Locked out? The keys to getting back in.

13 Aug

You’d think this is the kind of thing you’d only do once, but I’ve done this three or four times since moving to New York (always in sweaty gym clothes, or at 3 a.m., or when my roommates are out of town). None of my previous abodes had a door that locked behind me, but in New York, this is pretty common — and probably safer. Here are some simple preventatives and solutions:

• If you’re not the leaseholder, ask the person who is if it’s OK if you give a copy of your keys to a friend. (Some roommates, like mine, are touchy about this.)

• If you don’t have someone you trust to keep a copy of your keys, call local locksmiths and find out what it’ll run you if you have to use their services. It’ll serve as a sobering reminder of what this mistake costs — and keep in mind they’ll probably charge more for late nights and weekends.

• When choosing a copy-of-your-keys friend, make sure it’s someone accessible. This is not always the person you’re closest with — I have a lot of friends who, more often than not, don’t answer their phones. Pick someone who doesn’t shut their phone off at night and lives in your area.

• Check with the super on his or her weekend/late-night availability. (Because isn’t this ALWAYS when you get locked out?)

• Call a friend and see if you can crash for the night. Many drug stores are open 24 hours if you’re desparate for a toothbrush (and if you’ve been out, you probably have at least a couple bucks on you to buy one).

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