We’ve all seen the television advertisements for those fake “key rocks”, you know, the ones that practically scream out to a burglar “I’m here! I’m right here!” Most home security experts agree that those, along with a few other standard hiding spots are the worst possible places to keep a spare key. If you’re worried that some nefarious character is going to try to break into your shaker style French Doors, here are some Do’s and Don’ts for that spare key you’ve been hiding in the event of an emergency.
Don’t Go for the Obvious
Burglars are typically looking for an easy in and easy out option for home invasion and there are a few obvious places where you should NEVER leave your key.
- Under your welcome mat. It’s practically an invitation to let someone in and go shopping in your personal belongings.
- Taped under a window eave. It only takes a second to run their fingers under there and find it.
- On top of the door. This is the glaring, neon sign of hiding spaces. Don’t do it!
- Under a flower pot. This is just a variation of the welcome mat.
- In your wallet. This is probably the WORST place of all. If a thief steals your wallet they now have your home address and a key to get in. It’s like winning the lottery.
Do Get Creative
Hiding places that take time and thought are the best option for a homeowner that feels the need to have an extra key within reach. Assuming a burglar wants to use stealth to enter a home, your job is to turn finding the extra key into a long and noisy proposition. Here are some good hiding places to consider.
1) With a neighbor.
The best place to hide an extra key to your house is actually in someone else’s house. Swap keys with a trusted friend in your neighborhood and let them know when you’ll be away.
2) On the dog.
A good hiding place for pet owners is on the inside of their dog’s collar. Unless your dog is happy to slobber all over anyone who comes to the door, then it might not be the best option available to you.
3) Under the dog’s house.
This one takes the pet approach one step further. Put your key in a mason jar full of other, similar keys, and drop it in a hole that has been dug into the ground beneath the doghouse. First they have to get past the dog, second they have to find the jar, and thirdly they have to sort through all the keys until they find the right one.
4) In a magnetic lock box under your car.
Burglaries are most common during the middle of the work day-when homeowners are gone. If you take your spare with you, they won’t be able to find it.
5) Use digital keyless electronic entry door knobs
Don’t even bother with a key, just remember the code. No worries about carrying or hiding a key. You can add a dead bolt to this for more security.
Get Smart Locks
Better yet, if you really want to ensure that no one finds your spare key, consider upgrading to an automated lock system for your home. You can access your locks from your smartphone, even if you forgot to lock the door as you were heading out to work.