Are you worried about getting locked out of your home, but wary of keeping a key outside for fear that a burglar might find it? This fear is probably well-placed; nearly all burglars will automatically look under doormats and flower pots to find the hidden key. If this realization has made you wonder what you can do to minimize the home security threat posed by spare keys, you are not alone. Here are a few tips about using hide a keys and other house key safety tips:
Select a realistic hide-a-key. If you need to leave a key in an accessible place, but don't want to just leave it out in the open, you do have options. The right style of Hide a Key can ensure that you'll never be locked out again, but also keeps burglars from using the key to gain entry into your home.
Place it in a believable location. A solitary rock sitting on your front porch will immediately look like a hide-a-key. Sitting off to the side of the porch, nestled among a group of similar rocks, no one will look twice. Many families do opt for fake rocks; these are great as long as they look realistic next to your home. Other choices, such as a wall thermometer, sprinkler head, or paint can, may look even more believable depending on your home.
Limit the number of key copies. It might make sense to you that keys should be kept in many locations on your property, or that you should give them to all your friends and relatives, but it's too easy to lose track of them this way. Do you know where every copy of your house key is at this second? If not, consider changing the locks to make your home more secure.
Change the locks when moving in and after any security breach. If your purse has recently been stolen with your keys inside, it's time to change the locks. The same goes for after a roommate moves out if you're not sure that all copies of the key have been returned. Changing the locks when you move in might seem like overkill, but you never know how many copies of the key the previous owner gave out. This may seem like a lot of work to go through, but it's a lot better than a burglar, a previous homeowner, or an angry ex-roommate breaking into your home using an old key.
Put your keys under the mat or a flower pot, or hang them in plain view inside your home. If you do this, you might as well just leave the door unlocked when you leave, because anyone who wants access will have it.
Carry identification on your keyring. If you lose your house key, but it has no identifying information, anyone who finds it won't know which door it opens. If you lose your key and it's identified with your address, anyone who finds it can break into your home.
Give keys to maintenance and delivery people, or anyone else you don't know well. You don't know if they will rob you while you're gone, or make a copy of the key to use later. If they must be let inside while you're not there, leave the key with a trusted neighbor who will keep an eye on them.
As many as half of all burglaries take place without forced entry, meaning the burglar uses a key to get inside or a door or window has been left unlocked. Far too many homeowners forget to consider the security of their house key when making plans to protect the safety of their family.