I had another funny job today seems like I’m on a bit of a roll. My latest client (Marc from Geelong…. got permission to use his real name for a change, most wan’t to keep things a bit quiet). Marc is a bit of a finance whiz, managing a mortgage broker business in Geelong, and was was staying in an apartment booked via AirB&B.
He rang me and rather sheepishly explained that he was both locked out AND locked in his apartment.
The apartment he was staying in was of a particular design where the balconies were fairly close together and an enterprising thief with no fear of heights would be able to move from balcony to balcony accessing the apartments through the balcony door.
Aware of this, the owner of the apartment had installed and automatically closing balcony door that was also self locking. Equally aware that this might strand tenants who would very likely leave their keys inside the apartment when going out onto the balcony the owner had placed an emergency backup key to the balcony door in a key safe that was affixed to the balcony wall. Sounds pretty foolproof right? Well so much. My new client had already previously locked himself on the balcony and whilst he been able to retrieve the spare key in that instance forgotten to put it back in the key safe and he could see it sitting tantalisingly close yet ever so far away on the living room table.
Apparently he considered hopping from balcony to balcony himself to try and find a way out this solution opposed to problems.
- He was neither spry nor brave and the balcony hopping was going to require generous amounts of both as the apartment was on the 4th floor.
- Even if he managed to get out of the apartment this way he still wouldn’t be able to get in as he had no keys to get in the front door. The owner of the apartment this had not supplied him with an emergency contact to retrieve a spare set of keys so he was well and truly stuck and in need of a Locksmith.
Luckily, he had his phone with him and soon he had me on the phone.
I attended the apartment and waved to my new client on the balcony and then started pressing apartment intercom buzzes hoping that the beautiful sunny weather had resulted in everyone making their way down to the beach. I found someone willing to buzz me in without even asking who I was (fairly typical – please don’t think are locked apartment main front door provides you with any security – it doesn’t).
I made my way to the fourth floor was inside the apartment in under a minute and had my embarrassed new client back in from the balcony a few seconds later. Though we had no ID linking him to the property he was able to show me is air B&B booking details proving he had a right to be on the premises.
All’s well that ends well. Certainly it was an embarrassing situation and a bit of a financial nuisance for this fellow is far better to call a locksmith and suffer a few seconds of embarrassment and a small financial outlay than take a risk with your life clambering across apartment balconies.
These sorts of things happen more often than you might think, though more often punters are trying to get back into their apartment via the balcony.