Here are two facts for your knowledge today: (1.) Leaving a spare house key under the doormat is the top hiding place for spare keys in this country, and (2.) Your home insurance policy could be invalidated if your house is burgled by someone using a key knowingly left outside the property.
That’s right if a lost or spare key is used as part of a break-in attempt at your home, it’s highly likely that you won’t get a penny from your home insurance policy. Popping your extra key in a flower pot or under a doormat may have been the go-to method of hiding away the house key at one time. However, if you do it today, it can lead to devastating consequences.
Let’s discuss in more detail why you should never hide your house keys under a fake rock or a mat.
That’s the First Place Thieves Search!
“Keys under the doormat” has become such a common trope in TV shows and movies that even intruders know about it. Before they think about breaking through a window or a door lock, they will try to find your spare key, hoping it to be neatly hidden under the doormat, inside a ceramic animal near the door, in a poorly placed fake rock, or even atop the door frame.
Remember, if it’s really simple for you to look and find the key, it’s just as easy for a potential criminal. Burglars are trained to think in the way a homeowner does. Moreover, what’s even the point of wasting time locking the door and putting a deadbolt on it if you’re going to leave the key outside?
As a golden rule, you should never hide your keys anywhere within 15 feet of your front door. These hiding spots include your porch lights, windowsills, mailbox, and pretty much anywhere else near the door. Most thieves are lazier than you think, so they first scan spots close to the door. If they are unable to find the key there, they are likely to get tired and move on to the next target.
It Can Void Your Home Insurance Policy
Being in the residential locksmith business in South Florida for nearly a decade, we know how common it is for homeowners to lose at least one set of keys every few years. All these keys going missing would not be that bad if people were getting their locks changed constantly, but that doesn’t happen.
There’s obviously a short-term risk of compromised home security to this, but there is a far major security risk you may not have considered before. With a rise in thefts and break-ins made possible using spare keys, most home insurance policies are now negatively affected. Losing your house spare keys may cause your whole policy to void. Check your policy to confirm this.
If your home is broken into by someone using a hidden key placed outside, there is a good chance the insurers will deny your claim. Why? A general rule established by the law is that there must be signs of “forced entry in the event of a break-in.” This is especially true when valuable possessions and money have been stolen. So, if a criminal has used a key you hid outside the house, your insurance policy can become null and void due to this rule.
Where to Keep Spare House Key Instead
Rather than leaving your keys under the welcome mat where someone might find them and use them to gain access without your permission, here’s what you can do:
- Install a Fake Sprinkler Head: You can hide spare keys in your yard inside a fake sprinkler key holder. But please be cautious; this is only recommended if you have several other real sprinkler heads in your yard.
- Hide a Spare Key Inside the Dog House: Your beloved doggo can also be relied on to safeguard your key.
- Under a Fake Rock: This only works if the fake rock doesn’t obviously look “fake” and there are several other natural rocks surrounding the fake one.
- Invest in a Lockbox: Another salient hiding spot is a small lockbox under your porch. You’ll need a combination to open this box and retrieve the key. For greater convenience, you can share the combination with other family members and trusted friends and relatives.
- Give the Keys to Someone You Trust: You can give the key to someone really trustworthy who lives near you, such as a friend, family member, or neighbor. If you get locked out, you can call them to retrieve your key. This option will undoubtedly take longer than just placing your key under the mat, but it’s much safer.
Your One-Stop Shop for Residential and Commercial Locksmith Services in South Florida
3 Guys Locksmith is an all-inclusive locksmith service provider catering to the needs of homeowners in Cutlet Bay, Hialeah, Homestead, Coral Gables, Sunny Isles, Doral, Aventura, North Miami, and North Miami Beach. Our comprehensive services range from providing duplicate and master keys all the way to smart lock installation and repair and replacement of broken window locks. To reach out to our dependable locksmith service providers 24/7, call us at (305) 907-7707 or contact us online.