Wednesday, May 27, 2015
7 Tips on How to Avoid Being Locked Out
Bad news: Donavyn perfectly closed the screen door today so that the latch flipped and locked us outside.
Good news: I can fit through the bottom corner of the screen door.
Bad news: Donavyn thinks we now crawl through to get in or out the door.
Doors are wonderful. They protect us and our stuff. They keep out the weather and various forms of wildlife. They decorate our homes.
But invariably, they lock when we least intend for it, and we are locked out. The wind blows the door shut, the toddler learns to twist the lock and you unknowingly close the door, your hands are full and you drop the keys to unload (meanwhile locking yourself out), you think the keys are in your pocket/purse/backpack but the trusty tools are languishing right inside the door waiting to be used (and you are outside).
As a college resident aide, one of our most common tasks was to provide a key to locked out residents. This was a weekly if not more often duty. I worked with the inhabitants of two buildings, as did my partners on staff. We spent many hours walking back to the dorms, unlocking the key safe, handing out a key, and waiting for the return. Let's say that my residents often found me on campus for reasons other than to chat.
When my children were preschoolers, they were often called into duty to crawl through the dog door to unlock the door for my parents.
At my most recent teaching job, I was usually the first one to arrive. If I was later than normal, for some reason, certain others were locked out until I made it to school.
On a hot summer day, I locked myself and two grandbabies out in the backyard. No diapers. No snacks. No anything. I had to wait quite a while before anyone could rescue us. I am happy to report there were no diaper disasters.
I once locked my friend and I out of the van. We were in a different state. At a campground. Good thing for us she was a AAA member.
One day I locked myself out of my car. After being rescued, I immediately locked myself out again. True story.
Doors. Both good and bad. Some things I've done to prevent being locked out:
1. Hide a key. Use an unusual spot. Be creative. The easiest place to hide an extra key is the first place home invaders will look.
2. Always have a spare key in your car. I have a spare house and gate key in my car. This will not help me if I lock my keys in the car, but if I lock myself out of the house, I can always use my car set to get back inside.
3. Use technology if you can. Some doors, I'm sure, can now be controlled by smart phones. Not mine, but some doors probably work just fine when you punch in a code.
4. Keep a spare key in your purse or wallet. This is different than a set in the car. I carry my purse, so the extra key is most likely not locked in the car.
5. Double up. Make sure your spouse/roommate/friend has a spare.
6. Give a key to the neighbors. I cannot tell you how many times this saved my bacon when we lived in our first home. Great for me but probably annoying for them.
7. Keep your keys in your hand or pocket. Do the pat check before the final latching of the door. Not foolproof, but a satisfactory technique to help.
As you can tell, I may have a slight problem with keys and getting locked in or out of the places I want to be. I give you my tips in the hope that you will avoid similar situations and near disasters.
Maybe these tips will help you more than they help me. Otherwise, we may all be crawling through the screen doors.