While you won’t find outdoor keys on every property, it is a reality. Whether it’s under a mat, a pot, a garden gnome or on the molding above a door or window… we all know someone who hides a key outside. Keys are often left outside in case children get locked out after school. The method is also used should someone ever lose their keys. Either way, it seems as though some homeowners believe hiding a key from plain view will outsmart a potential burglar. This is not the case. Any place you might think to hide a key outside, your average burglar has probably thought of it too. In fact, burglars count on us to underestimate them. Burglaries, although unfortunate, are an everyday occurrence in most places around the world. Don’t make it easier! This is why Protect America never recommends leaving a key outside the home, no matter how well you think you’ve hidden it. So then where should you hide your spare key? This post will address some alternative places to leave a key and while still keeping your safety in mind!

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Spare Key No-No’s

As we have established, hiding your spare key under a mat or a rock outside is never a good idea – no matter how safe your neighborhood might seem. You might as well be welcoming a burglar into your home because the first place they’ll look is under the door mat or a flower pot. Some people may insist on hiding a key outside. Just remember, paying a locksmith is much cheaper than replacing all of your valuables after a burglary. So if you must have a spare key hidden somewhere outside, here’s what you want to avoid more than anything:

  • Never put your name, number, address or personal information on a key. If you were ever to lose this key, a thief would not have a hard time tracing the key back to your home. Now, someone has complete access to your home! If you do end up misplacing a key, then get the lock changed immediately.
  • Never hide your spare key in your wallet. I know it may seem like a great idea to tuck a spare key in the bill-fold area of your wallet. However, think about this: What if someone steals your wallet? They have your home address (since it’s on your driver’s license) and the spare key to get inside your home. This is a burglar’s dream come true.
  • Never advertise the fact that you’ve chosen to hide a key outside your home. If you do this and tell someone about it, then change it up. But seriously try to avoid putting your spare anywhere outside your house. That fake rock in the garden isn’t fooling anyone. Plus, someone could also see you retrieve the key at some point, giving away your hiding place.

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Alternatives to Hiding a Key Outside

Instead of hiding your key under the mat, consider the following suggestions for a safer place to keep your spare key:

  • A programmable door lock is by far the safest way to remedy the need for a spare key. With a programmable lock like the Yale Z-Wave deadbolt lock, you no longer need a key. You’ll be able to program different codes for different users as well as lock and unlock your door straight from your phone with out SMART Connect app! If you don’t like the idea of getting rid of keys all together, our programmable lock has a key option for those of you who are traditional.
  • You could also put a spare key into a combination lockbox and hide that somewhere outside.
  • One of the best options if you lose your keys regularly is to keep your spare with a trusted neighbor or a nearby family member! Discuss a plan of action with your child in case they become locked out (such as walking to a neighbor’s house for help).

Some neighborhoods are safer than others, and how you protect your home can be a matter of preference and affordability. Spare keys are both handy and hazardous, and should be used with caution. Today’s technology provides you with simple and affordable alternatives to a hidden key. Protect America has spent more than 20 years developing and perfecting its state-of-the-art home security system while offering the lowest starting prices. Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter to stay updated on the latest from Protect America!