• There are few feelings worse than standing on your stoop at the end of a long day as you come to the realization that you are locked out of your apartment. Maybe you ran out the door in a hurry and left your keys on the table, or perhaps your key just broke off in the lock. Regardless of how you got there, though, the only thing on your mind is figuring out what to do next.

    Though it is relatively easy for a locksmith to let you in, not getting locked out in the first place is obviously the best solution. Fortunately, following a few simple tips can help to minimize this risk.

    Spare Key

    A spare key is cheap and easy to have made. Apartment keys are rarely high-security, which means that any local locksmith or big box store with a key cutting counter can make a duplicate. Give your spare key to a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative who can come to your apartment if needed. You might even suggest trading spare keys, so that you can help each other in the event that either of you is locked out. Naturally, your roommate, spouse, child, or anyone else who lives in your apartment should also have a separate key.

    Master Key

    In some buildings, the landlord retains a master key. This allows employees to enter as needed to perform maintenance tasks and other necessary jobs. Find out if your landlord has a master key and, if so, what hours it is available. Some landlords will let you in for free during business hours, but charge an after-hours fee or even refuse to come to your apartment for a late-night lockout.

    Other Entries

    If you don’t have access to a spare key or a master key, check around the outside of your apartment. Did you leave a window unlocked? Is there a back door that doesn’t quite close completely? Check for an alternate means of entry. If you find one, let yourself in and then consider upgrading your security. If you can easily get in, so can a potential burglar.

    Lock Maintenance

    Check your locks a couple of times per year to make sure they are still working well. If the lock sticks or you have to jiggle the key to get it to turn, let your landlord know. It’s rare for a lock to simply stop working with no warning, but small problems that are ignored tend to turn into big problems over time. Stay proactive to minimize your risk of being locked out with a key in your hand.

    Lock Upgrade

    If you or your child regularly forget your keys, you might find it easier to simply take the keys out of the equation. Modern locks come in a wide range of keyless choices, from number codes to fingerprint scanners to cell phone activation. Be sure to talk to your landlord before upgrading the lock, though. Some will not permit you to do it at all, while others will require you to provide them with a means of access, such as the code. A lock upgrade will likely be at your own expense.

    Better Habits

    Many apartment lockouts can be avoided simply by developing better habits regarding your keys. Clip them to something you always carry, such as your work ID or car keys. Create a routine double check, in which you check for your keys every time you leave your apartment. You could even make a poster or stick a note to the bathroom mirror with a reminder to grab your keys.

    Find a Locksmith

    The reality is that no matter how good your habits and routines become, you will need a locksmith sooner or later. It’s always best to form a relationship with a service professional when you are relaxed and not under pressure. So take the time to find and build a relationship with a local locksmith, and you will know exactly who to call when something goes wrong.

    Locking yourself out of your apartment can be extremely stressful. Fortunately, taking a few proactive steps can minimize your risk of being locked out. If you do lock yourself out, a good relationship with a trusted locksmith can reduce your frustration and minimize your wait time.

    Texas Premier Locksmith is known as one of the premier locksmith companies across the state of Texas. If you are ready to form a relationship with a reliable, trustworthy locksmith, please give us a call today at (866) 948-8188.