House keys are one of the most commonly lost items in the UK, with nearly 37% of homeowners admitting to losing at least one set of house keys in their lifetime.
As a general (and obvious) rule of thumb, the first thing to do in the event of losing your main set of house keys is to look for a spare set.
If there is no available spare set, you might have to call a certified locksmith to open the lock on your door, which can, at times, become quite a hassle.
While the majority of homeowners across the country have spare house keys, a good chunk of the population still doesn’t deem it necessary.
Let’s look at all the reasons why you need spare house keys and how many you should have.
REASONS WHY YOU NEED SPARE HOUSE KEYS
Having spare house keys is easy, convenient, and inexpensive, and can save you a lot of time and money. Here are the top reasons why you need them:
- Backup key
Spare keys act as backup keys for when you lose or break your original ones. Sometimes, you just can’t find them because maybe they’re all mixed up with other things in your bag or pocket, or you just forgot where you put them.
It’s natural to freak out a bit when you can’t find your keys, especially when you’re looking for them to get inside your house. Spare keys ensure there’s always a backup available and helps keep things calm and under control.
- Prevent lockouts
Lockouts are bound to happen from time to time. Imagine coming home after a long, tiring day only to find that you don’t have your keys and are locked out. Here’s where spare house keys come in handy.
You can use the spare set of keys to regain access to your house and then look for the missing keys. If you suspect that they’ve been stolen, it’s always a good idea to have the locks changed for optimal security.
- Save time and money
In addition to being super convenient in case of a lockout, spare house keys save a lot of precious time and money as well.
What if you have to leave the house in an emergency and your main keys are nowhere to be found? You can’t just go and leave your house open and unlocked. That’s a serious security risk. Having spare keys ensures that your time isn’t wasted looking for the lost set.
Also, if you’re locked out, you might have to call a professional locksmith, which can cause you more money than if you invested in making spares.
- Avoid key breaking
Keys are prone to breaking over time due to general wear and tear, and rough usage. Alternating between the main set and the spare house keys will help extend key life, making them last significantly longer.
One of the most common reasons for lockouts, other than forgetting your keys, is using broken keys to open the lock. It is good practice to keep a check on your key health and replace the ones that show any signs of damage.
- Easy replacement
Another big reason for why you need spare house keys is that they make the process of replacing the original ones very convenient through cloning.
When you need a replacement key for one that is lost or broken, the first thing that locksmiths ask for is a spare key. The reason being that duplicating a key using an existing set is a relatively easy process as compared to making a new key using the lock itself, which can be quite expensive, difficult, and time-consuming.
In the absence of a spare house key set, the locksmith might even need to replace the entire lock in a worst-case scenario.
- Give access to family members
Spare keys allow immediate family members to access your home when you’re not around.
You can’t always notify them about your whereabouts and it would just be unfortunate for them to arrive and find that there’s no one home and that the door is locked.
Having access to the spare set will ensure they don’t have to call you to open the lock and make it inconvenient for you.
HOW MANY SPARE KEYS SHOULD YOU HAVE?
While there is no “golden” number of keys that one should possess, there are, however, a few important best practices that everyone should follow.
Ideally, there should be one key for every responsible occupant of the house, plus one spare key.
The number depends on your personal preference and the reasons why you need them.
You can make more than one spare house key to give to people you trust. However, if you share your house with other people, you must take their permission and only do it if they are comfortable with the idea.
If you live alone, you can give spare keys to whoever you like, considering they are responsible and trustworthy.
If you live with children who are older and responsible and come and leave the house at different times than you do, you can give them a pair of spare keys as well. This is ideally done after they get their driver’s license. Before that age, kids are too naïve to be given the huge responsibility of taking care of the house keys.
Be careful when making too many spare keys though. Each copy of your house key must be accounted for. Having too many house keys can completely defeat the purpose of having a lock in the first place.
If even one person loses their copy it can put the entire system at risk.
In which case, it would become a hassle to change all the locks and provide new keys to everyone. It is recommended that you only give your keys to responsible people who understand the meaning of accountability.
Always remember that most burglaries happen due to neglect or human error.
WHERE TO GET SPARE HOUSE KEYS?
You will need to find a certified locksmith offering key cutting services to provide you with spare keys. Spare keys can easily be made within minutes using the original set. It is a quick and inexpensive process, allowing you to make as many spare keys as you want.
At Calder Security, we offer professional domestic key cutting services with a high degree of accuracy so that your new keys work just fine. Our state-of-the-art digital key cutting equipment allows us to cut virtually any domestic key to a high degree of accuracy in just a few minutes.
We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA) since 1976 and the keys we cut include cylinder keys, mortice keys, dimple keys, Mul-T-Lock keys, padlock keys, lockers keys, and safe keys.
Contact us now for making your spare house keys. Our professional locksmiths would be glad to assist you.
BEST HIDING SPOTS FOR SPARE HOUSE KEYS
While spare keys can be very convenient at times, they pose a serious security threat if kept in the wrong place.
You must be very careful about where you hide them because if they fall in the wrong hands, such as those of burglars or intruders, they can become a huge nuisance by invalidating your home insurance policy.
