Crafting With Purpose: Making Your Spare Keys More Useful
Access to a spare key can save you the expense of a locksmith; however, improperly hidden keys make your home less secure. Even hiding a key in your wallet is not a smart idea, since it usually includes your address. Here are some creative methods to create a spare key and some better ideas for hiding it so your home remains secure.
Make a Spare Key Yourself
In most locations you can get a professional to make a spare key for a few bucks and then find a way to hide it safely. However, if it is after hours for your local hardware store or locksmith, consider making a spare from a credit card or breath mint container. Just heat the key in the flame of a butane lighter until its coated with soot, use transparent tape to transfer the soot to the plastic and cut out your spare. These keys work about four times before you must replace them. Always test the spare key in the lock before hiding it.
Prescription Bottle Key Holder
Prescription bottles are the ideal size for hiding a key and they’re also waterproof. If you have rock landscaping around your home, glue a rock that is slightly larger than the bottle to its top. Place the key in the bottle and seal the lid. Bury the container with the bottom of the rock flush with the top of the surrounding rocks in the landscaping.
An Obvious Key With Distractions
Make a wind chime using several old keys and your spare. Would-be burglars would have to try several to get into the house and the noise is likely to deter them from attempting to use the wind chime.
Protected by Fido
If you have an outdoor dog, hide the key under his house. It is usually far enough away from the house that the would-be intruder does not look there. If he does, your dog should make enough noise to attract enough attention that someone makes a report.
A Tool to Get in the Door
A garden tool shed is another option for hiding the key. Most sheds have several nooks and crannies that are appropriate hiding places. Unless the person looking for the key knows exactly where it is hidden, finding it could take several hours, a factor that deters most burglars.
A Lock for the Key to Open Your Lock
Put the key in a lock box like real estate agents use. Secure the key to a porch post or railing. In the event you lock yourself out of the house, enter the code or combination, open the box and retrieve the spare key.
Color Code Your Keys
Color code your keys for easy identification. Your local hardware store may have small rubber rings in different colors that fit around the key head, but an equally effective option is using nail polish to paint the heads different colors. You must wait for one side to dry before painting the other, and this project may require more than one coat of polish. As the color wears away, you must repaint the key heads.
Hide Your Key in a Festive Wreath
It is unlikely a would-be burglar would look for a spare key in the folds of a stylish burlap wreath.