A spare key can come in handy whether you’ve locked yourself out of your house in the cold or enlisted your friends into checking on your pets while you’re eating delicious food in another country.
But where should you keep that spare key?
In a potted plant? Under your doormat? Inside a fake plastic rock?
Be honest—if you were trying to get into someone else’s house, those are probably the first places you’d look.
You can do better.
Best permanent key lockbox
Storing a spare key outside your home so your kids can let themselves in after school?
Consider installing a permanent key lockbox outside your home so there’s always a backup key available for those who need it, whether you’ve rented your home out on Airbnb or accidentally locked yourself out in subzero temperatures.
Top pick: Kidde AccessPoint KeySafe
Best portable key lockbox
Asking your sister to check on your cat while you go out of town? A portable lockbox could come in handy—your sister can unlock and lock your door even if you don’t have time to meet her before you leave to give her a key in person.
Portable lockboxes are also some of the best realtor lockboxes. If you need to let potential buyers check out a property when you can’t be there, a lockbox is a simple solution.
Top Pick: Kidde AccessPoint KeySafe—Portable
Best car key lockbox
It’s nice to relax on the beach or run at the park without worrying about carrying (and potentially losing) your car keys. A simple lockbox that can be hidden under your car gives you an easy place to stash a spare key while you’re out having adventures.
Top Pick: Kidde AccessPoint Stor-A-Key
Where should you put your house key lockbox?
While a good lockbox would be very difficult to open without a combination or code, you still shouldn’t call attention to the fact that there’s a key stored outside your house.
Find a spot to install it that’s not easily visible to people passing by. Consider putting your lockbox behind a post or plant or on the side of your home instead of next to the front door.
Is a lockbox secure?
A lockbox is a cheap, secure storage option if you aren’t ready to spring for a pricey smart door lock, but even the best lockbox isn’t a foolproof security solution. A skilled and dedicated burglar may still be able to crack the code or break the box.
If you use a lockbox to store keys outside your house, we strongly recommend installing motion sensor security lights and a doorbell camera so you can see who is coming and going while you’re away—most doorbell cameras even let you communicate with visitors. This will ease your mind, deter potential burglars, and make it easier for guests who are checking on your home.
Do you store keys outside your house for yourself or visitors? Share your advice in the comments below!