Thursday 26 March 2009

Safe as houses

I am currently having one of my working spells and was reminded about this incident, which happened last year while I was having a working spell, when I read this post by Helen P about her recent Friday 13. I am desperately trying not to have a repeat of this incident.

At 8.30 one Friday morning I found myself standing on our front door step feeling a bit stupid and as if I was missing something. Yes, I was missing my keys and I had just locked myself out of the house. Both my car keys and my house keys are on the same ring and were in the key hole on the inside of the door. Initially, I panicked as I thought that I was going to have to spend the day sitting on the door step, waiting for my husband to come home. We have made the house so secure. The side gate is padlocked. We have a burglar alarm and locked double glazed windows. But it was not always this way.

When we first moved in the windows did not lock. They were quite new so we tried to get them repaired, but the company that supplied the windows had gone out of business. So we should have been able to make a claim against the insurance company under the warranty, but when we bought the cottage the vendors had not supplied us with all the information that we need to transfer the policy to ourselves, which all meant that we had to pay to repair the windows. It should have all been so simple but it was going to cost nearly as much to repair the windows as it would to have new windows. Repaired windows would still not be covered by any sort of warranty whereas for not much more we got new windows which locked and are covered by a ten year warranty. Why am I worried about windows locking? Because if your windows do not lock and you are burgled, regardless of how the burglars get in and out, the insurance company will not pay out for your losses. That is why a few years ago when Cilla Black was burgled her insurance company would not pay out. Her windows did not lock!

There was no chance of climbing through a half open window. One of the neighbours had had a spare set of keys until a few weeks before when my husband lost his keys and we had to get the spare set back. But they were out anyway. I was supposed to be on my way to work. I literally had everything that I needed for the day, except my keys. So I used my mobile phone to ring for a taxi to take me to work and phoned my husband to ask him to collect me from work, in the evening. Arriving at work in a taxi prompted a few questions but to my surprise I did arrive on time. And the day which I had thought I was going to spend sitting on the doorstep became a pretty normal day. Now the 'purse' key for my car is in my purse, instead of languishing in my bedside cupboard and there is a spare set of keys to the cottage, hidden in my car.


Maggie May said...

I am a bit fed up of the way insurance firms dodge out of paying up.Do you mean to tell me that the windows have to be locked at all times? Or that they just have to be lockable?
I have left my keys with a trusted neighbour & I have hers. However there is always the chance that she will be out when I need them. Its easier now I have my son with a set as there is more chance of some one being near by if I need them.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, my...recently, my husband was out of town, and I locked myself and my son out...since we are new to the area, I didn't have anyone I could call on...but did have my mobile phone...called a son complained of boredom, but otherwise, no fallout from my adventure...I'm so thankful for mobile phones! Now, I've hidden a key...Like you, I'm a quick study :-)

Helen P said...

My lovely neighbour opposite has a little basket full of keys that belong to the rest of us idiots who keep locking ourselves out. As I sit in my eyrie in my bedroom typing away I see a steady stream of children coming home from school, knocking on their own door and when they realise their parents aren't in and they haven't got a key themselves they knock on my lovely neighbour's door who offers the basket for you to fish a key out of. The problem comes when our neighbour isn't in...

Suburbia said...

Always a constant fear, that of locking the children and myself out of the house and car (all keys on one ring!)My mum has a spare set but she lives nearly an hour away!

Gilly said...

Oh gosh! I did that only the other week! All ready to take the dog to be clipped, he was bounding about on a lead, car locked, outside, shut front door - and where were my keys? On hall table! Windows all shut, and double glazed too. Went over road to borrow a screwdriver to see if I could force garage door and get in house that way. No luck. So neighbour rings locksmith, rushes down road to find him before he goes out, comes back glowing and says hunky man will be here soon. Sit making polite conversation, with dog wondering what on earth is going on. Lovely locksmith arrives, drills out lock, puts in new one, and hey presto! I can get in, plus new keys etc. Too late to clip dog, so we go for walk, WITH KEYS IN POCKET! And a shiney new lock to bamboozle husband when he comes home and finds his key doesn't work!!!

French Fancy... said...

Thank goodness you has your phone on you - and charged and with credit. It does sound like a potentially nightmare situation that was averted though.

Insurance out here is much cheaper and doesn not have half the regulations that the UK seem to have - mind you we've not claimed for anything yet - I'm going by the grapevine gossip

Anonymous said...

I think this is every ones nightmare could have been a lot worse so thak heavens for that.

Akelamalu said...

If there's a loophole to get out of paying you and insurance company will know it! :(

Our son has a spare key to our house and he only lives 30 minutes away.

Rob-bear said...

Being locked out is a huge nuisance. Fortunately, both of our children live very close, so we can always assist one another.

I have just come through my own battles with insurers. In this case, a company whose share values have fallen from $40 to about $10 during this "recession."

CG said...

I've done that too...oh the awful feeling when you realise what you've done! I once managed to lock the car from the outside while the engine was running...that wasnn't fun either AND it was snowing at the time!

Reasons said...

Oh dear, we all do this type of thing from time to time. Good thing it all worked out OK in the end.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Loved this story and the way you salvaged your day. This is my HUGE fear while the hubby is away. I am famous for locking my keys in places, and lucky me, I've managed to move into a place where the front door will lock you out if you step out for a minute.

Maybe I could post you a copy for emergencies? How far is Cheshire from Norwich ;-)

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I always keep spare house keys hid all over the place.
Once I locked myself out of my vehicle, and my granddaughter was locked inside.
That taught me a lesson, from then on, I keep spare keys everywhere. I'll keep that secret to myself though ;)

cheshire wife said...

MM - husband says that windows should be locked when you go out.

Sniffles & Gilly - glad that I did not have to go down the locksmith route as the door was going to be replaced a few weeks later plus new locks.

Helen - yes, the problem is when the neighbour is out and ours seem to be out a lot.

Suburbia - an hour away is better than nothing.

FF - I am not much of a mobile phone user but on this occasion it saved my bacon.

Moanie - it could have been worse. Husband was away Mon-Fri at the time so good job it happened on a Friday.

Akelamalu - insurance companies seem to know all the loop holes.

CG - a few days after this incident I found myself locked inside my car. The doors just would not open using the handles but managed to open them using the battery/electronic key fob.

imbeingheldhostage - we had the problem of self locking doors when we were renting.

I think that Norwich to Chester is too far for an emergency but I have a friend who lives near Norwich maybe she will have your keys?

A Brit - it is good that we learn from our mistakes.

Anonymous said...

A horrible feeling when you're locked out. I've been locked out of my car a few times! The problem is, if someone wants to get into your house so badly they will just smash the window anyway.

CJ xx

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Have done the same a few times CW but was locked in the other day when OH went off with my keys in his pocket. I telephoned him to check and then went out the back way but was unable to set our alarm. Didn't know about window locks etc. A x

Working Mum said...

Glad you were able to be so calm about it.

My best one was when my husband managed to lock me IN the house. He locked the door to the house from the porch and my keys were in my coat pocket in the porch. Had to phone my MIL to let me out!

Jan said...

I've just had a week of you think tis the air in these parts?!

cheshire wife said...

CJ - having someone break into your house is another horrible feeling.

SJA - gone are the days when you could go out and leave doors unlocked and burglar alarms unset.

WM - that's desperate having to call MIL for help!

Jan - may be it is Spring! But this incident happened to me last Winter.