How frustrating can it be to be locked out of your house? If you have ever lost your home keys, you know the answer to that question is not pleasant.
What is the best course of action if you happen to lose your house keys and are locked out? One thing is for sure – panic and stress are not going to offer any viable solution. There are a few steps you should follow in such an adverse scenario.
Irrespective of the solution that works for you, it’s important that you implement some protective measures to avoid facing this situation again.
We have compiled all the information you need in a comprehensive guide. Read on to find the best ways to gain access to your house if you lose its keys.
I Lost My Keys, What Should I Do?
We have categorized all the useful information into four groups – What to do, FAQs, DIY hacks, and preventive measures. Without further ado, let’s dive into all the details.
What to Do?
First things first – what should you do when you realize that you have lost the house keys and cannot enter? Like we said before, do not panic. One of the following solutions will surely help you enter your abode.
1. Locate a Spare Key
The most convenient and straightforward solution is to find a spare key and use it to enter your home. One of the following options may hold in your case:
- If you are a tenant, your landlord or homeowner must have a copy of the key which you may request to use in case you are locked out.
- If you have a trusted neighbor whom you gave a spare key, it is the perfect time to ask for their help.
- If you have hidden a spare key under the welcome mat or in a pot, retrieve it and use it.
If you cannot locate a spare key, you will have to resort to one of the other solutions.
2. Try Going Around the Door
Going around the door will not work if your house door has a double-sided deadbolt which has been locked. What does it mean to go around the door? You will mostly be trying to physically circumvent the door to gain access to the lock from the inside.
Slipping a tool through the gap between the door and its frame to try to manipulate the thumb turn or actuator on the other side is one way to go around the door. It is not easy to get this done and requires a lot of patience and consistent effort.
3. Find an Alternate Entry
One of the most straightforward solutions is finding an alternate entry to the house. This one is straight out of the movies – you have undoubtedly seen someone sneak into a house through a window or a back door. It is time for you to apply those skills in real life, not for a wrong cause though.
Try finding a window or another door which may not be locked. Of course, you would not leave them unlocked in an ideal scenario, but you wouldn’t also lose your house keys. It does not hurt to check, and a careless mistake of leaving a window unlocked could serve as a blessing in disguise.
We recommend that you do not try to break into the house as a broken window or door will be more expensive to fix.
4. Seek Expert Help
When all else fails or if you do not want to take matters into your own hands, call for expert help. You can choose from various locksmith services to help unlock your house door and make a copy of the lost keys.
Losing your house keys and being locked out is an emergency that can arise anytime. Several locksmith services operate 24×7 to cater to such emergencies. You can hire a locksmith to gain access to your house without spending too much money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions that people have when they lose their house keys.
1. What should be done immediately after losing house keys?
Try to recover the lost keys by remembering where you had last seen it. If the keys are truly lost and you do not know what to do, we strongly advise you to calm down and think of the best possible solution. One of the four recommendations we have suggested in the first part of this guide will help you get inside the house.
2. Should you call for help?
Calling for help is the best thing you can do – be it family, neighbors, or locksmiths. Being alone in a crisis only makes things worse, so we recommend calling trusted neighbors and family.
You may try to find a solution on your own, but it will not guarantee success. To get a speedy and foolproof solution, call an expert to help you.
3. Can you use some tricks to unlock the door?
The next part of this guide discusses some tricks and hacks you may use to try to unlock the door without keys. These tricks are not 100% effective, but they are worth giving a try. Most of these tricks are not too complicated and do not require heavy tools or equipment.
4. Should you change the lock after it is unlocked?
To be on the safer side, we recommend that you change the lock on your door. If you lost your house keys and there is a possibility that a stranger might have them, it is not safe to continue using the same lock on your house door. As a rule of thumb, install a new lock as soon as possible.
5. How much does it cost to get a lock changed?
Hiring a locksmith to change a door’s locks can cost between 30 and 300 bucks, depending on the lock type and the time of service. Some locksmiths charge extra on the weekends and holidays. In most cases, the average cost is around $150.
6. How much does it cost to replicate house keys?
A locksmith specializes in replicating all kinds of keys, including house keys. Locksmiths usually charge between one and four dollars to copy a key, but they may charge up to 20 dollars for special keys.
