How to hide a spare key |
Home & Garden

How to hide a spare key

Want to safely hide a spare house key? Here are a few tips.

(Burglars, don’t read this story.)

Do not leave a spare key under the doormat. Even the most dimwitted criminal will check under the mat. You’ve seen those artificial rocks. So have burglars. Forget them. Put it up over the door frame? C’mon, you can be more inventive than that. There are better solutions to the lost-key conundrum:

Lockbox: You’ve seen real-estate agents use them. They are small, secure containers that can be opened by punching in a code. They come in various sizes and strengths. Real-estate people attach them to the front-door knob. Don’t be so obvious. Hide it somewhere on the property, in a location where it can’t be seen from the street and not in close proximity to the lock.

Good disguises: If you have in-ground sprinklers, there’s a dummy sprinkler head that blends in with the others and can hold a key ($7.95). Similarly, there’s a working thermometer that has a hidden compartment where a key may be stashed ($6.95). Both are available at

Out of sight: The website suggests hiding the spare key out of street view — a criminally inclined passerby could see you retrieve it and come back later to use it himself. It also suggests hiding the key around back — and make it a key to a back or side door.

The neighbors: If you have a trusted neighbor, ask them to hold on to a spare key. You can reclaim it if you get locked out, or they can let themselves in should an emergency arise while you are away.

On the property: There are likely several hiding places just a few steps from your door. Duct tape a key to the leg of your grill, to the underside of your mailbox or inside the bird-bath pedestal. Bury one under the seed in your bird feeder, or plant it under the potted impatiens on the porch. Want to get more razzly dazzly? Glue a small magnet to your key, and attach it to the inside of your home’s downspout extension.

Wind chimes: Several websites suggest hiding a key inside a set of wind chimes. Even if a prospective thief knew the key was there, he’d have to make a lot of noise getting it out.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.