There’s No Reason to Ever Be Locked Out Again

There’s No Reason to Ever Be Locked Out Again

It happens to everyone at one point or another. You run out to grab the mail or pick up a gallon of milk and discovered that you’ve forgotten your keys. However, we all know that keeping an extra key underneath your doormat isn’t safe, and thankfully most deadbolts and locks have advanced beyond the point where you can jimmy them with a credit card.

Luckily, technology has given us more options on where and how to hide keys in the event that you forget yours on the kitchen counter. Real Estate Agents use key vaults almost exclusively – big, boxy devices that hang from door knobs with a keypad to unlock the contents. Unfortunately, these key vaults are a neon sign to burglars and thieves that a house is unoccupied, so they’re not recommended for everyday use. They can also be fairly easy to smash, so they’re not always as secure as you think. There is also the option of hiding a key on your dog’s collar, but we all know that Spot is a sucker for a good ear rub and a couple of treats, so again, maybe not the most secure option.

In most cases, the best place to hide something is in plain sight. Now that magnets are stronger than ever, a key box can easily be secured to the wheel well of your vehicle. You could even find an out of place location on your grill or snow blower.  Any metal surface with some type of nook or cranny can become a hiding spot.

Decoy key boxes are also very popular and can often be ingenious. Who would think the thermostat mounted next to a door or window hides your key? Or that one of your sprinkler heads scattered across your lawn actually holds a spare? 

Small combination lock boxes can be useful, as long as they’re not swinging from your doorknob. You could keep one in your garage or shed, as long as it’s not too easy to spot to a casual passerby. Key storage is also available in the form of the old standby fake rock; however, remember to make it hard to spot.

Here are a few other hiding spots that might work:

  • Birdhouse
  • Deck or Pergola
  • Dryer Vent
  • Potted Plant

As with any hiding place, you’ll want to disguise the key box or location as much as possible. Strength in numbers can really work in your favor here. If there’s a grouping of rocks, birdhouses or potted plants, it’ll take a would-be thief a few tries to find the right one. Some people also advocate burying an extra key; however, if you live in a particularly rainy climate you might find yourself dealing with more mud than you anticipated. And if you live somewhere cold, there’s always the chance the ground could freeze, in which case you will not be seeing that spare key until spring.

The Home Security Superstore has a collection of key storage options, including key boxes, lock boxes, combination lock boxes and more.

Check them out here and never be locked out again.

Putting Together the Ultimate Go-Bag: The Essentials

Putting Together the Ultimate Go-Bag: The Essentials

Most military and police agencies require their officers to carry in their cars a Go Bag – a 3-day or 5-day pack containing all components necessary to survive and perform their duties in the case of a city, state, or national emergency. While the Go Bag is a required and important tool for any paramilitary agent, I believe every citizen should have at the ready a sufficient “bug out bag” as well.

I’m not an outdoor survival expert or a zombie apocalypse enthusiast, but I am a realist. The possibility of a brief yet multi-day emergency scenario is not farfetched—think Katrina or riots or other natural disasters. Typically, the warning signs for such critical states are revealed far ahead of time, but to think that a massive event could not happen suddenly and spur an immediate societal disruption is, in my opinion, fairly naive. Hence the need for a bug out bag—an all-scenario emergency survival pack that will assure your well-being until help arrives and/or the state of emergency is dispelled.

So, what should go in a bug out bag? Any number of survival elements would be appropriate, but at the very least, every civilian go-bag must have the essentials. Below are some absolute staples for a proper bug-out bag, broken down by basic needs categories:

The Pack

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Tactical packs serve well as bug out bags. You’ll want something large enough—at least 50 liters in capacity—with several compartments, MOLLE webbing, and hook and loop fixtures, so you can stay organized with materials and hang overflow materials or quick-release elements, like a knife, on the outside of the pack. Make sure the pack is of sturdy material and build, such as those containing 1000D Nylon material, multi-layer stitching, and over-sized snag-free zippers. You’ll also want a dry bag big enough to hold your main bag, but which you can fold up tiny to hold in the main bag. I would recommend not using a dry bag as your main bag because tactical backpacks typically have far more compartments, along with MOLLE flaps, hook and loop capabilities, etc. than a dry bag will. But to be prepared for all-weather scenarios, and possible floods or water trekking, you’ll want that dry bag capability.

For the following categories, the items in bold are essential survival and emergency items in my opinion, while the others would be an important addition but not absolutely necessary:

Logistics & Tactical

  • Binoculars
  • Gas Mask
  • Small Mirror
  • Ammunition
  • Baton
  • AM/FM Emergency Radio
  • Two-way Radio
  • Rope
  • Utility Belt
  • Zip Ties
  • Hatchet
  • Shovel (small folding)
  • Hammer
  • Needle & Thread
  • Goggles
  • Notepad
  • Binoculars
  • Gas Mask
  • Small Mirror

Clothing

  • Warm gloves
  • Work gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat
  • Thermals
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Jacket
  • Poncho
  • Boots
  • T-shirt
Shelter

Fire

Light

  • Battery-operated tactical flashlight
  • Battery Headlamp
  • Self-Energy flashlight
  • Glow Stick
  • Batteries

Personal Items

  • Insect Repellant
  • Toilet Paper
  • Tissue Paper
  • Baby powder
  • Eye drops
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shaving cream
  • Razors
  • Floss
  • Chapstick
  • Deodorant
  • Sunblock
  • Mouthwash

 

  • Moisturizer
  • Tampons (can come in handy for men and women)
  • Ibuprofen
  • Laxatives
  • Anti-diarrhetic
  • Cold/flu medicine
  • Itch cream
  • A&D Ointment
  • Body wash/shampoo (waterless)
  • Vitamins
  • Antacids

Once you’ve got your bug out bag set, put it in a closet and forget about it. Don’t spend your time imagining apocalyptic scenarios. We don’t want to be paranoid; rather we simply want to be prepared. And once you’re prepared, you can put it aside and get on with your day. Safety is paramount, but once that’s taken care of…go live your life! The Home Security Superstore has just about all the elements you need to stay prepared and secure. Good luck and stay safe!