7. Can a locksmith make a duplicate key without the original?
You may hire a locksmith to acquire a duplicate key if you have lost the original. Locksmiths can use the lock to make a replacement key. It may be required to drill and remove the lock to make a key for it.
DIY Hacks to Unlock Doors Without Keys
Although we do not recommend DIY hacks to everybody, if you are confident about pulling one of these tricks off, give it a shot. The prerequisites for all of these hacks are patience and steady hands.
1. Lock Pick Set
If you can get your hands on a professional lock pick tool, you can use it to unlock your house door. You must know how to use a lock pick set to pull it off. You can find tutorials online that will teach you how to use a lock pick tool.
2. Bump Key
A bump key is specially crafted to unlock certain locks, specifically pin-based locks. A majority of pin-based locking systems are spring loaded. The key’s ridges press against corresponding pins to open the lock.
Bump keys serve as practical tools for unlocking most of the standard house locks, which use single-sided keys.
3. Paper Clips
You can use some basic tools to change a couple of paper clips or bobby pins into a homemade lock pick tool. You will need two large paper clips, slightly bigger than the regular clips, or two bobby pins. You will have to unbend each of the two paper clips or pins and use a multi-tool to change them into a W rake and a tension wrench.
It may take a while to unlock the door using these tools made from paper clips or bobby pins, but it works. You can find tutorial videos online on how to use paper clips or pins for unlocking a lock.
4. Credit Card
You can use a credit card or any other plastic card to open your house door. Laminated cards work better because they tend to be more flexible. This method will only work if you have standard spring lock – it does not work with a deadbolt lock.
One of the most important things to consider is how to avoid being locked out of your house again? Or how to ensure that you never lose your house keys again. Having one or more these protective measures in place will pay huge dividends in the long run.
1. Hide Spare Keys
The first step you should take to avoid being locked out of your house is placing a spare key strategically. We recommend having two duplicate keys of your original house keys:
- Give one spare key to a trusted neighbor or family member who stays nearby.
- Hide one spare key outside your house in a secure location where nobody else could find it.
Keeping a couple of spare keys, each in a different location will ensure that if you ever lose your house keys, you have reliable backup to get inside.
2. Go Keyless
Why not take the cause of the problem out of the equation? What about switching to keyless locks?
You could consider installing an electronic lock system on your house door for eliminating a physical key. Alternatively, you can opt for an automated lock that can be remotely unlocked using an app on your smartphone.
Installing electronic or automated locks can seem expensive at first glance, but the long-run benefits you will derive far outweigh the initial investment cost. Convenience and safety are of utmost importance, especially when it comes to your home!
3. Change the Lock
It is not wise to continue to keep the same lock after losing its key. To prevent any uninvited guest from gaining access to your home, we recommend you to change the locks on your house door.
Changing locks can cost you about a hundred dollars on average, but it will be worth it. If you do not want to change the locks, you can opt for rekeying them. Rekeying a lock rearranges the pins in the lock cylinder, rendering the lost key useless.
4. Get a Bluetooth Key Finder
With smartphones and smart TVs in every home, can you switch to smart house keys? With the help of a Bluetooth key finder, you can. It is a small device that can be attached to your house keys or other small objects that you are likely to lose.
The device transmits sound or signals that can be detected on your smartphone. You can use the map on your phone to locate missing keys with the device attached. When you get close enough to the keys, the device will ring to help you find it.
Investing in a Bluetooth key finder is an excellent idea if you are prone to forgetting or misplacing your house keys.
5. Wear Clothes with Secure Pockets
One of the most frequent causes of losing keys and other small objects is your clothing. How many of us have lost things because they fell out of our track pant pockets? It is probably the most straightforward step we can take to avoid losing keys – wear clothes with secure pockets.
Women’s clothes often have tiny or no pockets, which can prove to be a hassle for carrying house keys. We recommend you to buy clothes that have at least one secure, zipper pocket.
As an added safety measure, every time you sit down or get up, check your pockets to ensure that your keys and other valuables are securely inside and not falling out.
As embarrassing and irritating as it can be, losing house keys is not to be taken casually. We hope this guide helped you understand all the possible steps you can take if you are stuck in that predicament, as well as steps you can take to avoid its re occurrence.
Another simple trick you can use to reduce the chances of losing your house keys is attaching an unusually large and peculiar keychain. It will cost a trivial amount but can be useful in helping you be more aware of your keys.
Till next time, keep your house keys safe!