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Don't let your Christmas party turn into a home security nightmare

3rd December 2017

“Snow is falling… All around me…” Okay, well actually it isn’t but any excuse to dust off the Shakin’ Stevens impression. To be fair, we did have a couple of very snow showers this week, but not enough to build even the most rudimentary of snowmen, and certainly not enough for a Wham! Christmas video. But it’s enough to remind us we’re not all that far away from the festive season. Admittedly, the Christmas adverts, songs and products that have been in the shops since October might have already given that away but dammit, I’m trying to be poetic here and focussing on the snow. 

As well as disappointingly brief snowfall, this will also bring with it a host of social occasions and parties. If you’re lucky (or unlucky in the case of office parties) to be invited out to one of these do’s, you’ll no doubt be looking forward to some partying, celebrating and eating. Added to that, may be a copious amount of drinking. And that is relevant to what I’m talking about today.

How alcohol can impact home security

You might be wondering about the connection between drinking and home security. I’ll get on to that in a second but before that, let me put on my Stephen Fry hat and impart just a little bit of science. Alcohol relaxes the body which is its appeal to many, but it also dampens down the ability of our brains neurotransmitters to impart information. This affects the part of the brain that keeps you in check and explains why we often feel uninhibited when drunk and do things we wouldn’t’ normally dream of doing.  Our co-ordination is also affected and our ability to carry out simple physical tasks is impeded. Not only that, but alcohol worsens our mental judgement and decision making. This rather helps you realise why we have laws about not drinking and driving. 

Continual drinking, even after experiencing these symptoms leads to more serious symptoms – vomiting, anxiety, blacking out, amnesia, and reading Katie Hopkins’ newspaper column. And no-one needs the shame of that. But this isn’t a health blog, so instead let’s see how the less serious symptoms can impact on the security of your home. 

A night out drinking can frequently end up in disaster if you’re not careful with the arrangements you make for getting back in your house. Excessive alcohol consumption will increase the chance of you ending up locked out. Being stranded out in the street is never ideal, but in the winter temperatures even less so. 

How does this come about? Well it’s often despite the best of intentions. Nights out can entail friends swapping keys (no, not in the wife swapping way!) so that at the end of the night neither party can give in to the temptation of trying to drive themselves home whilst over the limit. As such, it’s not a bad plan. However, make sure the person who has your key is someone that you’re not likely to get separated from during the night. Also, ensure it’s someone you know well and not a chap or chapess you’ve only met that night, have professed they’ll be “your best friend forever...because I really love you…man…” only to immediately lose track of them between pubs. You don’t want to arriving home only to find on searching your pockets, that your key is in the pocket of someone whose identity you can no longer remember and who you’re never likely to see again. 

If you arrive home to find that you’re locked out the best thing you can do is call out an emergency locksmith. You’d expect me to say that, of course, but trust me on this, it’s true. What you shouldn’t do, emboldened by the confidence that only alcohol can bring, is think that now is the time to test out your own lockpicking skills. In the same way we have a drink drive limit, I half think there should be a drink locksmithing limit. Because drunken lockpicking is almost certainly going to make things worse, leaving you with a snapped key, a broken lock, or damaged door mechanism. Even worse, some people will try to barge through their door, leaving them with either a door damaged beyond repair, or a shoulder requiring emergency medical treatment. You can get around these risks by always having an emergency locksmith’s number saved in your phone. After all, trying to google for the best local locksmith when you can’t even see straight is never going to be the simplest of tasks. 

As I mentioned earlier, drink has quite the effect on hand-eye co-ordination. Be aware that at the end of a night out, the seemingly simple task of inserting the key in to your lock takes on all sorts of added complications. If you have a set of keys and try the wrong one when sober, this is easily fixed and you simply try a different one. The drunk you, however, seems to take the non-fitting of the key as an insult and tries again and again to make the key fit, again resulting in damage being caused to your lock and possible snapping of the key. 

Assessing the damage

On to the morning after the night before, and what if you wake up to find that whilst you did manage to eventually get in the house, you did so at the expense of your lock, damaging it in the process. I realise you’ll still be slightly bleary-eyed, but your first port of call should be a locksmith. A damaged lock mechanism leaves your house vulnerable to burglars. Get a locksmith out as soon as possible to resolve the problem before it gets even worse. We’re a pretty non-judgemental bunch and you can always lie to us about how the lock got damaged. 

As an early (and admittedly cheap for me!) Christmas present, let me leave you with a few tips of how you can reduce the chances of a night out leading to a lockout.  

  1. Make sure you have people who you know and trust around you when you drink. It makes it far easier to track down your keys at the end of the night. 
  2. Line your stomach! If you’re planning on having a few drinks, have a meal beforehand. It’ll slow down the alcohol absorption and make its impact on your judgement not so severe. 
  3. Save an emergency locksmith’s phone number in your mobile. This goes for everyone, to be honest. You may never need it, but if you do you’ll be glad you’d thought of it. 
  4. Let the designated driver look after your keys. If you’ve got someone to take you home at the end of the evening, ask them to hang on to your key too. Then you know they’re in sober and safe hands.  

Well this will be the last blog of 2017. I hope you’ve found some of the output this year useful. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers and customers the happiest of Christmases and all the best for 2018. For any lock repairs or replacements over the festive period and beyond, please contact me on 07990 573857



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