What To Do If You’ve Lost Your Keys
What should you do once you realize you have misplaced your car, home or another key? Everyone has lost a key at one time or another. They are small, slide to back of cluttered drawers, fall out of pockets and purses and slip out of hands easily. If you have lost your keys, don’t panic. There are a number of things that can be done to get the lock open and/or operating. With a new set of keys in your hands, you’ll be all set.
What you don’t want to do is get frustrated. Remain calm. Though you’ll be stressed when you can’t find the key, don’t make matters worse by trying to get in yourself. You’re just going to damage the door or lock and spend more money in the long run. Here are some steps to take if you’ve lost your keys.
What to do When You’ve Lost Your Car Keys
If you don’t have a key for an automobile, the service you need is called a “Car key origination.” Your local locksmith can make a key to the car that will operated the doors and the ignition. They also handle car FOBs and remotes. You, in most cases, do not need a dealer to perform this work, and a locksmith will do the key origination on site at your location. Check out all of the automotive services offered by locksmiths.
Step #1: Gather Information about your Vehicle
You’ll need some information about your vehicle in order to have new keys made. Typically, this is the year, the make, and the model of the vehicle. An example would be “2010 Toyota Tundra”. You may also need a VIN number, which is a unique identifier to your specific vehicle. It’s located on the front of the dashboard on the driver’s side near the bottom of the windshield; you can usually see it looking through the windshield from the outside.
This information is also usually listed on your insurance card, for easy reference, and it should also appear on the car title. If you don’t have these documents, you may be able to obtain the information by phone to the companies or governing agencies that provide them.
You will also need proof that you are the owner of the car before any credible locksmith will let you in. The insurance card, registration, or title will usually be enough to prove you have a right to have a key made for the car.
Step #2: Contact Your Insurance
Call the emergency number of your insurance company as soon as you realize the keys are lost. Depending on your policy, it may be possible to make a claim for all or part of the cost of replacing your lock car keys. The insurance firm may also choose to recommend a local locksmith service that offers car key origination.
In most cases insurers, and agencies such as AAA, will cover a portion of the cost (typically the first $100) of the auto key origination, and you will cover whatever portion remains.
Step #3: Contact a Local Locksmith to Make a New Car Key
Replacing the keys of your car will usually require you to look for a reputable locksmith. An automotive dealer may also provide the service but a locksmith will save you money. Additionally, the locksmith will come to your vehicle to make the keys (which is required on most modern vehicles because the keys contain electronics that must be programmed to the car in order for the engine to run).
Tips on Selecting an Auto Locksmith to Replace Your Car Keys:
A certified locksmith is an expert that has undergone the right training in order to acquire a legal license as well as certification in their area. By entrusting a genuine locksmith with your vehicle key replacement needs, you can be sure your car will have a key made by a professional that will offer secure and safe services. Many auto locksmiths also provide emergency services during extended hours, even 24 hours.
The best time to find a qualified auto locksmith is before you need one. By locating a good locksmith service and having the number saved in your phone now, you will have avoided the extra time to do so when you need them. Look for locksmiths who are:
- Licensed to operate in your area and registered with any governing agencies
- Highly rated in reviews that express positively on their company and employees
- An A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- A member of The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA)
When you’re satisfied that you’ve selected a professional, reputable locksmith who is in your area, save their phone number in your phone or wallet. You’ll be glad you have it if you need it. Add ACME Locksmith to your phone now. 480-380-2263.
What to do When You’ve Lost Your House Keys
Step #1: Check for Alternative Entry
Once you arrive at home and realize you have lost your house keys, the first thing to do should be trying to look for another way to access the home. Check to see if any of the doors on your home have been left open, you may get lucky.
If your garage door has one of those emergency release cords (which we strongly urge you to cut – see video below), this could easily be your way in.
Step #2: Locate a Spare
If you find every door in your home locked, start figuring out if there is an area you might have placed any spare keys. Did you keep a spare key in your wallet? Did you give a spare key to a neighbor or friend or house-sitter? Do your grown children or other relatives have key copies? Perhaps you hid one nearby previously?
If you hadn’t thought about it before, there are a couple of good products that allow you to hide a spare key relatively safely. It may be a good time to order one now. If you use these, products, use them far away from the door that the key opens. Criminals look in the immediate vicinity of the door when searching for spare keys.
