There are moments when allowing access to one’s home in their absence becomes a necessity. It might be for a friend picking up a borrowed book, a relative dropping by, or perhaps service personnel performing scheduled maintenance. In such instances, having a discreetly placed spare key outside can be invaluable. However, the challenge lies in choosing a hiding spot that’s easily accessible for the right people but remains elusive to potential intruders. Balancing this convenience with security is a delicate dance, and the following strategies aim to strike that perfect balance. This article will go over some safe ways to hide a key outside, so that homeowners can ensure both peace of mind and ease of access when needed.
Under The Door Mat
The allure of placing a key under the door mat lies in its sheer simplicity. Almost everyone can recall a movie or TV show where a character retrieves a key from this spot, making it a widely recognized hiding place. But while its popularity underscores its convenience, it also means it’s one of the first places a would-be intruder might check. Homeowners should be wary of relying solely on this method unless they’re employing additional measures to deter detection, such as using a specially designed mat with a concealed pocket.
In a world where predictability can be a homeowner’s worst enemy, using the door mat method requires some creativity. One might consider using it as a decoy, placing a non-essential key beneath it, while hiding the actual house key elsewhere. This not only confuses potential burglars but also gives homeowners a psychological edge, knowing they’ve outsmarted a common security flaw.
In A Fake Rock
Nature provides an abundance of hiding spots, and many manufacturers have leveraged this by creating realistic fake rocks designed to conceal keys. These rocks, often made from a combination of resin and other materials, blend seamlessly into garden beds and landscapes, making them a more secure alternative to the predictable door mat.
However, placement is crucial when utilizing a fake rock. Scatter it amongst other real rocks or place it in a garden bed to ensure it doesn’t stand out. It’s essential to remember that the rock’s efficacy as a hiding spot is only as good as its ability to blend in. Regularly changing its location can also add an additional layer of unpredictability, ensuring that even if someone is onto the trick, they won’t know where to begin their search.
Above Door Frames
A lesser-known hiding spot is the space above door frames. This location is less obvious to the casual observer and can be especially effective for taller doors or entrances with decorative moldings that provide a ledge. Given that most individuals wouldn’t instinctively reach above a door frame when searching for a key, this method offers a heightened level of security compared to more traditional hiding places.
When placing a key in such a location, it’s recommended to use a small piece of tape or a magnet to ensure the key remains in place. For those living in areas with frequent rainfall or moisture, considering the use of a small waterproof bag can be beneficial. This not only keeps the key dry but also adds a layer of protection from potential corrosion or damage.
In A Bird House
Bird houses, with their varied designs and dual functionality, offer a unique and efficient method for hiding keys. To the untrained eye, a birdhouse is simply a sanctuary for birds, making it a discreet storage solution. Moreover, the presence of actual birds can act as a deterrent for anyone considering a closer inspection.
When opting for this method, it’s important to choose a birdhouse design that allows easy access to the key without disturbing its avian inhabitants. Some designs come with removable bottoms or hidden compartments, perfect for this purpose. Additionally, placing the birdhouse in a location that’s both accessible to homeowners and visible enough to deter potential snooping can further enhance its effectiveness as a key hiding spot.
In the Mailbox
While the mailbox might seem like an obvious place, with the right approach, it can be transformed into a secure key-holding spot. For one, many individuals may dismiss it, thinking homeowners wouldn’t risk such an apparent location. However, inside the mailbox, beneath ads or junk mail, or even attached to the roof with a magnet, can be effective hiding places.
That said, it’s important to remain vigilant. Periodically checking the mailbox to ensure the key remains hidden is a smart practice. If expecting mail or packages, one might temporarily relocate the key to prevent accidental discovery. Additionally, given that mailboxes are often checked by others, the key should be camouflaged in a way that doesn’t draw attention.
Under A Potted Plant
Using nature as a shield has always been an effective way to camouflage objects. Potted plants, with their dense soil and foliage, are excellent candidates for this purpose. By burying a key beneath the surface, homeowners can tap into the natural obscurity provided by the plant.
When selecting a potted plant as a hiding spot, it’s essential to choose one that is hearty and requires minimal re-potting or maintenance. This ensures that the key remains undisturbed and reduces the chances of it being accidentally discovered during routine plant care. Additionally, the use of a small waterproof pouch to hold the key can protect it from moisture and any potential harm from plant roots or insects.
In The Dog House
For homeowners with furry companions, a dog house presents an unexpected and effective hiding spot. The mere presence of a dog can be a strong deterrent for potential intruders, making the vicinity of a dog house less likely to be thoroughly searched. It combines the advantage of surprise with the natural defense offered by a protective pet.
When considering this option, it’s important to ensure the key is placed in a location that doesn’t disturb or pose a hazard to the dog. A small sealed pouch or container can prevent the key from getting dirty or damaged. Additionally, homeowners should always be mindful and ensure the pet doesn’t become curious and play with or swallow the key.
The Bottom Line
Hiding a key outside one’s home requires a careful balance between convenience and security. The effectiveness of a hiding spot is measured by its ability to remain undetected while still being easily accessible to those who know its location. Constantly reassessing and occasionally changing the hiding place can keep potential intruders guessing. Above all, the safety and security of a home should always be the top priority. Every method has its pros and cons, so it’s important to choose a strategy that aligns best with individual circumstances and comfort levels.