Blog , Lifestyle and Entertainment

How to Hide a Spare Key

Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2022
by Outside Contributor

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.

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Lowell TenClay
Lowell TenClay
1 year ago

Just so you know… the “latch string” had nothing to do with the string around someone’s neck. In years past, the latch on a door was on the inside. It was a lever that, when the door was closed, would lift up and over a hook that would keep the door from swinging open. In order to open the door, the latch would have to be lifted so that it would clear the hook. In order to open the door from the outside, a string was attached to the latch. The string would go up the inside of the door, through a hole to the outside, and hang there. In order to open the door, one would pull the latch string which would lift the latch and allow the door to open. If you wished to lock the door, you would pull in the latch string. That’s where the expression, “the latch string is out” came from. (meaning, “the door is unlocked”)

Larry C
Larry C
1 year ago

My brothers and I were “latchkey” kids and we wreaked havoc. Fortunately we still became productive citizens ????

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 year ago

They have access to your bank account so why not send a spare key to your home to one of the 87,000 new IRS agents?

Joyce McCauley
Joyce McCauley
1 year ago

What happens with a smart lock when the power goes out? Will the door stay locked, or will it unlock? Also, can the homeowner open the door with no power?

1 year ago

Smart locks are a wonderful convenience but a terrible idea for security. Any radio operated lock can be opened. Police or FBI can get a ridiculous warrant signed by a rogue judge to have your security company open the lock for them and you’ll never even know they were there. We all know the FBI or crooked politicians would never abuse their power in those ways.

1 year ago

After 40 years in residential/ commercial security the idea of convenience and security on the same page in the real world just doesn’t existSo what to do? There are master locksmiths and security educators out there if you seek knowledge and advice.-Example: Grade One dial operated deadbolts We have all seen the hardware store series of this lock all cconvenience and no security. Can be bypassed in under 30 seconds which means you now must convince the insurance company you did not rob yourself. True security grade one deadbolt dial works only with key which allows it to move ,then dial in combo to enter. No hardware store sells security they sell peace of mind and the homeowner feels like he is doing something to protect family and property. Called to big money restaurant broke into 3 timesBig insurance claims and shut down repair times Told by owner fix your way ,
No more break ins had enough. Removed convenience and put unreal security.Four months. Later 530am phone rigs a told restaurant broke into and I said impossible, then laughter the bad guys worked so hard they got caught by police.Beat door for over hour.Sorry for long
writing. Don’t be fooled. Spend money one time.Check with your property insurance co. about hidden key .You May be glad you read this .

1 year ago

I hide my key 150 feet from the house.

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