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Old 02-28-2013, 04:08 AM
BleizDu BleizDu is offline
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Where to stash spare car key/house key?

(Not wanting to hijack more this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...php?p=16050582)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
What good is a spare if you don't have it when you need it?
I'm trying to think about how I would need a spare key. I guess if it had somehow fall out of my pocket? There is/was no way otherwise for my current car/former cars to get locked with the key still inside.

This is giving me pause though, so I'd want to keep spare house/car key around me, instead of inside the house, in case I lost them while out and about.

My first move would be inside my wallet, but is it a smart idea? I guess I could also tape them somewhere hidden in the glove compartment?
  #2  
Old 02-28-2013, 04:13 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
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With a friend or neighbour. Or in your desk at work (unlabeled).

I realise these aren't quite as convenient as being on your person, but I think they are a lot safer. I think it's a bit dicey just taping them in the glove compartment.

I keep my car keys in a teapot at the back of a kitchen cupboard, hidden behind the sugar.
  #3  
Old 02-28-2013, 05:11 AM
pullin pullin is offline
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Here's my methods (kinda involved, but I think it's secure enough)


For my truck:

Truck came with two types of keys. One type only unlocks the doors, and the other type will unlock and start the engine.

I have a magnetic box stuffed inside a frame member (near the rear wheels) that contains one of the "unlock-the-door" keys. Inside, underneath some seat hardware, I have stashed an actual engine-start key. It is beneath some attached hardware, and shoved way back under the carpet. It's pretty involved, but I can start my truck if I lose my keys in the woods (crawl under -> find door key -> unlock -> find wrench -> loosen bolt -> lift up carpet -> extract hidden key -> drive away)

I figure it's too involved for the average thief to figure out. I spend a lot of time out in the woods and don't want to be stuck. My hunting lease is remote enough I don't have cell coverage.


For the house:

Go to side gate -> move cinderblock from under bush to near fence -> climb up grab the long bar affixed to the inside post -> use bar to reach gate lock -> enter back yard -> enter code in realtor's lock hanging on small door to garage -> extract key* from same and open small door -> enter garage and open a specific drawer on a specific toolbox and extract key from combo wrench pouch -> use that key to open house door.

*Only opens the small door leading into garage. Doesn't work anywhere else.


For the boat:

Open engine compartment -> waaay in back is a small bag taped to a gearshift cable -> remove bag with spare keys and restart boat.


For the RV:
Most RVs use the exact same key pattern for their storage lockers (the small doors scattered about the outside). I keep a spare hidden deep in one of those. I also keep spares in the truck and the boat. I figure if I can't get to those I can borrow a locker key from almost any other RV-er and open the storage area to get my door key. Note: The door locks on RVs are differing patterns, but the locker keys are very likely to be interchangeable.


I hate being locked out, and I figure if you have to go thru several steps it will defeat most casual thieves.

Last edited by pullin; 02-28-2013 at 05:13 AM.
  #4  
Old 02-28-2013, 06:28 AM
Renee Renee is offline
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We don't lock the house, so that's not an issue. My husband and I each have a key for each car on our key chains, so should we need to we can call each other for a rescue. The keys are too expensive to replicate to make spares, so that's not happening.
  #5  
Old 02-28-2013, 06:41 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee View Post
We don't lock the house, so that's not an issue. My husband and I each have a key for each car on our key chains, so should we need to we can call each other for a rescue. The keys are too expensive to replicate to make spares, so that's not happening.
Exactly our situation. We don't even actually have a key for the house.

Back before "smart" keys, I used to tape a spare key to the inside of a hubcap.
  #6  
Old 02-28-2013, 06:47 AM
scareyfaerie scareyfaerie is offline
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I used to keep my spare car keys in the chest of drawers in the hallway, and the spare house keys on the shelf near the front door. Seemed sensible at the time since we'd recently been bombarded by ads from the fire service about having an escape route from a burning building and knowing where the keys were.

