring their key. Landlords and superintendents have keys to all the apartments for emergencies and maintenance needs.
They should be able to come down and unlock your door. If you haven’t met the landlord, then you may need to show them your identification to prove you rent the apartment or home.
Depending on the type of place you live in, there may be other people that have keys as well such as maintenance people, cleaning service, concierge, etc. If your apartment building has a security desk, then they likely have keys as well.
It’s important to know that some landlords or security officials charge a standard fee for unlocking your door.
Call A Locksmith
If you have run out of all other options, then you’ll need to contact a locksmith to come and unlock your door. Locksmiths are experts in getting people out of these situations such as car lockouts and homes, but they don’t do it for free.
The locksmith may try and pick the lock using special tools. The locksmith will need to see your identification to make sure you’re the person who lives there.
The other option is the locksmith will change the lock. This entails removing the old locking mechanism and replacing it with a new one that they have the key for. This gets you into the apartment or home, but it might cost you additional money with your landlord.
If the locksmith does any accidental damage to the door or doorjamb, then they may require you to pay for it. They may also charge you a fee for changing the lock and demand a copy of the key.
Depending on the time of day, type of lock, etc., they’ll charge you a specific amount for your home lockout. When you’re locked out and have no way to get back inside, it’s a small price to pay to get out of the cold.
Don’t Try and Jimmy the Lock Yourself
Movies and television have made the art of locksmithing seem easy. For decades, we’ve watched as detectives and regular people unlock doors using hairpins, credit cards and random wire they find on the ground.
Reality is far different from fiction. If you try picking a lock or jimmying the lock with any of these methods, you’ll probably end up failing and frustrated as a best case. You could also end up damaging the lock or doorjamb and making it, so a key won’t even open it.
Locksmithing is a craft and it takes experience and the right tools to pick a lock. Don’t try and do it yourself or you could end up regretting it.
Go Right on In
Don’t ask what would happen if “I got locked out of my apartment.” Instead, already have a plan. Prepare ahead of time by giving a key to someone trusted or have your landlord’s number programmed into your phone.
While it’s not usually dangerous, being locked out of your apartment or home can be frustrating and costly. If you want to learn more about the types of services a locksmith offers, then please explore our site.