Tips to avoid Lockouts and Break-ins

June 2, 2019

Unfortunately, lockouts and break-ins are a part of life, especially when you live in the city. Amid the constant stressors that come along with our day-to-day responsibilities, the last thing we want to deal with is getting locked out of the house and being forced to climb through a small window, risking potential injury. Or worse, a lockpicking thief invading our home and walking out with stolen valuables like electronics, jewelry, clothes, and money. Talk about a bad day.

But don’t worry, Lockbusters is here to help. Take these preventative measures to ensure your life and home are free of lockouts and break-ins.

Avoiding Lockouts

The simplest thing you can do to prevent a lockout is forming a habit of a “key check” before leaving the house. How? Make a mental note to ask yourself, “Do I have my keys?” before you take those first steps out the door. Are they in your hand, your pocket, your purse, backpack or wherever else you tend to keep them? Leave post-it notes around the house, set alarms on your phone—do whatever you gotta do to ensure you aren’t leaving the place empty-handed.

A trick is to always keep it simple by leaving your keys in one place, ideally somewhere close to the door where you’ll notice them before heading out for the day.

Make Duplicates
Always, always, always keep a spare key around. In our experience, duplicate keys come in quite handy for when the ever-so-dreaded lockout occurs. Keep ‘em in a safe place – like a hiding spot outside or in your car – that will always be accessible during the worst-case scenario. It usually doesn’t cost more than $5 to make a duplicate, saving you time AND money.

Give a Key to Your Neighbor
“Hey, Neighbor. Can you hold on to one of my keys?” Having a neighbor you can trust with a spare house key is an easy lockout solution. This way, you can just pop on over, shamelessly knock on their door, and ask them to let you back in. They’ll understand. It’s probably happened to them, too. A trusty neighbor also comes in handy in other situations. In case of emergency, they’ll have access to your house when you forgot to feed the cat and won’t be home for a while. Don’t ever let your furry friends go hungry!

Go the Keyless Route
If you are someone who constantly loses their keys, smart locks and keyless door locks are an effective alternative. They are easy to install (Jay can do it for you), safe from lock-picking and other thievery tactics, and eliminate the need to carry and keep track of physical keys – thus preventing lockouts. There are several different kinds of smart locks to suit your needs, spanning from keypad digital code locks and super-cool fingerprint scanners.

Avoiding Break-Ins

Did you know over 3.7 million burglaries take place each year in the United States? And over 32 percent of them walk in right through an unlocked front door. We’re not kidding, folks. In New York City, locking your door is the first way to avoid break-ins, but keep these other methods in mind to keep the lockpicking thieves out.

Lockpickers aren’t the only ones to worry about, though. Be wary of “key bumpers” who use hammers or screwdrivers to break the inside of door locks, leaving your home vulnerable to break-ins.

Install Deadbolt Locks
A deadbolt lock gives you maximum security against lockpickers, key bumpers, and everyone else by acting as an extra layer of protection alongside traditional door locks. With high-security deadbolts, it makes it much more difficult for intruders to enter. Deadbolts are large and visibly imposing, and certain types are even multi-key entry.

Unpredictable Hiding Spots
Once you do make duplicate keys, know the right hiding spots to use. Don’t be predictable by hiding a key in your mailbox, under your doormat, or on top of window ledges. These are all typical places a thief will check first. Be more creative! Try stashing keys in a hidden cove out of plain sight, or even buy a fake rock that allows keys to be hidden inside of them. Yes, they do exist!

Lockboxes are another great alternative. They are impenetrable, password protected, and can be kept anywhere outside your place.

Leave the Dog at Home
Dogs are our best friends, and like any best friend, they are very protective in nature. That makes them a great way to scare burglars away from entering your home. Just think about it … the last thing an intruder wants is to encounter is an angry pooch out to protect their (and their owner’s) territory from someone they know shouldn’t be there. Let outsiders know there’s someone waiting for them inside by posting a “Beware of Dog” sign—that should do the trick. If the person is brave enough to break-in anyway, they sure won’t enjoy the encounter that ensues.

As always, you can trust Lockbusters NYC to help make your apartment or home lockout and break-in free. Contact us today and we’ll be there in a New York minute.

— The Lockbusters Team

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