If you lock yourself out of your house or your door won't unlock, there are plenty of things you can try and do to fix the situation. Perhaps there's an open window you can gain access through or someone with a spare key who can come and help you out.
But what if you have the reverse problem; if your door simply refuses to lock?
This is a worrying situation. If you need to leave the house, you'll probably be extremely reluctant to do so and leave your home in an unsecured state. Even if you're not going anywhere, you might feel unsafe without the door locked, as anyone can open it and gain access.
Here are some things to try if you can't get the lock working, but if all else fails, call a locksmith out without delay:
Try a different key
Although it seems obvious, not everyone thinks to try this, especially if the situation is causing them a lot of stress. Even if a key looks fine and slides into the lock without any problems, it could still have developed a fault that prevents it from working, so try a different one just to make sure it's the lock that's the issue.
Lubricate the lock
Often, locks can simply dry out and seize up, which will stop you from being able to turn the key. Try adding some lubricant to it, but make sure you use the right kind. Products like WD-40 will get the lock moving initially, but they can easily clog it up and cause more problems in the long run, so make sure you use one that's designed for locks. Many of them are made from graphite, so if you're stuck at home and don't have any lock lubricant, some graphite carefully shaved from a pencil and blown into a lock can free it.
Check the edges of the door
Carefully look around the entire edge of the door, watching out for any warping or protruding parts that shouldn't be there. It doesn't take much misalignment to stop a lock from working entirely, so take note of any problems that could be easily fixed. Open and close the door a few times and make sure it's fitting properly into place.
Inspect the striker plate
This is the part that the lock's bolt goes into when it's engaged. Make sure it hasn't become bent out of shape, or that anything is lodged in it. If you think this may be the problem, see if you can turn the key and engage the lock with the door open.
Contact key cutting services in your are for more information.