We’ve all been through this. You close the front door behind you and suddenly discover that you have left the keys inside. Brilliant.

Modern life is busy. Most of us don’t have time to wait for help on our doorstep. That’s why Izzy Schulman, Director at Keys 4 U, has compiled his tips to keep you from getting locked out and advise you on what to do when the worst happens.

Note to myself

Forgetfulness comes over us all at times. When it comes to remembering our keys, it helps to develop habits to improve our memories.

Start with behavior patterns, e.g. For example, when you knock the key on your wrist before closing the front door when you leave the house. At some point it becomes a natural instinct and you will never go without your keys.

It’s also helpful to keep your keys in the same place every time you return home. Putting a key hook next to your front door is a memorable and accessible place.

You could even leave a memory on the inside of your front door. Put a note on the door at eye level to look for your keys before you set off.

Lock maintenance

Locking out doesn’t always mean you’ve forgotten your keys. Sometimes locks become worn out from general wear and tear and just stop working properly.

It can be worth taking a proactive approach – keeping up with the maintenance of your front door lock to prevent rust or wear and tear. Use mild soap or surface cleaner on the front of the lock and latch. Stronger detergents can damage the metal.

Spray a small amount of lubricant into the keyhole and insert your house key in and out to cover the entire surface of the lock.

Trust a friend

If you live alone or cannot always rely on a roommate to help you get into your home, it is recommended that you cut a spare key and leave it with someone you can call in an emergency.

Ask a family member or close friend to organize the spare key for you. Ideally, leave the key with the person closest to you to save time if you’re stranded.

If you have a trusted neighbor, ask them if they’re interested in a spare key exchange so you can help each other out if you’re ever stuck outside.

The smart choice

If you are prone to losing keys or leaving the house without them, consider installing a keyless lock or smart lock.

Keyless locks are opened with a code entered, while smart locks are opened when a device is viewed over a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. You can even open a lock with your smartphone using an app.

Installing a key safe outside of your home allows you to keep a spare key close by when needed without the security risks associated with leaving a key under a flower pot or mat.

They work like a keyless lock – via a passcode, bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection – giving you access to a spare key if you forget yours.

A helping hand

If you live in a rented house or apartment, call your landlord or concierge. You should have a spare key for your home and while they may not be able to provide urgent help, you can have peace of mind knowing that help is on the way.

When all else fails, you can count on a professional locksmith to help you get back to your home. Pasting the contact details of a local emergency locksmith into your phone saves time when you are locked out and don’t have an internet connection.

Emergency locksmiths will immediately send a specialist on site so that you don’t stay in the cold for long. You can open your lock or replace a damaged lock with a new model to keep it safe.

If you are concerned about the condition of your lock or have had the same house lock for some time, consider calling a locksmith for a non-urgent appointment. This saves you the cost of an emergency call and allows them to fix minor issues before they become full problems so you don’t get locked out.