If this has not happened to you already, the likelihood that it will happen is quite high. You may find yourself standing outside your home, staring at the locked door of the house, and wondering how in the world you could have lost your house keys.
Interestingly, this situation happens far more than most people realize. Every year in the United States, at least 20 million keys are lost. With such a high number of people misplacing their keys, the chances that this will happen to you are quite high.
But the problem is not so much with people losing their keys. The problem is how and when they find out that their keys are lost. Most people find out at the end of a long and tiring day when the only thing on their mind is rest.
Since you will probably lose your house keys sometime in your lifetime, it pays to know what to do in that situation. Losing your house keys under any circumstances is distressing. But if you are armed and ready with the right information, it can make the experience less difficult.
OnsiteProperty.com shares some tips on what to do if you ever lose your house keys and what you can do to make sure that it never happens to you or it doesn’t happen twice.
- Use a spare key
Using a spare key is the most straightforward solution. If you live in a rented home, the property owner or manager may have a master key. But if it is your own home, then you already know where the spare key is hidden. Where there is no spare key, read on to see what else you can do.
- Find an alternative entry point
Typically, you would expect all windows, side doors, or back doors to be properly closed. But it is still worth it to go around the house’s perimeter and try all doors and windows to see if anyone is unlocked. Do not break a window; it will only mean more cost for you, and you could be mistaken for a burglar.
- Circumvent the door
Look for the door that offers the least resistance and try to manipulate the lock. There are several ways to do this, with some readily available tools, credit cards, or paper clips. To do this, you need to have the right tools, a certain level of skill, and the right state of mind.
- Call a professional locksmith
Hopefully, there is a locksmith in your area whom you can contact to help you with the problem. A professional locksmith can open the door with the least amount of damage to the lock and door. But be sure that the person is duly licensed.
What to do after the door is unlocked
Now that you have finally gotten into your home, how can you prevent this sort of thing from ever happening again? The steps you take may partly depend on whether the key was misplaced or stolen. But, in reality, whether they were stolen or misplaced, lost house keys pose a security threat. This is particularly true if the house keys bear any identifying marks that can lead anyone who finds them back to you.
- Change the locks
For stolen keys, you need to change the locks. Also, if the lock gets spoilt during the process of opening the doors, change it. Depending on the type of lock you have installed on the door, changing the entire lock may not be necessary. There are cheaper options below.
- Rekey the locks
Rekeying is a cheaper option for changing the entire lock, and it is just as effective. Hopefully, the lock was not damaged, and it is a model that can be rekeyed. Rekeying a lock is replacing or rearranging the combination pins inside the lock so that a different key opens it. It makes the old key useless.
- Cut new keys
You can use this option if you have assessed the situation, and you are certain that there is no risk of someone finding the old keys, tracing your home, and using the key to let themselves into your home. Cutting a new key is cheap and easily done by a licensed locksmith. The new keys will be a replica of the lost house keys.
- Install a keyless lock
These are smart locks that do not need a physical key. With this option, there is no chance of your house keys going missing in the future. You open keyless locks using a code entered via a keypad, ring dial, and smartphone apps. We recommend this option for people who misplace their keys often. Some of them also give you the choice of using a physical key.
Other things you can do:
- If you are a homeowner, get home insurance that covers the costs incurred from losing your keys.
- Find a safe place to hide your spare keys.
- Get a Bluetooth key finder.