12 Hiding Places to Conceal Spare Keys and Other Valuables Outside Your Home
Store a spare key and other valuables safely so people won’t find them.
Every thief knows that people often hide their spare house key under a doormat. Here’s a better idea. File down the head of the key (make sure it still works easily in the lock) and then hide it inside the cap of a soaker hose. Brass keys don’t rust, and a thief isn’t likely to unscrew your hose cap to search for your key. —Joel Steingold, reader
Learn the sneaky ways burglars can break into your house.
Good venting is key
Stick a magnet to a spare house key using hot glue, and tuck the key up out of sight inside the dryer vent hood. If your vent hood is aluminum or plastic, glue a magnet to the inside of the hood as well as the key.
Here are the best car anti-theft devices on the market.
Roll up some cash, stick it in a medicine bottle or any other watertight container, and bury it in a potted plant. For quicker access and to keep dirt from getting under your fingernails, place a stone or pine cone over it. Not many burglars are going to be excavating around your houseplants.
Rock spare key holder
This diversion rock safe comes in handy if you ever lose or forget your keys and get locked out of the house and it works well in case of an emergency. This rock inconspicuously fits in with your landscaping and is weatherproof.
Pick up a spare wheelbarrow wheel and tire (about $20 at a home centre). Deflate the tire, tuck in your goods and re-inflate it.
Hide a key in plain sight
Say you want to hide a key—other than under the rug or over the door. How about mounting a phony plastic LB fitting? Screw it to the wall and run a bit of 1/2-in. conduit to the ground so it looks official. Cut the head off the bottom screw and glue it in place. That’s it. Swing the cover aside and there’s the key.
Here are the clever ways FBI agents protect their homes.
Don’t kick this ball!
A soccer ball makes a perfect spot for little items. Let some air out of the ball and cut one of the seams using a utility knife. After inserting your items, tuck the seam back into place.
The bolt safe
This bolt safe is an effective safe storage spot to hide many of your precious items. The top bolt head removes to reveal a hidden inner compartment and is designed to blend in with other everyday items.
An unoccupied birdhouse makes a handy spot for a spare key. Screen off the bird entrance to keep out tenants.
Make sure you know the items burglars want the most.
Some shoes have a removable sock liner (the foam pad your foot rests on). Pull out the sock liner and slide in some cash. What thief is going to want to dismantle your stinky shoes? This is also a good place to hide emergency cash on your person while you’re on vacation unless, your sneakers are nice enough that someone would want to steal them too.
Stow a key in your yard
If you have an irrigation system, install a phony pop-up sprinkler head near the front door and hide a key in it. You could dismantle an extra sprinkler head or buy a fake one designed to hold a key. They cost less than $5 at home centres and discount stores.
Check out the photos you should always carry with you.
Hide a key in the keypad
It takes hours, not days, for younger kids to lose their house keys. One solution was to install a remote keypad for the garage door opener. That will work great until one day you lost power and your 12-year-old son is left out in the cold… literally. A key will fit right behind the nine-volt battery inside the keypad. A key in a keypad—now that’s ironic.
Don’t miss these true stories of the world’s dumbest criminals.