Locked Out Of Your Home With Your Toddler Inside? What Are Your Quick Access Options?

If you're the parent of a toddler, you're probably already aware of the speed with which your child can get into trouble when your back is turned -- and nothing can cause your blood to run cold more than hearing the "click" of a door lock turning and leaving you outside alone. Those with younger children may find their pleas to turn the door lock aren't understood, while older children who are feeling mischievous may simply ignore your knocks at the door. What are your options for quick access to your home if your child has purposely (or even inadvertently) locked you out? Read on to learn more about your options in this situation, as well as what you can do to prevent your child from successfully locking you out in the future.

How can you quickly gain access to your home after a toddler lockout?

Although this may seem obvious, before taking any drastic steps to ensure access to your home (like breaking a window) you'll want to ensure all doors and windows are truly inaccessible. In some cases, you may be able to slide an unlocked window up from the outside. While you're doing this, you'll want to contact an emergency locksmith -- even if you wind up being able to gain access on your own before help arrives, having a locksmith on the way can provide you with a good Plan B if you find yourself stymied by other options.

If you have access to your home's garage or a neighbor's shed of power tools, you may be able to use a drill to destroy the lock to gain access. Using several sizes of drill bits (going from smallest to largest) and focusing on the handful of tumbler pins within the lock can destroy the locking plug and let your door swing right open. While this process may wind up rendering your doorknob unusable, drilling your lock will likely be your fastest-acting option and can allow you inside before your toddler causes much damage or becomes frightened.  

Some doorknob locks are so solidly constructed that drilling may not be a viable option. If this is the case, and if an emergency locksmith isn't available, you'll need to call the police or local fire department for assistance. You may be tempted to break a window -- but for homes with relatively new storm windows this could be a much harder task than anticipated, and may wind up frightening your child. Hard as it may be, it's better to wait for professional assistance.

What should you do to ensure you'll be able to get into your home in the future?

Once you've experienced a lockout -- even an easily resolved one -- you'll want to take measures to prevent this from ever happening again. Your first step should be to have several copies of your house key made. You should be able to purchase several unobtrusive and secure key-holders that will help you keep extra keys in your vehicle or just outside your home without making yourself vulnerable to break-ins. 

As a way to fully cover yourself, you may also want to purchase a small emergency glass-breaking device to be kept in your vehicle. These devices usually come with an attached blade that can be used to cut away your seat belt in an emergency, and the sharp hammer should be able to break even the tempered or safety glass used in double-paned storm windows and car windows and windshields. While you may never need to use this emergency hammer, having one handy could make all the difference when inadvertently trapped by a curious toddler.

For more information about lockouts, contact a company like The Lock Shop.