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.

David Artman

Author: David Artman

David Artman is the founder and CEO of The Home Security Superstore, an online provider that helps customers protect their homes and their families through its expansive selection of do-it-yourself home security systems and effective self-defense products. With years of marketing experience and an interest in the e-commerce industry, Artman founded the Atlanta-based company Velocity Products, Inc. in 2000, which now owns and operates The Home Security Superstore and A native of the Pittsburgh area, Artman graduated from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania and has worked for well-known companies such as Bausch & Lomb, Andersen Products and Stradis Healthcare, which he co-founded and branded as Sterile Dental Systems Southeast in 1993.

One thought on “There’s No Reason to Ever Be Locked Out Again

  • January 31, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    I think that this is a great list of alternative ways to keep a spare key available without leaving it exposed. I completely agree about those small key safe- lock box- padlock- apparatuses, which real estate agents use. They are completely insecure. Most can be shimmed open, and the four-wheel combination locks are very easy to decode (and there are many videos online that will teach people how to do it).

    The other issue is that anyone can go to a Home Depot and pick one up to practice on. And as you said, they are plastic, so breaking one is not all the hard to do either.

    On your point that “most deadbolts and locks have advanced beyond the point where you can jimmy them with a credit card”, I would like to remind people that any door latch can still be opened with a credit card. (With the exception of deadlatches, which are very rarely used on residential home). Deadbolts, of course, are not spring loaded so they cannot be moved in this way.

    But as long as the door is not going to open towards you, or the latch is not protected by some length of metal that extends over the door jam, pressing a credit card against the latch will still retract it. Even if the door opens towards you, there are ways to cut something like a credit card or even a gift card (which any thief can pick up at any store without paying for) so that the latch can be hooked and depressed. If you can press it in with you finger, you can press it in with a credit card.


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