15 Things to Do When You Lose Your Keys
Losing your house, car, or safe keys can be a difficult and stressful ordeal, but it can happen to the best of us. We multitask; we get too preoccupied with other important matters that we either forget to bring our keys with us or we misplace them. Here are some recommendations on what to do if you lose your keys.
- Don’t panic.
Misplacing items is quite a common occurrence. While this situation may be frustrating, getting angry or panicking may make you lose your focus. The first thing we need to do is to keep calm and keep a clear head. Try to determine whether the keys were misplaced or if they were stolen. These details are important and will help you decide the best path forward.
- Retrace your steps
Try to recall what you were doing before you realized that your keys were missing. Retracing steps usually helps people remember things. It also helps to try remembering when and where you last saw or used them. Most items can be found in areas where they were last used. This will also help you determine where to start looking for them.
- Attempt to locate your keys
You can start by checking the surrounding areas of where they’re supposed to be or where they were last used. Were they supposed to be on the counter top? Try to also look for them in the areas close to the counter top. Rule out areas that you have already made a thorough search in. There is no point in returning to the same spot that you’ve already previously checked.
- Check the cluttered areas
Researcher Anna Nowakowska from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland conducted a study on how efficiently people run searches. They found out that we are inclined to look to the easy side, the areas that are clear and uncluttered, whether or not the item is likely to be placed there at all. That said, try to look for your key in the cluttered areas instead.
- Call the police if your key was stolen
If your key was stolen, contact the police and file a police report. Insurance companies often require that you furnish a police report in case you want to file a theft claim.
- Get your spare key
If you left your spare key with a trusted person, contact him/her and ask for your spare key. If you haven’t left someone a spare key, you might consider doing this after you locate your missing key or after you resolve this problem. You’ll want to leave this with someone whom you can easily reach out to in such situations because it will be futile to leave your spare key with someone who lives miles and miles away.
- Consider using an alternate entry
Have you checked if your backdoor is unlocked? Try going inside using the backdoor. If you’re able to use the window as a point of entry without risk of injuries, you can also attempt this; however, if this route is not safe, we strongly discourage this. There are other workarounds that you can consider.
- Do not attempt to pick or drill the lock
Some people might advise you to attempt to circumvent and manipulate the lock yourself. Lock picking and drilling require skill and patience. This may also not work on all locks, especially for high security safes. These safes are able to withstand any outside force that attempts to manipulate its mechanism.
Experts from West Coast Locksmith discourage this, as well, as you may end up damaging your lock beyond repair. Lock replacement will not be necessary if you find your keys at home. A damaged lock, though, will require replacement and a fee.
- Contact your insurance company
Check your insurance company if lock and key repair and replacement are covered. Most home or car insurance policies allow you to get a specialist to help you unlock the door for a small fee; some plans offer these services for free. This is ideal for owners who have budgetary restrictions.
Car insurance policies often cover towing, and you might want to take advantage of that in case you prefer to replace your lock or have it reprogrammed by your dealer. Most comprehensive insurance policies can also cover the expenses for key replacement or the recoding of the locking mechanisms of your car.
- Call your car or safe dealer
Your dealers may be able to help, so calling them is worth a shot. Most dealers offer repairs and can unlock safes and doors, as well. For most owners, they have a choice between calling their dealers or the locksmiths. Take note that unlocking doors is not the dealers’ primary function, so ask for their rates first and compare this with a locksmith’s offer. Many have observed that it is cheaper to request key replacement from a locksmith than from dealership.
- Hire a professional locksmith
If you’re unable to locate your key after retracing your steps; you don’t have a spare key; and calling your insurance company is not an option, your trusted professional locksmith is your next best bet.
Hiring a professional expert is as easy as typing “Locksmith Beverly Hills” or “Locksmith Malibu” or “Locksmith near me” on your search engine. This will generate a good number of options. Beware of locksmith scams and make sure to hire an expert from a reputable company. Hire someone who is trustworthy.
The best ones are able to unlock almost any door and reset or change the combinations on safe locks. They can also create a new house, car, or safe key from scratch for you. A locksmith’s last resort is precision drilling, but they will make sure to exhaust all other options before resorting to this.
While drilling may cause cosmetic damage to the safe, these technicians also know how to repair and restore your safe and lock to its original look.
- Re-key or Replace your locks
If you were unable to locate your key or if it got stolen, it is safer to re-key or replace your locks altogether. The last thing you want to happen is for someone to get a hold of your keys and use it to gain access to your home, car, or safe. It works best to hire a professional locksmith to do the work for you.
Car owners might not usually consider this option, but you need to remember that any lock that has been compromised needs to be replaced. There are automotive locksmiths who can do this for you. There are times, as well, when the locksmith is unable to unlock this – this may happen for older vehicles – and you may need to buy a new ignition lock cylinder and key from the dealer or from a repair shop.
- Secure your spare keys
This is in relation to the fifth recommendation. After replacing your key, you’ll want to secure your spare keys and decide on how to keep them or whom to give these for safekeeping. Would you want to keep them hidden somewhere inconspicuous? Some people can get creative and hide them in discrete sprinkler heads, or birdhouses, or some fake rock they bought online. Others prefer to hand them over to a trusted neighbor, friend, or colleague. Find the option that gives you the most peace of mind.
- Consider going keyless
If you tend to misplace your house keys more often, going keyless sounds like a great option for you. Modern technology has allowed for this convenient yet reliable security system to keep your home, office, and car safe.
- Consider checking and updating your insurance policies
Insurance can come in really handy in these situations, so you might want to consider going over your policy and making sure that you have lock and key repair and replacement covered. If you don’t have insurance yet, you might want to consider getting one, as well. Losing keys is stressful enough; don’t let unexpected expenses make it worse.
There are quite a good number of options on what to do if you lose your keys. It is important to stay calm and consider what option works best for you in terms of convenience, promptness, and budget. Prevention is always better, but in case you misplace your keys again, you won’t have to worry so much; just revisit these tips. In emergency cases, don’t panic and remember that you can always contact the authorities and your dealer or your locksmith for immediate help.