Many businesses itemize the costs of replacing keys and fixing locks after a business lockout. Here are some tips on what to do when you are locked out of your office.
The quickest fixes for a business lockout include:
- Finding a spare key
- Finding another way in
- Calling an employee or the building manager
- Calling a professional locksmith
Common reasons for getting locked out of the office
The most common reasons are a broken key, a misplaced key, and a broken lock. The first two are similar, except a broken key is a bit worse because it needs to be removed from the lock. Never try to use the broken key in the lock because you’ll end up being locked out longer. A professional locksmith can copy a broken key with ease. However, fixing the broken key won’t be a feasible reentry option.
A misplaced or lost key is the simplest business lockout to solve. You might find it or be able to retrieve it depending on where it is. Even if that doesn’t happen, you have a lot going for you. Your lock is fully functional. All you need is a spare key or to call a locksmith to open the lock.
If your lock is broken, you’re locked out despite having your key. Figuring out the extent of your issue is crucial here. Is the door latch simply stuck, or is the lock completely broken? A stuck latch can be fixed, at least temporarily, in lieu of a longer-term solution.
Look and ask for spare keys
Instead of giving in to panic, think about where you might have left a spare key. People often forget these special hiding places because they never use spare keys. You might have one somewhere at home. An employee or someone else using the office might have one. A coworker might have one if you’re sharing an office. Ask them for their key, and they might comply. Your landlord will definitely have one if you’re renting the office space.
Find another way in
If you’re locked out, it’s probably at the main entrance. Look for other ways in rather than focus on the door that serves as your primary access method. The solution might be as simple as using the adjacent door to the neighboring unit. You might be able to crawl through a small window somewhere or manipulate the panic bar inside a fire escape by accessing a tool under the doorway.
Call an employee or building manager
Try to attract attention if there are other people inside the building. Businesses that invest a lot in security have owners or managers who restrict key access severely. This makes lockouts likelier even though it protects the business from the risk of theft. Statistics show workers pose a greater risk than customers, but hiring employees you can trust with a key is a reliable way to prevent getting locked out of an office for an extensive period of time.
When you call, you might have to insist someone come to help you get in. This is especially the case if you have a lot of work to do that can’t wait. It’s truly a predicament. On the one hand, you don’t want to be pushy or make a bad impression on coworkers, your landlord, or your employees. On the other, it’s simply no good standing there and waiting for a miracle to happen. What’s worse is that not all office buildings have accessible property managers, unlike residential buildings, where you can just contact the onsite super or a janitor. This is why office lockouts are far worse than apartment lockouts.
What not to do
In this situation, best described as being between a rock and a hard place, it’s tempting to lose control and try to force the lock or the door open. It will do more harm than good and rack up business expenses.
For those who know how to use them, paper clips and bobby pins can be helpful DIY locksmithing tools. If you don’t know what to do, it’s best not to try anything with pins and clips, though.
If none of the options outlined so far worked, there’s just one thing left to do:
Call a Professional Locksmith
There’s really just one call to make when you are locked out of your office. That would be to a professional commercial locksmith who has undergone special training to open locks, and not just any locks. Offices and businesses use higher security locks. What’s more, a locksmith can help with any other services you need surrounding the business lockout.
If your lock was broken, a locksmith might be your only option. Someone must open the door before they can replace it when a broken lock causes a lockout. The locksmith will open and replace the door at the same time to avoid compromising on security. You need to ensure the person performs the service properly, so find the best locksmith in your area.
How to prevent future lockouts
There are a few ways to prevent ever getting locked out of your office again. One is to always have a trustworthy person hold a spare key to your office. Additionally, many people get locked out because their office locks are worn out and don’t function optimally anymore. If this is the case, upgrade your locking system.
Business owners or managers who choose to get keypad locks don’t have to carry keys. They control the locks via smartphone apps or customized codes. These so-called smart locks are getting more popular thanks to their reliability and effectiveness. If you have the budget, explore these systems.
Electronic door locks are operated easily and often connect with home security systems, which pair with monitoring points too. The monitoring station can contact an emergency team in serious situations.
Knowing what you can do when you get locked out of your office can give you peace of mind. To be safe, have a reliable locksmith’s number on your phone.