Security is such a problem in this day and age. Everyone worries that someone will break into their house. So, surely hiding a spare key somewhere outside is a bad idea! Actually, done correctly, a spare house key will be very helpful. Let’s face it, it not a matter of if you will get locked out at some stage… it’s a matter of when.

Don’t get locked out

I have been locked out so many times for so many different reasons – I’ve left the keys on my desk at work, someone borrowed my key and didn’t return it in time, I accidentally left them inside and locked myself out, I lost them while i was on holiday. The list is endless.

Everyone knows that you will never lose your keys at a convenient time. You will only ever lose your keys when there is some urgency involved. Even if its just to visit the bathroom, that’s exactly when you will find you’ve locked yourself out.

If you want to make the scenario worse, imagine you are locked out of your home while there is food cooking, or your infant is still inside… or both!

So having a spare key can be a lifesaver.

Broken Keys

Keys wear out, break and snap. The wear and tear on a key is so gradual that you might not notice it.

Sometimes the lock sticks and so you apply a little extra effort… next minute… snap.

So, apart from having a spare key, it would be a good idea to do a key check once in a while. Make sure you know where all your keys are, who you have lent them to, and what condition they are in.

And get a spare… just in case.

Rough handling can break a key when you least expect it

Family & Friends

How handy is to be able to say to a trusted relative or friends, “grab the key from… and let yourself in.” What about your cleaner, or a tradie you know and trust, who needs access to do a quick job for you.

Having a spare key in a safe place is so handy.

Faster Replacements

Clearly, replacing a key when you have one to model off is much quicker and easier for your locksmith, than making a new key from the lock itself. if the locksmith has to do that it will take longer and cost more.

But if you have a spare, it only takes seconds to duplicate it, which is obviously cheaper.

Keys do get stolen

Sadly, there may be people at your work, or gym or other club, who will take a key if they can do so easily. Then they will wait for the right time to break into your home.

Having a spare key will get you inside again, but now you need to fix the larger problem of securing your home. Your locksmith will be able to do this in a number of ways, so make sure yo get to know your local locksmith before you need them.

How many spare keys should you have?

There is such a thing as having too many keys. Too many keys is a serious security risk because you cannot manage all of them. And it only takes one to get lost and you have to do something about all of them.

Have Two spare keys

The reason we suggest having two spare keys is so that you can have one hidden on your property, and one with a trusted neighbour.

This way, you have a backup for two scenarios. Firstly, if a family member uses the hidden spare key and forgets to get it back, you can visit the neighbour. But equally, the hidden one comes in handy when your neighbour is away.

To be really safe, leave one with a trusted friend or family member who is not next door.

But don’t go overboard, as the more keys you have, the more you need to manage.

Where to hide your key

No… just don’t

There are some obvious places NOT to leave your key.

  • Under the doormat: It’s the first place everyone looks… just don’t
  • Fake rock: Everyone knows about these fake rocks, so unless they are perfectly matched to a rock garden, it will stand out too much and be too obvious.
  • Pot Plant: Again, this is too obvious. There are better ways.
  • Your car: Some people suggest you keep a spare key in your car, or in a magnetic key box underneath your car. This might be a good idea, but it also might not be. You will have to decide. If it is easy to break into your car, you will be inviting thieves to also break into your house. Burglars are opportunists who will see this as a written invite to gain entry into your home. So be cautious with this one.

With your Neighbour

Your neighbour is your ally

We have already looked at this one and it is so helpful. The good thing about this idea is that neighbours can help each other in this way. Obviously there needs to be trust, and it needs to be mutual.

The best thing about this tactic is that getting a key off a suspicious neighbour should be quite hard. And of course, no one knows which neighbour has your key.

Under your doghouse

If your dog is likely to make a burglar think twice, and be a real deterrent, then this is a great option. However, make sure your dog is not susceptible to taking food from strangers and making friends too easily.

Hidden out of sight

If you are going to leave your key somewhere on your property, make sure it is nowhere near the door. Also, make sure it is not in view of road traffic, or the park next door, or neighbours you do not trust.

You need to be able to access the key in a way that nobody notices.

Finally, it should be somewhere on your property that you can observe easily, and will notice if strangers attempt to access it.