Then the house was burgled - the thieving scrotes got in through the back door and used the spare house keys to let themselves out of the front doors.

After that, once the back door was replaced and all the locks were changed, I gave a spare set of keys for the house and car to a friend who lives nearby. That way I know where to find them if I happen to lose mine, and it saves me having to give her keys when I'm away and she's feeding my cats.
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2013, 07:33 AM
lost4life lost4life is offline
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I just stashed one in the backyard. Look around and find all the obvious landmarks that seem like a good place to hide a key, and don't put one there. I'll do something like bury one three feet from a specific tree. I'm working under the assumption that a thief is not going to spend an hour or so combing my backyard. Plus, whenever we change locks or I have an obsolete key, I place it in an obvious place. If the thief finds it, he's going to waste time on a key that doesn't work. Of course, I'm not in a high crime area, and someone rooting around my yard would probably be noticed.
  #8  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:51 PM
Soylent Juicy Soylent Juicy is offline
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When I was single I always left a spare housekey with a trusted neighbour and also with my Mom. Came in handy a few times and occasionally I'd come home to find random treats left in my kitchen.

When I got my first vehicle my co-worker told me to carry a spare key inside my purse. Because if you lock your keys in your vehicle or lose your keys you most likely will have your purse on you. Once I accidentally locked my purse inside my running vehicle - which is where the neighbour with the spare housekey came in handy because I also kept a spare vehicle key inside the house. (Key word there being ONCE.)
  #9  
Old 02-28-2013, 01:20 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee View Post
We don't lock the house, so that's not an issue.
Does the house have locks and you choose not to use them? Or does the house not have locks at all? I bet your insurance company would not be thrilled to know you don't take due care of what they insure.
  #10  
Old 02-28-2013, 01:36 PM
perfectparanoia perfectparanoia is offline
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Our solution is that we have a neighbour (also our housecleaner) with a key to the house. Actually, there are four people within a half hour drive of our house who have a key to it.

Once in the house, there are spares to the cars.

Though we also have CAA so if I lock my keys in the car, they can come save me. (And have, in fact.)
  #11  
Old 02-28-2013, 06:04 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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I used to walk my dog at a large vacant lot with a few two-track dirt roads through it. Over about a 5 year period, I found three of those magnetic key boxes with keys inside. Never saw a single vehicle, just the junk they dumped illegally.

I conclude that off-roading, or perhaps just a deep pothole may be enough to cause the magnetic key box not to be there when you need it.


One useful thing I have done is to hook a straightened out coathanger through a couple holes in the frame. This has the advantage of working on other peoples cars as well as your own. It does take some practice and skill though.

Last edited by Kevbo; 02-28-2013 at 06:06 PM.
  #12  
Old 02-28-2013, 06:19 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Does the house have locks and you choose not to use them? Or does the house not have locks at all? I bet your insurance company would not be thrilled to know you don't take due care of what they insure.
Thrilled or not thrilled, I don't know of any insurance policy that requires you to lock your front door. (and I've read a lot of insurance policies)
  #13  
Old 02-28-2013, 06:29 PM
missred missred is offline
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Having learned from experience, I have several stashes:

My downstairs neighbor - I would trust her with anything that I own (and in effect do, as she has keys to it all).

The Fella - He has my keys, I have his.

My BFF - not as good of an option as it once was, as she's out of town a lot now.

I also carry a spare vehicle key in my pocket whenever I go out of the area and have one available in one of the pockets inside my purse.

I learned my lesson when, after owning my current vehicle for all of three weeks, I locked myself out while visiting family 400 miles from my home. At 11:20 am on a Saturday, I had to make a panicked call to the local GM dealership to see what could be done. They asked for the VIN and told me that they'd have a key cut for me if I could be there by noon. I told them that my ID was also locked in the vehicle and they laughed.

