Sponsored by – Simplisafe
The term “latch-key kid” was used to describe kids in the 1970s and 80s who came home from school to an empty home, left to their own devices until one of their parents returned home (usually, from work or errands). “Latchkey” may have come from “latchstring”, to refer to a string children wore around their neck to hold their keys, before parents resorted to leaving it in the milk-carton or under the doormat.
Of course, nowadays, most of us wouldn’t be comfortable leaving young kids home alone by themselves, let alone a key under the mat. Obviously, potential intruders have caught on to this hack, and homeowners (and parents!) have found other ways to hide a spare key to allow for other members of the household or trusted visitors to get inside, without putting the home at risk of invasion.
Whether you’re new to the concept of smart home safety, or you’re just looking to get away from the “under the doormat” trend, here are some other idea of how to hide a spare key safely:
Don’t Hide a Key
It may seem like a no-brainer, but consider other alternatives than hiding a key in the first place. (Stay-tuned: there are some ideas to come!). If your children or other visitors to your home are trustworthy, reliable, and in the case of kids, mature enough, then you can instead have them hold any keys to the house on their person. Perhaps latch-key style?
And, while we don’t advise this, if you have another entrance to your home, like a garage entrance, side-door, or back-door, you might consider leaving this unlocked for a few short hours of the day. But, if you do take this route, be sure to have a smart home security system — including outdoor cameras and doorbell cameras — in place around the perimeter of your home, as well as indoor cameras. This can help deter intruders and because you can monitor from your device (along with professional monitoring), you can watch who is coming and going from your home. If anyone is there who is not supposed to be there, the authorities will be alerted.
Have a More Secretive Location
If hiding a physical key is still the best option for you and/or those you live with, consider choosing a more secretive location to hide the spare key. Again, the doormat is typically the most obvious spot, so try to find other places around the perimeter of your home to hide the key, that only you and those who can be trusted with it know about. This means ensuring you tell your younger kids the importance of not sharing this spot with anyone. Combined with having outdoor cameras installed, you can have an extra layer of security to protect your home and watch that spot!
Use a Lockbox
A lockbox is a great alternative for hiding a key. They’re usually opened either by knowing the code which is entered in the same way it would be for a metal lock combination, or by entering a pin which you can get from an app/device. Though there are different types of lockboxes you can buy, most of them are usually connected to poles or rails around the house or apartment.
Although lockboxes are a bit more secure than leaving your spare key hidden somewhere around the house, be sure to only share your pin with those who can be trusted to enter your home! And, keep in mind that an experienced home intruder can definitely break into a lockbox, so it’s important to utilize other methods of security for that extra protection.
Install a Smart Lock
By far the best and most secure way to “hide a spare key” is to simply get rid of needing a physical key altogether. This can be done by installing a smart lock on your door. Smart locks may work a bit differently from one security company to the next, but generally, a smart lock goes over your deadbolt and is accessed via a pin code, a fob, or your device. They can be connected with Wi-Fi and/or to the rest of your smart home security system.
The SimpliSafe Smart Lock has a lot of great features, like being able to lock your door from your device if you forget to do so on your way out, the ability to create unique access codes for different guests (including Airbnb guests, for example), or being able to sync it with your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. And, if you still like the convenience of having your physical key, it’s possible to install the Simplisafe while also keeping your original door lock.
Head to the shop to purchase the Smart Lock as part of your smart home security system and browse our other products.