House Keys and Safety
Your house key can be a huge part of your home security plan. How you handle and safeguard the house key is every bit as important as the doors that you installed on your home and the alarm system that you activate when you leave your house. A recent study by a lock company indicated that nearly 1 out of every 5 people questioned said they had given out at least 4 copies of their house key.
The Importance of House Key Oversight
Life is complicated and keeping track of work and family and taking care of the house and the car and finding some down time for relaxation can be exhausting at times. According to the study on key usage, most homeowners had at least one copy of their house key in the hands of someone outside the home. It’s important to keep track of who has copies of your house key and to limit the number of copies floating around, as well as limiting the ability of others to make copies of your house key.
Eliminate Bad House Key Habits
- Don’t hide a copy of the house key. A better idea to prevent lockouts is to give a copy of your house key to a trusted neighbor and trusted relative. Try to choose a neighbor who is home much of the time – an older neighbor who is vigilant about visitors on the block is a good choice. That way, anyone locked out of your home can go to the neighbor, or as a backup, call the relative for help. Burglars can find many of the most popular outdoor hiding spots for keys. And once you leave a key outside, someone else can stumble on it and make a copy.
- Don’t put a copy of the house key in your vehicle. Unless your vehicle is secured in a locked garage, thieves are able to quickly and quietly break into most cars. One of the things they look for, in addition to valuables, is a key to the house.
- Be careful who has access to your keys. When you leave your car at the mechanic for service, what keys are on the key ring with your car key? It’s OK to put your house and car key on the same ring, but it’s also important to remember to separate the house keys when anyone needs access to your car key. The same goes for valet services. While you’re at a dinner or event, someone could be copying your house key.
- If a key is lost, react quickly. No one wants to pay for rekeyed locks or new locks, but a lost house key can be a serious event. Security experts say it’s best to assume the key is in the hands of someone who intends to return to try to break into your home. That’s why it’s crucial to replace your house keys as soon as one is lost.