Almost everyone has been locked out of their home at least once. If this should ever happen to you (and you cannot obtain a spare key from a neighbour or relative), here are two steps you should take.

Call a locksmith

The first thing you should do is call an emergency locksmith to replace the lock and enable you to get into your home. Emergency locksmiths are usually available 24 hours a day and as such, you probably won't have to wait very long for them to arrive on the scene and resolve the issue.

If you're on a budget and don't want to spend money on a locksmith, you might be tempted to try to gain entry to your house in some other way (by, for example, attempting to climb in through an open upper-floor window). This is not a sensible idea and is likely to make the situation far more stressful than it needs to be.

Firstly, unless you are a particularly adept climber, you could quite easily end up falling during your attempt to scale the wall; this could result in a serious head or back injury.

Secondly, if a passer-by spots you acting suspiciously, they might decide to call the police to report a potential burglary. This could be a very embarrassing and distressing experience.

Make additional copies as soon as possible

To ensure that you do not find yourself in this type of situation a second time, it is important to make copies of the new keys your locksmith provides you with as soon as possible.

Make sure to give some careful thought to who you give these spare keys to. If you have a neighbour nearby whom you trust, then you may feel that you can give them a key. However, do bear in mind that whilst your neighbour might be completely trustworthy, they may live or associate with unscrupulous people. As such, you should only offer them a spare key if you feel certain that both they and other members of their household are honest people.

Alternatively, you can purchase a device designed to store your key safely outdoors. These storage devices are made to blend in seamlessly with the outdoor environment; you can choose from designs such as tree branches and rocks.

Do not be tempted to leave your key in a common hiding place, such as underneath a plant pot by the front door or along the top of the door frame, as these are the first places that burglars search for keys when trying to get into a property.