Getting locked out of your house can be a huge hassle, and sometimes pretty expensive. To avoid this, many homeowners leave back doors or windows unlocked, or hide a spare key somewhere outside the house. This makes it pretty easy to get in if you misplace your key or accidentally lock yourself out; however, it also makes it pretty easy for burglars to get in, which can be even more expensive, as well as threatening to the safety of your family. Keep some of these tips in mind to avoid locking yourself out, while also maintaining the security of your home.
What NOT To Do:
Just as it is simple for you to find these tips on how to maintain home security, it is also simple for them to find numerous detailed instructions on how to break into a house, thanks to the Internet. So this is important to keep in mind when you’re trying to improve your home security. Average homeowners may think they’re being smart, but most burglars are aware of these common tactics, and will be one step ahead of you when trying to break in. The best thing to do in this situation is put yourself in the shoes of a burglar. The following is a basic list of what NOT to do when avoiding locking yourself out.
- Do NOT hide a spare key in a spot that will be accessible to anyone.Especially under the doormat or in a potted plant! That is probably where a burglar would look for a spare key first. In fact, they know ALL the “good hiding spots.”
- Do NOT leave any windows or doors unlockedEven if they’re pretty high up; they’ll probably check those next.
- Do NOT leave an automatic garage door opener in your carEspecially in plain sight. Breaking into cars is often easier than breaking into homes.
- Do NOT give out your spare key or garage door codeto anyone who you don’t trust completely. It is pretty common for burglars to pose as maintenance workers or some other type of professional that you would let into your home. It’s best to always be home when you’re expecting them, and verify their identification, especially locksmiths!
Good Places to Keep a Spare Key
Spare keys are very helpful in the event of locking yourself out, as long as you hide them correctly, in a place that is extremely difficult (and therefore not worth it) for a burglar to look for and find. Here are a few great ways to hide a spare key:
- In a fake piece of décorA fake rock, statue, birdhouse, or any other piece of decoration that you might use in your yard, with a secret compartment where you can hide your key, is a pretty good spot. Make sure that it does not look fake because burglars will often look for these. Hide it in a VERY good spot, among other pieces of décor that match it.
- In a lock box, with a combination padlockTry to keep it hidden as well. A determined burglar could see it ahead of time and learn how to pick that type of lock, prior to attempting to break in.
- At a trusted friend’s or neighbor’s house.Make sure that they, too, practice good home security so it doesn’t happen to get lost or stolen while in their possession.
- A combination of the three. If you live in a neighborhood with a high crime rate, it might be necessary for you to be taking extra precaution when it comes to home security. So why not combine all three of these to be as safe as possible? A padlocked box, hidden in a fake piece of yard décor, in your neighbor’s yard? I don’t know if you could get much safer than that.