It’s an annoying situation to find yourself in, but don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Whether you’ve returned home at the end of the day to discover you’ve forgotten your keys, or you’ve just left the house and realised your mistake as the door clicks shut, there’s nothing more frustrating than being locked out.

Luckily, there’s a checklist of options to work through before you resort to anything drastic. Here’s our top recommendations of what to do when you find yourself on the wrong side of a locked door.

1 – Try to obtain a spare key

If you’ve had the foresight to leave a copy of your key with a friend, neighbour or family member, now’s the time to make the call. If not, don’t worry, as there may be other potential spare keys you can get your hands on. If you rent your property, then the homeowner or estate agent should be able to rescue you. Owners and agents generally keep a spare key for emergencies or routine inspections, so you should be okay (providing it’s not the middle of the night). If you have no spare key with a friend, and you don’t rent your property, then move on to item two.

2 – Look for points of entry, but don’t go to excessive lengths

Check your ground floor windows to see if any have been left open. If so, then you’re in luck. If you’ve left an upstairs window open, it’s be best to discard this as an option for safety’s sake. You should certainly avoid climbing up any drainpipes or trying to scale the face of the building as this could result in serious injury. Even if you have a ladder, and you’re a confident climber, pulling yourself up and through a small space isn’t something it’s advisable to try at a high altitude. Climbing in through windows also has the potential – especially at night – of looking like a break in to a casual bystander, so take care as you don’t want to have to explain your actions to the police.

3 – Don’t damage your property

It can be tempting to break a window or try to remove fittings to regain access but this is also a bad idea. Broken glass is notoriously dangerous, no one likes having to clean up shards from their carpet, and the costs of replacing a broken window may outstrip what you’d spend on a locksmith. If you try removing doors, handles, or other fittings you risk damaging the finish which will cost time and money to put right. Additionally, as with entering through high windows, you run the risk of looking like a burglar, and finding yourself the subject of a police visit.

4 – Call a locksmith

If there’s no spare key to be located, and you can’t gain access safely and easily, your next step should be to call a locksmith. Here at All Masons locksmiths whether you live in Leicestershire or Northampton we offer emergency locksmithing – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Fully insured, and eager to help, we provide a trusted and professional service, so you can be sure that you won’t be left standing outside in the cold for long.