They had figured that one of my family would be bringing me in and they had sold enough vehicles to them over the years that they would accept their positive ID of me.
  #14  
Old 02-28-2013, 07:16 PM
Blackberry Blackberry is offline
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Car key with my mom, house key in the car (because she can't be trusted with the house key, and she doesn't know it's in the car).
  #15  
Old 02-28-2013, 07:28 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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We have a key in an outlet box in our garage. There's a little screwdriver I keep in the garage to open the outlet box. The key has been there close to 15 years, but I don't recall which box, and it's for old locks which have been changed anyway.

My wife did get locked out about ten years ago, but didn't remember about the key in the garage. She eventually got in when she and my aunt thought to try the keys on my mother's key ring that my aunt had, and found that there was a key to our house on it.
  #16  
Old 02-28-2013, 08:40 PM
DummyGladHands DummyGladHands is offline
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You can hide a lockbox somewhere with keys inside. Certainly not fool proof if someone intends to get in, but it's a thought.
  #17  
Old 02-28-2013, 08:48 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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I just keep a spare car key in my pocket on a separate key ring. It's come in handy a couple of times and I've never misplaced it yet.

As for the house, I don't leave through the front door, as I have an attached garage, and an automatic garage door remote in the car. I do keep the one house key in my pocket at all times just in case of an emergency with the car.
  #18  
Old 03-01-2013, 08:25 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee View Post
We don't lock the house, so that's not an issue. My husband and I each have a key for each car on our key chains, so should we need to we can call each other for a rescue. The keys are too expensive to replicate to make spares, so that's not happening.
We don’t bother to lock the house either. We live in the sticks and it would be child’s play to break in (lots of BIG windows, and lots of BIG rocks in the yard). If we did lock it, I keep a spare key in my plow truck (that has the keys in the ignition).

Or we could just crawl through the doggie door. We do have two very loud dogs that would discourage a stranger from doing this.

We probably should lock up though just to keep ‘honest’ people honest, but it's too much of a bother.
  #19  
Old 03-01-2013, 09:12 AM
DCnDC DCnDC is online now
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Have you considered a keyless deadbolt, a la this (electronic keypad) or this (mechanical)? Install it on a back door or basement access, precluding the need to stash a physical key somewhere it might be found or counting on neighbors or relatives to be home when you're locked out. They run from about a hundred bucks and up.

Alternatively, a similar but lower-cost solution would be a lockbox a la this. These can be had for under $30.

Just don't forget the code.

Last edited by DCnDC; 03-01-2013 at 09:13 AM.
  #20  
Old 03-01-2013, 10:13 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Our garage has a combination lock on it. Once in the garage the door to kitchen has a chain. If you know where it is, you can reach round the corner where there is a key that unlocks the chain hanging up. But you have to know where it is.

I have not figured out what to do about the car. I think it is certainly possible to lock the car with the key inside. Pressing down the driver's side lock locks the entire car and the key could be inside. They are quite expensive to replace and I have no idea where I could stash it. Under a hubcap just seems like so obvious.
  #21  
Old 03-01-2013, 12:16 PM
Pixel_Dent Pixel_Dent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Have you considered a keyless deadbolt, a la this (electronic keypad) or this (mechanical)? I
This is what we have on all of our house doors. It also means we don't have to worry about the kids losing their keys and if we need workmen or someone to be able to get in we can easily set up a temporary combination for them and delete it when they're done.
  #22  
Old 03-01-2013, 01:04 PM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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Hasn't anybody else ever heard of a fake rock? ?
cheap and easy.
But I suppose not too useful in Manhatten.
  #23  
Old 03-03-2013, 09:53 PM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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A spare car key is best attached to the car, since you can be far away or it can be very late at night, or both. I have hidden spares inside taillights, or taped to the back of a license plate, or attached with wire underneath the car. The most I would need to retrieve the spare is a screwdriver.

Unfortunately the new, expensive and large keys preclude doing this.
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