So, you’ve somehow managed to get locked out of your house. Maybe you left your dog inside or your dinner on the stove. Your first instinct is probably to panic, but now is not the time. Take a deep breath, then try these tips and tricks to unlock your door with a minimum of time and trouble.

Break Out Your Backup Key

Clearly, an extra key could solve everything. Perhaps you have one hidden under your welcome mat, inside a flowerpot, in your car’s glove compartment or another convenient location. Or, did you entrust your key to a neighbor? If you simply don’t have or can’t find your spare key, it’s time for Plan B.

A Bit of B and E

Breaking into your own home is a strange feeling, but sometimes it’s the best way. If your front door is off-limits, you may attempt to gain access by a back door or unsealed side entrance, where one exists. As a last resort, you can climb in through a first-floor window, assuming there’s a fair chance for a smooth landing.

If you live in an apartment on a higher level, your only option is to call the landlord or property manager to unlock your unit with their key. However, in time-sensitive circumstances, you must move on to more drastic measures.

Amateur Lock-Picking

Generally, lock-picking should be left to professionals. In a crisis, though, there are certain ways to work a lock without causing damage. Doors with handles instead of knobs can be quickly sprung using the classic credit card trick, provided you have one handy.

Otherwise, a lockout emergency lets you find out who your friends are. Hopefully, someone will lend you a hand and some tools to jimmy your lock, or at least a safety pin.

Ask the Experts

When your resources have reached their limit, you’ve got to bring in the big guns. Certified locksmith services Orlando are the specialists you need, and many have technicians on-call 24/7. Combining expert experience with tailor-made tools, a licensed locksmith will have you back in your house ASAP. While a professional is present, inquire about having your keys copied for next time, or better yet, installing a keyless entry system so this never happens again.

Even the best of us can be locked out of our homes. Luckily, with a little rational thought, this problem is easily solved. The real trick is to keep calm and know how to handle the situation when it happens.