Burglaries, although unfortunate, are an everyday occurrence in most places around the world. Canada is no exception, and billions of dollars of stolen goods are reported each year. People across the province and throughout the country should be aware of the possibility of break-ins. There is no reason to live in fear, but it is always important to protect your home and your property from potential thieves. A spare key is usually a good thing, but if you hide it under your doormat or in a flowerpot, it's possible you could actually be putting yourself at risk. Here's some advice on how to keep your home secure.
Your Spare Key May Be Sending a Message
A hidden spare key is a fairly common practice. It makes sense to keep a key hidden in the event of an emergency, but does it also tempt thieves and put you and your home at risk? A burglar may be an amateur-opportunist who notices your spare key and returns later to break into your home. If you do have a spare key on your property, make sure it's hidden out of street view. Hide the key somewhere around the back of your home, so it can be discreetly retrieved in the event it is needed. The key would then preferably open a back or side door, so you do not have to return to the front door with key in hand.
Worry About Who Is Watching
A semi-professional burglar is another class of thief that could target your home. These are more seasoned criminals that tend to case out homes or businesses for a week or more. If you have a teenage child or another member of the family who uses a spare key regularly, it could be quite obvious to an intruder. One way to minimize your risk is to ensure the person keeps the key with them upon entering the home, and replaces it later on in the day.
Keep Your Keys With the People That Need Them
It is understandable to think a spare key is a threat to your home security. If you have a child who is responsible enough to come home alone, giving them a copy of the key can be a much safer bet. There is a chance of the key being stolen, but the likelihood is much less. A spare key is much safer with the people who are granted access to your home than it is hidden on your porch.
The Extra Spare for Lock-Outs
If your spare key is hidden in case the event arises where you lock yourself out of the home, it's unlikely that you'll have to take it in and out of its spot very often. As long as the key is hidden well and you don't speak of it to others, it shouldn't cause much harm. As an alternative to hiding your spare, you could ask a neighbor to hold on to one for you. You could also ask a friend or family member who lives close by.
Some neighborhoods are safer than others, and how you protect your home can be a matter of preference and affordability. Spare keys are both handy and hazardous, and should be used with caution. Always use your better judgment when it comes to your home security, and do what you can to keep your family and home safe.