Do you know the feeling when you close the door and remember your keys are on the inside? That’s fine, as long as you don’t have one of those self-locking doors or you have someone on the inside that can open it. If not, well, your local locksmith would be delighted to come and help you for the right price, of course.
Locksmiths are typically charming people, but getting them regularly can take its toll on your monthly budget. Not to mention the frustration and having to wait in the cold in front of your home until the locksmith manages to get there.
So to skip this unpleasant wait, you might want to hide a secret spare key outside your home, just in case. Naturally, putting one under your rug invites every criminal to come and take whatever they want. Moreover, burglars know the typical places people would leave spare keys. So we asked our friends at Fantastic Services, one of the most prominent locksmith service providers in the UK, to share with us the 9 best places to hide your spare keys outside your home.
If you have outdoor outlets, add one additional socket without any electricity going through it. The point is to hide a spare key there. In honesty, that’s an obvious spot to look for a spare key, especially if you don’t actually have outlets on the outside.
However, if you do, and they do have electricity, any burglar will think twice before risking getting electrocuted while searching for the right one to get the key. If you have the knowledge to do it, you can even go a step further and place it in a live socket with a dedicated key to turn off the electrical circuit from this particular socket when you want to access your key. This way, even if someone sees where you put your key, they will still have trouble getting to the key.
Another outstanding idea is to hide your spare key under a fake rock or brick. Of course, thanks to Hollywood, that’s the first place a burglar would look for a key. So if you go for this solution, make it hard to guess which one is the fake rock. Keep in mind that if someone is determined to get into your home, they won’t stop at a locked door, regardless of whether they have a key or not.
Your goal is to delay them enough so that they won’t take the risk. So make it hard and impossible for them to find the fake rock or brick without causing a commotion. If there is a single rock on your entire property, guess where anyone would look first. However, if you have a garden full of stones, no one would dare look through every single one.
Having hoses or sprinklers is quite common for UK residents, so having one lying around in your garden is not suspicious. That makes it the perfect place to hide a spare key. Moreover, it would be tough to determine from afar what you are doing with the hole, so even if someone is stalking you, they would be quite the fortuneteller if they guessed that you are putting a spare key in your hose while you are gardening.
Naturally, the idea of having a spare key is to keep it a secret, so even if you don’t have a stalker, it’s a good idea to hide what you are doing from your neighbours as well. So when putting your key in, make sure you act as if you are cleaning your hose, or at least make it in the privacy of your tool shed or garage.
Finally, if you decide to go with this hideout, make sure to remove the key whenever you use the hose. Otherwise, you can spray it away, or it may clog your sprinklers.
Using a fake drain as a hideout spot is one of the more creative ways to have a spare key outside your home. You will need a resilient plastic or metal container and one drain cap. Just screw the container on the drain cap and bury it in the gravel beside your pathway.
If you have a real draining system with similar caps, make sure to keep the pattern intact. For example, if your drainers are 3 metres apart, one drainer just a metre away from the rest would undoubtedly get unwanted attention. Otherwise, that’s a perfect plan for having a spare key outside your home.
There is no better place to hide a spare key if you have outside furniture. Just don’t make it easily retrievable. The point of this key is not to be used every single day but rather as a failsafe. So you can make it tough to retrieve. For example, place it inside the foot of a heavy chair.
You will have to turn over the chair and dismount the foot to get it. Yes, it won’t be the most pleasant 15 minutes, but it sure beats having to call the locksmith in the middle of the night. Moreover, if someone is crazy enough to try and retrieve this key, they would undoubtedly make a commotion and look very suspicious.
That’s the most secure way to hide your key. Just place it in a metal container and bury it somewhere. Make sure to put it somewhere where you can find it without much hustle if needed. Whether it’s under a specific rock in your garden, next to your shed, or beside your porch, make sure you have a detailed memory or, better yet, a note on your phone about where precisely the key is. If it gets lost, it’s not a big deal, but if you don’t find it when you need it the most, it would be a huge problem.
That’s one obvious yet secure way to go for it. Using a protected lockbox is secure, and there are many great solutions on the market. Just stay away from the cheapest options, as the point of this box is to be tough to break. Unfortunately, cheap lockboxes are usually made from not-so-tough materials, so make sure you go for one that’s tough to break and secure enough to leave your key inside. Otherwise, you are just inviting burglars into your home.
If you are uncomfortable using a lockbox or have your key outside. Just make sure to have one in your car at all times. It’s as safe as it gets, and chances are you are keeping your home and car keys separate. So if you’re leaving with your car, you’ll have them. Of course, this poses the threat of getting locked while your car keys are inside your home as well. Then you are right back to square one. Hey, it’s not the perfect solution, but it’s the safest bet if you live in a suspicious neighbourhood.
Finally, we have the safest and easiest solutions. Just give one spare key to your neighbours. Naturally, this is applicable only if you are on good terms with them. If you are and you trust your neighbours, you have the perfect solution, as long as you don’t lock yourself out at 2 in the morning regularly.
People tend not to enjoy being woken up every night for some reason. On the other hand, if it happens once or twice, it’s far better to buy a beer or two for your neighbour as gratitude than having to wait for an emergency locksmith in the middle of the night.
Needless to say, if you live in a bad neighbourhood or a place with high crime rates, having a key outside your home is not ideal. In such cases, you should stick to the locksmith services and avoid locking yourself out. After all, locksmiths are nice and safe if you use proven providers.