Your key is just like your PC password. It’s what stands between your home and burglars. If your key is in the hands of the wrong folks, then your entire home and belongings in it are in the hands of the wrong folks. You should shield those precious pieces of metal with almost the same energy banks shield money in the bank.
As homeowners, it’s our responsibility to keep our keys safely. Losing or misplacing these keys are problems that we are all faced with. Those tiny, little, shiny metals are small enough to miss. This is where your spare keys get handy. Spare keys, although a perfect Plan B when you are locked out or misplaced your key, can also pose a really high threat to you if misplaced.
The question is, where and how can you safely hide your spare keys so that it doesn’t become the access key to burglars? Remember, your spare key should be accessible to you alone. It should only be in use when the main key is missing. We’ve computed some handy lists of do’s and don’ts to guide you not to sever the balance.
Let’s usher them in!
1. Do hide the key in a secure location
This is the very first do’s. Your key is a private property. When typing in your passwords, don’t you look around to check if someone is shoulder surfing on you? You should also be that delicate about securing your keys.
When hiding your spare keys, you should hide it in a place that won’t be easy to locate by someone that doesn’t know where to look. It should be a blind spot.
2. Do keep it out of sight
Keeping your key in a place that exposes it is a wrong move. It should be in a blind spot . Try something outside the box. Consider hiding the key inside a mailbox or behind a fence post. Although those are still a bit risky, yet still more reasonable than under the doormat. This risk can be mitigated though. A mailbox with a lock or a fence post that is not easily accessible could be safer options.
3. Give it to a trusted neighbor
I’m putting a huge emphasis on trust. You just can’t survive as an island. Sometimes you need friends or acquaintances to come through for you. Give your spare to your most trusted neighbor. When you are locked out of your house, then is the time for them to come through for you.
Not only that, having your spare keys gives them an unintentional responsibility of keeping their eyes on your properties when you are away. It will also strengthen your relationship with them. But remember, the neighbor must first earn your trust. You wouldn’t want your friendship to end in court.
1. Don’t hide keys in obvious hiding locations
Experienced burglars have marked some locations as spare keys hiding locations. Don’t keep your spare keys in places like that. Locations like under the doormat, potted plant or on top of door frames. Those places have become so popular and probably the first places intruders check when in search of your key. Instead, go for locations outside the box because burgles will think inside the box.
2. Don’t leave keys out in the open
What’s the point of having keys if you leave them in positions where everyone can see them? It defeats the entire idea. If your spare key is in locations that anyone passing by can see, then you are putting your properties on the red line.
Just as how bones are to dogs. That’s how these keys are to burglars. The key attracts them. Avoid leaving them in open spaces like a windowsill or carelessly dropping it around the house. Always make sure these keys are hidden, even if it’s in places that are difficult to access.
3. Don’t hide keys close to the door
Leaving your spare keys close to the door is a horrible idea. Burglars have this already built up mentality that homeowners definitely leave spare keys close to their door. So taking off their guess is a guide to help you think outside the box. It should be a bit further away from the door, but still accessible.
4. Don’t use obvious key holders
Using key holders isn’t an exactly wrong move. But you have to do it smartly. If you are opting for this, then make sure you don’t use an obvious key holder. Because that’s like using a sign board to announce hey, my spare key is just at this point. Fake rocks or magnetic key holders are sign boards for burglars to easily spot your keys. Instead, choose a holder that’s unique and not known for keys.
5. Don’t tell just any friend where you hid the key
It may be tempting to tell your friends where the key is hidden In case they need to use it. That may be a wrong move. See it this way: the only set of people that you must/can tell are the set of people that you can give your credit card pin or password to some sensitive document and still have a peace of mind. Anyone that doesn’t meet this requirement, is a no-no.
Neighbor Key Swap
What is it all about?
The downside with giving your key to your neighbor is that, your neighbor needs to always be around when you need the spare. But this strategy helps defend against that downside. It’s a safe strategy and an effective one too.
The strategy is all about, having a swap of spare keys with your most trusted neighbor and then keeping the key in your most preferred location – under the mat, door frames, potted plants, it doesn’t matter. Just keep it wherever you love. And your neighbor does the same. You can only imagine how confused a burglar will be after happily picking up the key under your mat, but it doesn’t match with the door. Just make sure your key doesn’t have a clue that links to your house.
The Best Alternative
The world is advancing and technology is making things easier. It’s now possible to have a home, without having a key. Smart lock is the solution.
With smart locks, you wouldn’t have to work around with keys or have to pass through the stress of locating the best hiding locations for your key. They use access codes in place of keys.
All you need to do is to give your access codes to your kids, family, house sitter, and everyone that needs daily access. You could even control the locking and unlocking with your smart devices.