One is a sprinkler hide-a-key. It gets buried in the yard and looks just like a regular sprinkler head. Amazon has the best pricing on this item.
Another is the rock hide-a-key. This is great for us that live in the desert. It blends right into the landscape and when placed in the backyard goes completely unnoticed. Also sold on Amazon.
Lastly, once you are back in your home this time, you could consider upgrading to an electronic deadbolt (or smart lock). That way you are never locked out. Check out our Recommended Electronic Deadbolts article.
Step #3: Call a Locksmith
If nothing has been left open, and you don’t have a spare, then call your local locksmith. Use the tips listed above, if you haven’t already, to pick a locksmith who is trained, registered, licensed and in good standing to come help you gain access, and make a new key. Click our phone number to add ACME Locksmith to your phone now. 480-380-2263.
If you have common door locks, a certified locksmith will be able to get you into the home without damaging any of your locks and they will do this by picking the lock. Scam locksmiths will tell you the lock needs to be drilled and replaced, when it doesn’t. Or they will try to get you into the home by air-wedging the door. This can cause damage to the door frame and is only used by an unskilled “locksmith.”
There is one exception to the lock picking ability of a locksmith. If your locks have a tiny little second hole right next to the key hole, they will likely need to be drilled by almost all local locksmiths. This is a smart key, wafer-based lock system by Kwikset. It can be very difficult to pick.
What to do When You’ve Lost Some Other Type of Key
The good news is that keys can be made to nearly everything, and when you are able to bring the item you’ve lost the key for into a lock shop, it is very affordable to make keys for it. Locksmith can make keys to the following and more….
- Tool box keys
- Hope chest keys
- Padlock keys
- Candy machine and soda machine keys
- Check out some cool items we’ve made keys for recently.
Stop Losing Keys – Technology That Will Help You Find Your Keys
Technology is great, and there are been several products released lately that will help you find your lost keys. Key Finders, also known as electronic finders or key locators, are tiny electronic gadgets utilized to recover lost or misplaced key sets. The prime role of key finders is to eliminate the time period involved in trying to locate lost or misplaced keys or other personal belongings.
Different types of key finders have different features to help you locate your lost or misplaced keys quickly.
Our Favorite Key Finder Products to Help You Find Your Keys Fast:
Bluetooth Key Finders
Check these out on Amazon
Bluetooth key finders are some of the coolest. They are paired to an app on your phone. They can be used on your key ring or any other item you want to keep track of (backpacks, purses, etc…)
Using a Bluetooth key finder is more advantageous than other categories of key finders since the linkage between the smartphone and key finder is reciprocal. This means that the phone can be used to find the Bluetooth finder but emitting an audible alarm, but the Bluetooth finder can also be used to find your lost phone! This is usually done be pressing on one of the finders, and it will cause your phone to ring (even if it is on silent mode).
Another advantage of Bluetooth key finders is that your phone will know where you were the last time the phone and the tag were together. So if you lost it some place and have since changed locations you can go back to the spot of the last known location to look.
But what if someone has walked off with it? Should anyone that has also downloaded the Bluetooth finder app come near your lost key finder, you will be notified on your app of that location.
Check these out on Amazon! Highly recommended.
Radio Frequency Key Finder
Radio frequency key finders have an associated transmitter with several buttons attached on it. Once any of the transmitter buttons is pressed, it will produce a radio signal which triggers an alarm on the key finder. When using a radio frequency key finder to track your lost keys, you will not need a smartphone, internet connectivity, or an app in order to utilize it.
RF signals will penetrate walls within a house of up to about 100 feet.
Disclosure: As an eBay / Amazon / Alibaba Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.
ACME Locksmith is Arizona’s #1 Rated Locksmith Service. We have been in business for over years and we have serviced over 100,000 customers.
- Over 1900 5-Star Rated, Verifiable Arizona Customer Reviews
- Super Service Award Winner Eight Years Running
- Selected as an Angie List Phoenix-Best Contractor
- BBB International Marketplace Excellence Award Finalist
- BBB Ethics Award Winner – The Only Locksmith to Ever Win this Award