Row houses in Washington, DC

Locked out of your house? What are your options?

In Episode 4, Act II of Breaking Bad, the drama starring Bryan Cranston as Walter White, a teacher turned drug lord. White’s wife, Skyler drives to Walt’s apartment. When no one answers the door, she decides to call a locksmith, Adam,

The locksmith arrives, but of course (since she’s actually breaking in) she has no ID – or any proof – that she actually lives in the house. She claims her purse was stolen.

The locksmith (quite realistically) states that he can’t just open the door for her without proof she lives there. She has her baby with her, and in a ruse (most of the characters in the show have a keen sense of deception) she goes into a panic, even handing her baby to the locksmith as she feigns a panic attack.

The locksmith, submits to the pressure, and illegally let her inside

What stops people from calling locksmiths to open other people’s property?

This raises an interesting question. What can you do if you are locked out of your house and do not have an ID with you?

Prepare Proof of Ownership

  • Have your ID and proof of residency (mail addressed to you) ready when the locksmith comes.
  • Provide a copy of the lease.
  • If your ID is locked in, ask a neighbor to come over and vouch for you.
  • We can look you up on the county property records to verify the name of the owner, then provide an ID when we are onsite matching that name.
  • If you’ve just purchased the home, and don’t have a key, a closing statement will work.
  • Sometimes we give the benefit of the doubt. There was a case when an elderly person was locked out in their PJ’s early in the morning when going out to smoke. They were let it, and provided their ID once access was provided.
  • If you have no other solution, call the police to sort it out.

If you aren’t the home or building owner, but you have permission from the owner to get services from a locksmith, you will need a letter of authorization and proof of ownership for the listed owner. Without this authorization, locksmiths cannot provide you with services. While it might seem like a challenge to get all this documentation together, it’s also very important for locksmiths to have standards for proving ownership.

Without these strict rules, more people would be at risk of scams from people who claim to own property that is not theirs and take advantage of locksmiths to access homes, businesses and vehicles like in the scene described in “Breaking Bad”.

Realize that as a locksmith we cannot legally permit any stranger to call us and give them access to your home even if the stranger is you.

Once you have gained entry to your home, consider installing a keypad lock. This type of lock requires you to enter a 4 number combination and you can easily change it whenever you need to.

Consider a Keypad

A keypad is great when you have school aged children who arrive home before you. In the past we would leave a key with a neighbor. Often the neighbor was out.

The children were often left on the front door step until we arrived home.

Some families hide a spare key. The hidden key puts your home at risk of break-ins.

If you are a smoker and like to smoke outdoors, a keypad is a great solution.

Do you leave your home in the morning to fetch the newspaper? It’s easy to get locked out in your bath robe.

A keypad lock is a reliable and secure solution.

If you are locked out or in need of a keypad for your home, please call Keypad Locksmith LLC at 204-205-9039 or book an appointment for your non-emergency needs.

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