to safely hide a spare house key? Here are a few tips.
donít read this story.
a horrible feeling: You arrive home and discover that
you lost your key. If only you had a spare you could use
to gain entry. Actually, there are numerous ways to hide
that spare key.
get the obvious ones ó and by obvious we mean dumb ó
out of the way.
leave a spare key under the doormat. Even the most
dim-witted criminal will check under the mat. Youíve
seen those artificial rocks. So have burglars. Forget
them. Put it up over the door frame? Címon, you can be
more inventive than that. There are better solutions to
the lost-key conundrum:
Youíve seen real estate agents use them. They are
small secure containers that can be opened by punching
in a code. They come in various sizes and strengths.
Real estate people attach them to the front-door knob.
Donít be so obvious. Hide it somewhere on the
property, in a location where it canít be seen from
the street and not in close proximity to the lock. Youíre
telling a burglar, "Hey, Goober, thereís a key
inside, and itíll open this here door."
disguises: If you have in-ground sprinklers, thereís a
dummy sprinkler head that blends in with the others and
can hold a key ($7.95). Similarly, thereís a working
thermometer that has a hidden compartment where a key
may be stashed ($6.95). Both are available at
of sight: The website besthomesecuritycompanys.com
suggests hiding the spare key out of street view ó a
criminally inclined passerby could see you retrieve it
and come back later to use it himself. It also suggests
hiding the key around back ó and make it a key to a
back or side door.
neighbors: If you have a trusted neighbor, ask them to
hold on to a spare key. You can reclaim it if you get
locked out, or they can let themselves in should an
emergency arise while you are away. Just be sure the
neighbor is dependable and doesnít have a neíer-do-well
teenager who might take advantage of the opportunity.
the property: There are likely several hiding places
just a few steps from your door. Duct tape a key to the
leg of your grill, to the underside of your mailbox or
inside the bird bath pedestal. Bury one under the seed
in your bird feeder, or plant it under the potted
impatiens on the porch. Want to get more razzly dazzly?
Glue a small magnet to your key, and attach it to the
inside of your homeís downspout extension.
a tree: Take a spare key and nail it to a tree. It could
be on your property, or maybe itís down the street a
block or two. Nail it up in an inconspicuous location on
the tree, somewhere thatís out of plain view and
requires some searching to find. When you stash the key
away from your property, anyone coming across it by
chance will have to try a whole neighborhood of doors.
Just remember which tree the key is hidden in.
doghouse: No dog should be made to live outside. But for
the times little Gumpy is out running around in the
yard, you should provide him with a shelter. Inside that
doghouse is a good location to hide a key. Heck, even if
you donít have a dog, get a small doghouse and hang
the key inside. Just seeing a doghouse will give a
would-be burglar pause.
chimes: Several websites suggest hiding a key inside a
set of wind chimes. Even if a prospective thief knew the
key was there, heíd have to make a lot of noise
getting it out. No criminal wants that. And if you
really want to mess with the guy, hang a whole keyring
of multicolored keys in the wind chimes. Not only would
he make noise with the chimes, heíd also have to
figure out which key opened the door. (You would know itís
the blue one. Or the red one, etc.) If thereís one
thing burglars hate more than making noise, itís
standing on a porch fiddling with a ring of keys.