Just back from finishing a deadlock barrel replacement job on the Gold Coast. There had been no break, or at least nothing appeared to be missing. But the home owners felt their security had been compromised and were having trouble sleeping or leaving their home unattended, worried they had been targeted for a break in so they made the call to be better safe than sorry and do a barrel replacement and home security upgrade.
This is how it happened. The man of the house was home one Saturday by himself washing the car, when he managed to lock his keys in the car. No drama he thinks, I’ll get the emergency lockout backup key from under the pot plant on the front porch, pop inside and get the spare car keys and we are all good. But the emergency key was not there.
No alarm bells went off initially. Someone else might have got locked out and forgotten to return the spare key. A quick phone call to the wife got her home from shopping a bit early, she was able to unlock the house and the car with her keys and that seemed to be that.
Later that night around the dinner table, no one was prepared to claim responsibility for maybe losing the spare key or not putting it back. I fact, no one claimed to have ever used it. Initially the man of the house thought perhaps someone was too embarrassed to admit their slip up or had just forgotten, but then a little voice In his head started whispering maybe a burglar had found it, and was waiting for an opportune time to come around and raid the house?
So better safe than sorry, I got the call and treated the job like a tenant change over job. All lock barrels replaced and a full security check of the premises completed. Turns out there was a side window with a broken latch that would not close properly let alone lock and the back door had no deadlock at all. I sorted out these issues and left a much happier, secure feeling family behind.
There are few things more unnerving than knowing either someone has been inside your house without your permission, or has the ability to and is just waiting their chance. You won’t sleep as well, or be happy leaving your home unattended. If keys go missing? Best to assume they are in the hands of someone up to not good and sort out your home security.
If you decide to hide an emergency key?
- Under the front door mat is not a good place. Don’t do it.
- The lone pot plant on the front porch is also a bad spot. Don’t do it.
- Under the backdoor mat or the lone potplant on the back porch is also a bad place. A worse place even, because crooks would prefer to spend a little bit of time looking for a hidden key out the back where fewer people are going to spot them doing it.
- Don’t let your kids use it as their normal mode of entry. Every time they use it, there is a chance someone will see them retrieving it, and come looking for it later.
- Consider a keysafe. It should still be placed in a secure location, but it can’t be stolen by the casual burglar
Be creative. Find a safe, secure but easy to access place. A hook under the porch might seem like a good place, but it’s also a place where you are likely to find spiders and snakes… and since emergency keys are often being fumbled around for in the dark.
Don’t get TOO creative and stick a key into the dirt of a pot plant. Stick a dirty key into a lock a few times and the grit and grime will likely cause the lock to jam.