Home Decor

Spare House Keys: Old Fashioned and No Longer Necessary


I am old enough to remember when most Americans were pretty lax about keeping their doors locked. I also remember when my parents first decided it was time to start locking up when we went out. My father went right to the hardware store to have spare keys made, just in case. He hid one of those spare keys outside.

That was a long time ago. In fact, it was the 1970s. These days, spare keys are both old fashioned and unnecessary. I’m surprised that so many people still hide spare keys outside just in case they accidentally lock themselves out.

Why It’s a Bad Idea

I understand why people made spare keys in the past. Nonetheless, burglars are smart enough to know that hiding keys outside is still a habit among homeowners. That is what makes doing so a bad idea. If you and I know how to find creative locations to store spare keys, doesn’t it make sense that burglars know how to find those locations too?

Keeping a spare key in the car isn’t any smarter. A burglar who breaks into the car and finds a spare key is likely smart enough to check the glovebox for an insurance card. Guess what that insurance card offers? The homeowner’s address.

A wallet or purse is a better location for a spare key, but it is still not ideal. Stealing a wallet or purse with a key inside gives a burglar everything he needs to break in. The simple fact of the matter is that spare keys can be used against homeowners.

A Smart Lock Is Better

Earlier, I mentioned that making spare keys is no longer necessary. How so? By installing a smart lock. A smart lock is an electronic lock that provides a means of access not requiring keys. You can learn all about smart locks by reading Vivint Smart Home’s Smart Lock Buying Guide.

In a nutshell, you can eliminate the need for keys by installing a smart lock on your main entry door. The exact lock you choose will determine your means of access. Typically, you are looking at a PIN code entered through a keypad or a fingerprint scanner.

If you are worried about malfunctions or smart lock batteries dying, relax. Smart locks still come with keyed access. Your keys become a failsafe backup. You will rarely need them because you can get in with your fingerprint or a keypad.

Access With a Phone

Most smart locks can be accessed remotely. What does that mean? It means you can lock or unlock the door from anywhere provided you have a mobile device and an internet connection. You could be halfway across town and unlock the door for your spouse using your phone. This is yet another smart lock feature that eliminates the need to make spare keys.

If you have family members visiting from out of town, you can give them their own PIN code to access the front door. Or you could simply unlock the door with your phone. They will have no trouble getting in or out for the length of their stay. Meanwhile, you do not need to create an additional security risk by having a spare set of keys made.

Spare keys served their purpose when there was no other way to deal with being locked out of your house. But in the era of smart home technology, spare keys are both old fashioned and unnecessary. You can say goodbye to spare keys once and for all by installing a smart lock on your main entry door.