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The Best & Worst Places to Hide Your House Keys

Guest Blogger #640, Entry #1518, August 27, 2012

Ever walked out of your house and locked the door, only to realize that you left your keys inside? Hiding a spare key comes in handy in such cases, and can save you the cost of having to call a locksmith. But where are good hiding places for a key that would be well-hidden and not leave your house vulnerable to being burglarized?

front door hiding key

Where is the best place to hide a spare key?

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Locksmiths recommend some of the best places and warn against some of the worst places to hide a key.

Best Hiding Places

1. Buried –

If you have a regularly dug up dirt area, put your key in a small, water-tight jar and put it underground or under the mulch.  Just make sure all the ground in the area looks the same and don’t forget where you put it.

2. Inside a combination lockbox –

Anyone who will take the time to bust open your lockbox would simply bust through the window or door anyhow, so this is a good way to deter those who are not so motivated to rob that they don’t care about noise.

3. In the backyard –

Choose a place that is far from the back door.  Stand there and ask yourself where you would look for a key, then put it somewhere else.

4. In the dog house –

If you have a guard dog, this is especially effective.

5. With a neighbor –

This is one of the best ideas.   More than likely they will be home late at night when you arrive.

When hiding a key, don’t make it easy for burglars to find it. It should be somewhere that you will easily remember where it is, even if you don’t use it until months or years later, but not some place too obvious where someone else could readily find it or come across it accidentally. Make sure when you do need to use it that you put it back right away, so you don’t forget.

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Ask a trusted neighbor to house your key

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Worst Hiding Places

1. Under the doormat –

The first place they look should be the last place you hide a key.  It’s been in too many movies.

2. Under a potted plant or planter-

– Yes, that’s the second place.

3. Mailbox or under a windowsill –

The mailbox is going to be looked in, some time or other, and nimble fingers will feel all along the house near the door, hoping you didn’t want to get your shoes wet if you lost your key on a rainy night.

4. Anywhere within ten feet of the door it opens –

Farther away than ten feet will give your own personal thief too much to do.  He’ll move on to easier pickings.

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Don’t hide keys close to your front door

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5. A faux rock (especially if it looks pretty fake, or you don’t have other rocks around in your yard) –

As a rule, do not buy anything that is sold for the purpose of hiding a key.  Burglars have seen all the commercials as well.  They’ve likely studied them.

These are common areas that burglars will check when attempting to break in. If one can be original in choosing a hiding place, then burglars will be less likely to find it.

Having a spare key hidden somewhere can save time and frustration, as long as you find a suitable hiding place. Keep it simple enough to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Check every so often to make sure the key is still there and in good shape. Then the next time you accidentally lock yourself out, you will be able to quickly get back in.

Meg Jones works with an emergency locksmith service in Toronto, ON.  Security issues such as losing a key can become life-threatening in very cold winter climates.  Keep yours safe and readily available.

For more outdoor home ideas on Stagetecture, click here.

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