Here are the 5 best hiding spots for spare house keys:
- The dog house
Under the dog house is an ideal place for you to hide your spare keys. Burglars hate dogs and see them as deterrents. They stay away from houses that have dogs, especially loud ones since it makes breaking in very difficult.
Dogs keep burglars away and no intruder would dare go near and try to steal the keys, so it’s a win-win!
- The birdhouse
In case you don’t have a dog and a dog house, the birdhouse is also a great option for hiding the spare keys.
It’s pretty high up and no one would bother checking it since it’s a rather unusual place to hide your keys, making it all the more efficient. Just make sure the birds don’t fly away with the keys!
- Fake sprinkler
Fake sprinklers are practically indistinguishable from real ones and blend in really nicely with the surroundings, unlike fake rocks that look fake and stand out.
You can place your key inside a plastic container and screw on the sprinkler’s nozzle. It’ll just look as if you have a sprinkler system and no one would even suspect a thing.
- Somewhere in your car
Your car can be a convenient hiding spot for your spare keys. You can hide them behind the number plate or in a lockbox under your car.
If you’re out of the house, so is your car and the spare keys in it. You’re taking your spare keys with you wherever you go.
However, this wouldn’t be ideal if you keep the spare keys for your family to gain access to your house in your absence, otherwise, it’s a great hiding spot.
- With a neighbour
If you want to take things up a notch, you can stash your keys at your neighbour’s house. You can either give it to them, making them keyholders, or you can use their property to hide them.
Just make sure you trust them completely and if you decide to hide the keys in their birdhouse or sprinkler, make sure you take their permission.
Again, you must ensure that whoever you give your keys to is trustworthy and of good character!
WORST HIDING SPOTS FOR SPARE HOUSE KEYS
Some hiding spots are so common and overused that they must be avoided at all costs.
Here are the 5 worst hiding spots for spare house keys:
- Under the doormat
The doormat has been so extensively used by people in movies and in general that it has become the first place that burglars look for a set of spare house keys and surprisingly find them too since it’s a fairly common hiding spot.
- Fake rock
A fake rock won’t work as a good hiding spot if it looks too fake or if it is the only rock lying around.
Intruders searching for spare house keys keep an eye out for unusual things to find what they’re looking for. A poorly placed, fake-looking rock won’t do you any good and would sell you out as soon as someone sees it.
Flower pots placed on the porch are another favourite for homeowners to hide their keys in and burglars to look for them.
Hiding the key in the soil might be a somewhat clever solution, but it would just be too messy. It’s just better to steer clear of flower pots.
- Within 15 feet of the front door
Anything that falls within 15 feet of the front door, which includes door frames, porch lights, and windowsills must be avoided.
The farther away the hiding spot is, the better. Burglars will search nearby things and might even give up after a while instead of going and checking the entirety of your premises.
- On your keyring
This might come as a huge surprise, but a lot of people keep their original and spare keys together, in the same key ring.
That defeats the purpose of having a spare key in the first place. If you lose your key ring, you’ll lose both sets of keys.
The rule number one of having spare keys is that they shouldn’t be with you. They must be kept/hidden someplace safe that can be easily accessed if the original ones are lost.
Despite hiding your spare keys in the best and most secure hiding spots, none of the places are fail-safe. Burglars and intruders like to keep tabs on their victims and it is a possibility that they see you taking out your spare key from your hiding spot while stalking you.
Therefore, there is always a possibility that your keys fall in the wrong hands and pose a serious risk for you and your house.
For added security and peace of mind, you must have security systems in place to keep your house and the people in it safe from threats such as burglaries.
Properties with security systems lose most of their charm to burglars since they know that such places would be difficult to break into and because the chances of getting caught would be way higher.
- Burglar alarms
A robust burglar alarm system serves as a very effective deterrent against burglars trying to break into your house and it offers peace of mind that your property is well-protected and safe.
Having burglar alarm monitoring services adds to that level of security by offering an extra line of defence by ensuring that any trigger-event of the alarm is dealt with professionally.
- CCTV cameras
CCTV cameras are one of the most powerful deterrents for potential criminals from doing anything illegal like burgling your house.
Experts believe that as many as 67% of domestic burglaries could be prevented if people had CCTV security systems.
Professional CCTV monitoring will ensure that your house is being watched over by an expert monitoring staff in real-time.
This is especially beneficial for when your home is unoccupied or when someone tries to break in looking for a spare key.
The real advantage of detecting a threat while it’s in progress is the action that can be taken to deal with it, such as alerting the police.
- Home access control
Home access control systems are also called Door Entry Systems (DREs) and are another very effective option to protect your house from a burglary.
The main idea behind these systems is to make a keyless door entry system, offering you control over who enters your home while effectively eradicating the need for keys, and subsequently spare keys, that can be lost or stolen.
Access control systems can be operated via intercom, proximity fob or card, keypad, or even a biometric system, offering a very flexible security system that allows you to set access permissions for individuals and track movements in and out of your house.
Call us today free on 0800 612 9799 for a quick quote on our key cutting and security system services. Yorkshire’s leading independent security company is here to help make your house safer and more secure!