Controlling access to your home can be complicated, especially if you ever lose your keys or accidentally leave your house without them. Once you’ve experienced a lockout, you may be tempted to ease up on security in favor of making sure you can access your home at all times.

But lax security is a mistake, since it leaves your home vulnerable. Discover some do’s and don’ts of avoiding lengthy lockouts without compromising security.

Do Keep Locksmith Information Outside

Your first step should be to prepare for a lockout situation. So make sure to keep the contact information of a reputable locksmith outside your home, ideally in multiple locations, such as in both your phone and your car.

You should also check with your locksmith to see what forms of identification they accept for lockout service purposes. Then, make sure you have those forms of ID available at all times. For fastest lockout service, check what brand and style of locks your door has, and keep that information on hand as well.

Don’t Leave a Key Near the Door

The simplest solution to avoid lockouts would be to keep a key by the door. However, this can grant access to not only you but everyone else as well. And hiding the key above the door, under the welcome mat, or in other obvious locations usually does nothing to deter criminals.

Hiding a spare key can be a good move if done securely, though. This means placing a key inside a lock box, then hiding it in a spot that criminals are unlikely to find, such as inside a doghouse guarded by a dog. Even better, leave a key with a neighbor or relative who won’t mind getting a call if you need to access the spare key.

Do Use Doorknob and Deadbolt Covers

Believe it or not, parents can be locked out of their homes by precocious toddlers and young children. If you have small children, avoid this type of lockout by installing a childproof cover on the insides of your doorknobs. And don’t forget to install deadbolt covers as well; a toddler may not be able to reach the deadbolt, but a four-year-old might.

Make sure you get the right cover for your doorknobs, though. Some doorknob covers are designed just to keep children from opening the door on their own. This is a critical safety feature, but for lockout prevention, you need a product that also covers the lock portion of the knob so your child can’t close and lock the door behind you.

Don’t Leave a Door or Window Unlocked

Another lockout prevention practice to avoid is leaving one of your windows or doors unlocked. While convenient, this makes for lax security and could allow a burglar to walk right in, which is what happens in nearly a third of burglaries. Burglars know that back doors, side doors, and garage doors are often left unlocked, so you can be sure they’ll check.

Do Use a Key Finder

Leaving for work but can’t find your house key? This could put you in a tight spot since you’ll have to decide between leaving your door unlocked or locking yourself out of your home.

A securely hidden spare key can help you avoid this problem, but you can also invest in a key finder device to help you locate your keys at a moment’s notice. You’ll never have to get into a last-minute key panic again.

Many of these devices operate using your smartphone. But if you don’t have a smartphone or if you often lose yours, you can choose a key finding device that operates using a remote. You can then install this remote at a designated location in your home (on the wall somewhere, for instance), so you can’t lose it.

These do’s and don’ts will help you navigate your preparations to avoid and deal with any potential lockout situations. For more information on the lockout and other locksmith services available, get in touch with DuPage Security Solutions Inc.