Can you guess what the most common reason is I’m called to help someone with a lockout on the Gold Coast? Most people guess “got drunk and lost keys, left keys at work, keys in car et cetera”.
Whilst these certainly are common reasons the winner by far is the automatic closing and locking door. Not your traditional kind… like the spring hinge on a fly screen door. Not even one that is supposed to automatically close and lock. Just a normal everyday door for some reason has a tendency to close itself (hung incorrectly, the wall has moved, etc) and the door has a self-locking deadlock on it so once sharp requires a key to open.
Most people are very aware that they have a self-closing, self-locking door and are usually very careful about not leaving their homes without their keys. The problem is those moments of unexpected emergency where all thought of “have I got my keys” seems unimportant compared with.” Johnny is on his way to catch the bus and has forgotten his saxophone and it’s saxophone lesson day at school today I better rush out with it or he won’t be able to do his lesson and I will waste my money.”
That was just one of the scenarios that resulted in a visit from me to a forlorn homeowner who I found sitting on their front porch. I hope Johnny really appreciated his saxophone lessons that day – they ended up being a little more expensive than planned.
Other similar locked-out incidents:
- El Poocho bolted out the front door and chase after a yapping poodle being walked in front of El Poocho’s house. Out runs his owner to the rescue throwing all caution to the wind… And quite forgetting the wind of a speedy exit from the front house had a tendency to cause the front door to close behind the person making the hasty exit. I’m not quite sure of why the urgency to prevent the fight. El Poocho is a Chihuahua and the poodle was a miniature so it would have been a battle of mouselike proportions. I’m not sure what was funnier – the tale as told by my new client of the battle she prevented or the “beware of the dog” sign on the front gate.
- Mr. Green’s recycling machine rushed out with the recycling at the last minute having forgotten recycling pickup day was today and the recycling truck was fast approaching. You’ll be happy to know he managed to get his bag of recycling in the wheelie bin and the bin out onto the road in time… but he was not fast enough to make it back to his front door which closed half a second before he reached it.
- A rather optimistic ice cream delivery man was doing the rounds midwinter late in the afternoon and somehow tempted my new client with his song of Greensleeves promising a sweet and delicious cool and creamy treat… I’m not sure how sweet the taste was when my new client realised he’d done the Harry Holt after the ice cream truck without his keys and once again… Automatic unexpected self-closing and the self-locking front door get in on the act.
At least he hadn’t forgotten his wallet. It would have been a tragedy to run after the ice cream truck, not have any money for the ice cream, and return home to get said wallet only to realise that only was he locked out and in need of a locksmith. As fast as I am to my client’s rescue – I couldn’t have got there before Mr. Whippy whipped off.
So what to do about that self-locking, self-closing door that is just not supposed to close?
Several ways you can address it but the easiest is to take the hinge pins out and bend them slightly.