Locking your keys in your car is never ideal, but if your car is running, it can be even worse. Luckily, there are tips that can help you deal with the situation. Here's what you need to do.
1. Keep the car in your sight.
If your car is running and no one is in it, it's almost an invitation to thieves. As the engine purrs, it says, "Take me. There is no one watching me, and the keys are right here in the ignition." To prevent the risk that a thief breaking your window and stealing the car, keep it in your line of sight if possible.
2. Break into the car in case of emergency.
In some cases, however, you need to break into your own car. If you have a pet or a baby in the car and the AC is off, remember that hot temperatures outside your car can quickly translate to stifling interior temperatures that can be deadly, and you should break a window if this is the case. Similarly, if your car is in neutral on a slope, you also may want to break in so that it doesn't roll away and get damaged or hurt someone.
3. Do not leave the car running for a long period of time.
If you are not worried about theft and you want to go home to get your spare keys, that may work. However, you need to be careful about how long you leave your car running. If it runs out of gas, it will stop, but as the keys are still engaged in the ignition, your battery may die. Then, when you return with your keys, you'll be able to open the door, but you won't be able to start it.
However, if you have ample amounts of gas, you live relatively close, and the fumes aren't bothering anyone, you may have enough time to run home and grab your spare key.
4. Contact a locksmith.
For the fastest and best solution, you should call a locksmith. These professionals can help you get into your car without damaging the windows or the locks. In many cases, you can also find emergency locksmiths who can get to your location as quickly as possible -- that is ideal if, for example, your pet is in the car, and it's not that hot, but you still want to rescue him as quickly as possible.