On September 2, in Monroe, Connecticut, a homeowner came home to find his deadbolt unlatched and items missing from his home, including a video camera, laptop, and $500 in cash. There were no signs of forced entry and police noted that a key he kept outside was missing.
The victim made what is an all too common mistake among homeowners – leaving an extra key "hidden" outside the home. Everyone is familiar with the fake rock that you can buy to hide an extra key in your yard. Over the years, this has evolved into any number of seemingly ordinary yard, garden, or porch items to hide that extra key inside. Those not wanting to splurge on fake yard décor often hide their key in what they already have on display – under the door mat, on top of the door, in a flower pot.
Know who else is familiar with those rocks and rugs and flower pots? The burglar wanting to get into your home!
The problem with all of these "hiding" places is that they are so well-known and so many people use them, and thieves are well aware of this. Other security experts agree - a quick online check shows everyone from from insurance companies to police departments to simple home protection articles – advise against doing this. In fact, the only places that believe hiding an extra key outside of your house is wise are the places selling those rocks we just talked about.
Our unfortunate homeowner in Connecticut was hit, likely when he was at work, at a time when the FBI says more than half – 62% - of home invasions occur (precisely between 6am-3pm). Not only are you at work, but so are your neighbors, giving burglars time and leisure to snoop around and find that hidden key.
There are many reasons to need an extra key nearby and many will tell you to place that key in the trust of neighbor, friend, or family member. Yet, that's not exactly convenient if you're locked out and you can't get in touch with them. So what's a homeowner to do?
If you're determined to have that extra key stashed away, the safest option (or the lesser of the evils) is a combination-lock key storage box (pictured right). There's hundreds of brands and types to choose from, and they are widely available.
However, the only real way to guarantee the safety of your home, family and valuables whether you're a convenience-key-hider or not, is to have a fully-monitored alarm system with a keypad panel. This way, even if someone does come across your house key, they're still stopped in their tracks without your alarm password and the authorities are quickly notified that there's an intruder in your home.
Worried a home alarm system is beyond your means? You may be surprised. We have a wide range of security products and features to fit many needs and budgets, such as iAlarm, Alarm Link, as well as fully-monitored alarm systems. You also may qualify for our $0 Down Internet Special, where you can get a home security system installed with no up-front costs with approved credit.
If you'd like to know more, contact us today, or just fill out our online form for a Free Estimate on our Comprehensive Homeowner's Package.
[Call Alarm Center Security today for a FREE quote on a security system for your home or business - 1-800-97-ALARM - or visit our website to see if you qualify for a $0 down installation - alarm.net]