Home & Garden Personal Safety & Security

The Dangers of the Spare Key

Everyone has experienced the feeling at least once. You turn around, hear the click of a door, and realize that you are completely locked out. Perhaps your keys are inside the car, sitting on the seat, and the door locked automatically. Perhaps your spare house key which you usually keep under the welcome mat is inside on the table and you've just shut the door behind you. These situations can be inconvenient, embarrassing, or even dangerous. Being locked out of one's car or house in a dangerous neighborhood or during inclement weather presents a serious problem. On the other side of the issue, keeping some options open to avoid a full lock-out means exposing oneself to break-ins. This article is about some basic precautions for managing these situations.
Keys are the literal connection between places. They allow us in. Their absence prevents others from entering where they are not wanted. Accordingly, keys must be kept safely guarded. If you have car keys on your bed but your car is in a parking lot in the city, that doesn't do you much good.
On the other hand, if you keep all of your keys with you at all times, it can be cumbersome, and it concentrates your risk and the cost of losing all of your important keys at once. The best method is to carry as few keys as needed but to always keep them in a reliable place near where they will be used.
Spare keys need extra attention and care. Having spares saves a lot of hassle, but they can be mismanaged. After all, a spare key is just like a regular key, and anyone who finds it can use it. The old days of keeping a spare house key under the doormat are probably best passed.
If you're going to go through the trouble of hiding a spare key, select a pre-agreed-upon location which is not directly near the door. Criminals know about door mantles and common rocks, so the best option is somewhere safe, dry, and far enough away that it will be inconspicuous.
A key hidden underneath a garden statue might be a good choice, presuming the statue is not very close to the door. That's just one example of how spare keys can assist you. If you keep them safe and nearby, spare keys can save you time and keep you safe from lockouts.

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