Although no one wants to be locked out of a vehicle, home, or office, it happens every day. In addition to frustration, an emergency lockout can sometimes be dangerous. For that reason, it is common for people to feel a sense of urgency in getting help.
As part of assessing a lockout situation, you need to do a few things.
- Remain calm. Even in broad daylight, being locked out of a car, home, or business can be unnerving.
- Based on the scenario, if you are locked out of a vehicle, home, or office and feel threatened in any way, it is critical to seek help or, if necessary, call 911. For example, if you were caught in a horrific lightning storm, had small children in the vehicle (especially if the engine were running), or perhaps ended up in a high-crime area, safety is always the most important consideration.
- Determine if a spare key has been hidden or if there is a friend or family member nearby who might have a key.
- Check all doors and windows to see if there is a point of entry that has been left unlocked for some reason.
If there is no way to gain access, then you must decide whether to call law enforcement or a reputable locksmith. Because lockout emergencies happen, experts strongly recommend that you have a list of qualified locksmiths already on hand. If not, you can easily obtain this information online using a cellphone with Internet connection.
When talking to the dispatcher for the locksmith company, you should always ask for an estimate of the job, as well as any “hidden” fees, including minimum time charged, mileage, and so on. You should also request the name and description of the technician who will be sent to the call for enhanced security.
Tips with the Technician on Scene
After calling a locksmith company, a technician will usually show up in 30 minutes or less. It is always advised to look for the company name and logo on the vehicle. In addition, write down the license plate and ask to see the technician’s identification.
Then, prior to any work being done, the technician should be able to provide a quick overview of the exact work to be performed and the associated cost. Because locksmiths are technically trained, they can gain access to even the most secure locks within a relatively short amount of time.
It is also important to get the work done and price charged in the form of a receipt. The reason is that many people have insurance that covers calls specific to emergency lockout situations. If stranded in a vehicle, before the technician leaves, make sure the engine starts. In the case of a home or office lockout, check that the door can be locked and unlocked. With a locksmith already on hand, it may be possible to have an additional problem taken care of on the spot.