Household Security While Renting

What to Do If Your Child Locks You Out of the House

You may not have thought that you needed to take a key with you when you stepped out of the front door for a moment to put out some rubbish, but you'll wish you had if you get locked out. If one of your kids thinks it would be funny to shut and lock the door behind you, then you're well and truly stuck. What should you do next?

Try to Get Your Kid to Open Up

A few stern words through your door may be enough to persuade your child to let you back in the house. This may, of course, depend on whether your child can actually open the door again. Your kid may have been able to turn the key to lock you out, but they may not be able to reverse the manoeuvre to let you back in again, especially if the lock is a bit stiffer to open than it was to close.

Tip: If you have a door at the back of your house that you know your child can open and you can access your garden, tell your child to open that door for you.

Get the Key

If your child can take the key out of the lock, then you may be able to have them pass it to you. For example, if you have a letterplate on your front door, your child could pass the key though. If this isn't an option, then look to see if any of your windows are open—your child could pass a key through or drop it from a higher window. If your windows are all closed but your child can open them, get them to open a ground-floor window to pass across the key.

Warning: Don't ask younger children to get you a key though windows unless you're sure they'll be safe. If your child has to climb on something to get to the window, they could have an accident.

Think About Spare Keys

If your child can't open the door or get you a key, then think about whether you've given an emergency key to anyone else. For example, your neighbour, a friend or a relative may have a spare key. If you can get this key quickly, then your problem is solved. If you have to wait a few hours for someone with a key to be around, then this probably won't work for you.

Call a Mobile Locksmith

If you simply can't get back into your home, your best bet is to call out a mobile locksmith to help you. If you've been locked out this way before or are worried it might happen again, then you could also ask the locksmith about fitting a key safe to the outside of your house. These boxes give you a secure way of storing a spare key for just this sort of emergency.