A spare key can come in handy if you happen to misplace your regular keys, but a poorly hidden spare key can turn into a security hazard. With that in mind, below are some of the absolute worst places to hide your spare key; avoid these all-too-apparent locations at all costs.
1. Under the doormat.
This spot has to be the gold medal winner in the “bad hiding places” Olympics. Even the most unskilled thief is familiar with this one, and it’s oftentimes the first place a burglar will look. If you choose this spot for your spare key, you’re basically rolling out the red carpet for any shady character to stroll right into your house.
2. Under a flower pot near your front door.
Perhaps the only difference between this one and the doormat is that a little extra effort might be required to lift it up; other than that, you’re still in glaringly obvious territory. Possible points could be awarded for hiding the spare key in the soil of the plant, but it’s best to just leave flower pots alone entirely.
3. Under a fake rock that looks completely out of place.
There are two main things that can totally undermine the fake rock strategy: (1) If the rock looks a little too fake and thus sticks out like a sore thumb, or (2) If there are no other rocks around. The only type of scenario in which a fake rock can work is if there are several other rocks nearby that look very similar (i.e., in a garden), so that the fake rock can blend in with its surroundings. If you have a fake rock that looks even the least bit suspect, it’s better to try a different hiding place. In addition, fake rocks that are sold for the purpose of hiding spare keys are well known to most burglars, as they study security product catalogs as well.
4. The mailbox.
Hiding that spare key in your mailbox will basically be a “special delivery” for a would-be burglar.
5. Anywhere within 15 feet of the door that the key opens.
This includes porch lights, windowsills, ledges and practically anywhere that a burglar would not have to go too far to feel around for a hidden spare key. Burglars for the most part are notoriously lazy; they’ll go for the low-hanging fruit first, so if you make the burglar work too hard to try and find your spare key, they’ll more than likely just move on to another house.
The best way to never have to worry about hiding a spare key again is to get rid of traditional locks entirely and install keyless locks instead. You won’t have to worry about keeping up with keys at all, and the only thing you have to do is enter your passcode into the keypad, and you’re in the house with no delay. This beats the heck out of spending time wandering around the yard trying to find a decent place to hide your spare key.