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Years ago, I had a roommate who constantly locked himself out of the house. To have this happen once in awhile is acceptable, but a few times in a month is just an inconvenience. So to avoid the hassle of driving home to let him back in, I decided to hide a key.

dealing with lock outs

dealing with lock outs

There are few problems with this.

First, you have to trust your roommate will put the key back in the hiding spot once the roommate unlocks the door. Otherwise if the roommate gets lazy and just places it on the countertop to “do it later,” it simply gets forgotten and you’re back to square one.

Second, having a hidden key makes it prone for unauthorized entry if the hiding spot gets compromised. Luckily for me, I don’t live in an area prone to crime. So this isn’t a concern to me, but more of a concern to folks living in more urban areas where hiding spots for a key may seem to obvious or hard to come by.


Having a combination lock for the front door would solve the lock out issue. I have thought long and hard about this option, but can’t do this option because the depth of the combination lock would interfere with the storm door handle. To remedy this, I would either have to replace the door or remove the storm door completely. I personally like having a storm door for when the weather is nice.

In the past few years, there have been innovations in automate home technology, one of the leaders is Apple. I’m not an Apple fan, boy, but there technology just works. I have a time capsule to wirelessly automate my back ups on my laptop. It just works.

Apple’s home-kit enabled dead bolt locks offers a solution to the lock out problem.

  • The first one was released a year ago by Schlage. The device is called Schlage smart sense dead bolt. Unlocking the deadbolt “can be done via the iPhone app, through Siri, or through a built-in touchscreen…”, which would enable me or another roommate remotely unlock the front door
  • Kwik recently announced the Premis, the details state that the Premis unlocks deadbolts if it’s paired with a third generation Apple TV or later. If that’s the case, I don’t have an Apple TV nor do I have plans to get one.

I think a keypad combination lock is the most cost effective way to prevent lockouts. I can’t go with it because the keypad interferes with the storm door handle. If you have a keypad lock, how are you finding it? I bet you never had to deal with lock outs. If anyone out there has the Schlage or another Apple Home kit like device to remotely unlock your dead bolt, I would love to hear about it.

photo credit: Kolin Toney

  • Alhadar AHMED TOURE May 27, 2016, 6:08 am

    i am looking home

  • Jackie August 23, 2016, 4:11 pm

    Another solution if you have a garage door opener is get a Liftmaster opener that runs thru your wifi and sends alerts to your phone. This will let you know if anyone is opening your garage door without permission but you can open it to let the renter in remotely than shut the door when they clear the door. This eliminates the security issue of hiding a key


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