Imagine this scenario: You arrive home after a long day’s work. You’re bone-tired. All you want to do is get inside, relax and unwind. You stand at the front door and rummage around in your pockets or purse for your house key.
It’s not there. You somehow lost it.
That could be a disaster. But not in this case. You’re smart. You’ve prepared for this very situation by hiding a house key under that big ornamental rock in the flowerbed. You retrieve the key and head inside to enjoy your rest and relaxation.
A happy ending.
Now Imagine a Different Scenario…
You’re at work. Nobody is at home. And your insurance key is patiently waiting under that big rock, ready to come to your rescue again when needed. But right now a bad guy, a burglar, is stealthily eyeballing your house. It looks very appealing to him. It looks like plum pickings. If only he could get inside.
He has his tools of the trade, of course. He could break inside if he wanted. But he doesn’t want to do that in broad daylight. Too risky. There’s another way, though, that’s worked for him many times before. He wonders if it will work at your house.
So from a discrete distance, he studies the area around your front door. There’s a doormat in front of the door. A flowerpot on the porch. And off to the side, a big rock in the flowerbed catches his attention. Hmm.
He glances around…all clear. He casually strolls up to the porch. Flips up the doormat. Nothing. Picks up the pot and glances beneath. Nothing. Quickly looks around to be sure it’s still all clear, and then rolls the rock. And there it is: your key. Another 5 seconds and he’s in your home. He appreciates the easy entry. He also appreciates all the fine things you’ve furnished your home with.
Another happy ending. But not for you.
Happens All the Time
Both of the scenarios above happen with great frequency. Because lots of people ‘hide’ their house keys outside. And burglars know that lots of people do that, and take advantage of the fact.
Making it even easier on the burglars is the fact that most keys aren’t terribly well hidden. Many people just hide their key under a mat, or under a flowerpot, or under an ornamental statue, or yes – under a rock.
Experienced burglars know where to look. If you’ve hidden your house key outside, there’s a good chance they’ll find it. In fact, a recent study conducted in the UK revealed that nearly a third of all Britons hide keys outside. And that directly resulted in more than 6,000 burglaries in 2014.
Let’s Not Make It Easy for the Bad Guys
If you don’t want to give up the security of having a spare key available, police recommend leaving a key with two or three trusted neighbors or friends. Another alternative is to equip your home with a smart lock. Smart locks give you the ability to gain entry to your home without a key. You can even unlock your door remotely with a smart key.
We’re never going to stop burglaries entirely. But let’s not make it easy for the burglars. Police departments nationwide recommend not hiding house keys outside – no matter how creatively you think you’re hiding them. It just makes things too easy for the bad guys.