When your kids reach an age that they'll be returning home to an empty house after school and carrying a key, it's important to have a serious discussion not only about the security of the home, but also on how to avoid getting locked out. An irresponsible child can easily lose his or her key at school, which technically increases the risk of someone gaining access to your home, while also possibly forcing you to leave work early to let your child in. Here are some tips to talk about that can potentially prevent a lockout situation that requires you to call a locksmith.
Keep The Key In The Same Locations
One of the best ways to avoid losing a house key is to always keep it in a few different locations, rather than haphazardly set it down whenever the mood strikes. For example, teach your child that when he or she is home, the house key should be hanging on a hook next to the door. When the child leaves for school, he or she should put the key in a zippered backpack pocket and keep it there for the duration of the day. Upon arriving home after school and unlocking the door, stress that your child should place the key back on the hook. Following this strict but easy-to-remember routine can reduce the risk of losing the key and ending up locked out of the house.
Agree On A Hidden Key Location
An effective way to deal with a lockout is to have a key stashed somewhere in the yard where your child can retrieve it. This can allow him or her to enter the home upon losing the house key or simply forgetting to take it in the morning. Talk about some ideal hiding places; try to avoid common spots such as under the mat in front of the door.
Have A Trusted Location For Your Kids To Visit
In the event that your kids get locked out of the house and they can't find the hidden key, there's a simple step that can prevent you from having to rush home from work or even call an emergency locksmith. Figure out a trusted person in the community whom your children can visit until you get home. Ideally, this person would be a neighbor who lives within walking distance.
For more information, talk to a professional like Gene's Lock & Key.