Image of door unlocking with key

We’ve all done it before; Right as you’re rushing out the door, late for work, it’s so easy to just quickly flip the inside lock on the doorknob and close the door to secure your home and your belongings inside. Just as the door has latched and locked, you remember the location of your key ring that gives you access to your house, your car, maybe even your work, is still sitting in the place you left it: inside the now-secured house. Now what? 

Getting locked out of your house or your car is one of the most inconvenient things you can have to happen, especially when you’re in a big hurry. The safest and most effective way to handle this issue, in this case, is to call your local locksmith and have a professional help you get back into your house. A lot of homeowners choose to take a different approach to handle this kind of concern, and it’s probably one of the least safe methods of making sure you can get back in once you’ve been locked out, and that’s keeping a hide-a-key.

Keeping a hide-a-key is definitely a clever idea in theory, but not in practice. While keeping a spare key will help a great deal when you’re locked out, it won’t help to keep your home safe from burglaries. In this blog, we will be deliberating why the most popular places to put your hide-a-key aren’t all that safe, and where you should be putting your key instead. 

Hiding Spots to Avoid

The idea behind having a hide-a-key is good, but it’s important to understand that you may not be the only one who knows where it is hidden or even sees where you hide it. Burglaries are all too common already without an intruder knowing where you keep the spare key. In this section, we will discuss the most common places that people hide their spare keys and the reasons why these spots are not the safest places to hide a key to your house.

Doormat, Doormat, Doormat

One of the most common places, and arguably the most dangerous, to hide a spare key is under the doormat. It’s no surprise, it feels like we see it all the time in movies and television that this would be the best place for your extra key. 

However, that is Hollywood, and this, unfortunately, is reality. Anytime you hide or use your key, no matter how discreet you think you are, anyone could’ve seen where you hid it. Most doorways to homes have a clear view of the street, so neighbors and anyone passing by can clearly see where you hide a spare key to your house. If a burglar has been targeting your home for a robbery, then they now know where your spare key is hidden and they might know how long you’ll be gone. Now, that person has total access to your home. 

Flower Pots

This is another common place to hide an extra key, and it’s no surprise. Flower pots are a common porch decoration and are heavy enough that whatever is hidden underneath feels like it’s safe and secure. However, just like the doormat, this isn’t safe because anyone can see which flower pot is your hiding spot or you could forget which one you used and lose your spare altogether. 


It’s just best to avoid this method altogether for a couple of reasons. Although hiding your key under a rock could potentially be a good spot to keep your spare safe, it’s important to be cautious of the rock that you hide it under. Just like with flower pots, a lot of people forget which rock they decided to hide their key under and lose it. This way, you’re locked out of the house and now you have to go and make another spare key with a loose one floating around somewhere around your home. 

Some people who choose to go this route will buy a fake rock that is specifically designed to hide a spare key outside of your home, but it’s important to keep in mind that these items can sometimes look like fake rocks. Hide-a-keys disguised as rocks are common, so anybody who is trying to get into your house is going to know exactly what it is when they see it. 


This hiding place is less common and for good reason. Regardless of where your mailbox is located in front of your house, it is never a good idea to hide your spare key there. For one thing, mailpeople frequently open your mailbox and are required to look inside to see if there is any outgoing mail, and no matter how trustworthy your regular mailman is, it’s not safe to put your key in an unsecured spot that is regularly opened and checked. 

Magnetic Surfaces

Magnetic key holders are often viewed as a good place to hide a spare key, but unless there is some kind of lock or combination that keeps the key secured, this is not a very safe way to hide your keys. 

This is especially common for hiding a spare car key in case someone gets locked out of their car. It seems like a good idea because it’s small and can be hidden anywhere that is magnetic on a car, but this is very unsafe because once the wrong person finds your key holder, they have the opportunity to steal your car. The same goes for your home. If anybody sees where you have your magnetic key holder and it’s not secured, then they now can total access to your home. 

Places to Hide

There is really no simple way to hide a spare key around the outside of your home without potentially creating a hazard for yourself or for your family. You never know who might be watching your house in anticipation for a possible robbery, and using a hide-a-key can make that job a lot easier on whoever is trying to break in.

If leaving a hide-a-key would be truly beneficial for you, then it might be time to start looking into installing a push-button lockbox in an inconspicuous spot somewhere around the outside of your house. They are relatively inexpensive and often require a combination in order to be opened, which is what most magnetic key holders are lacking. That way, your key will be safely hidden and locked away using a combination that you and whoever you decide to authorize will know. 

How Do We Protect Our Neighbors’ Keys? 

Sometimes neighbors can trust their neighbors with a key to their home for a variety of reasons, and with that trust comes a responsibility to keep that key safe and secure. When it comes to keys that you don’t use every day, such as your own, it’s never a good idea to keep them hanging out in the open on a key hook, even if it’s inside the house. You never know who might just swipe them off the hook without getting noticed. If you don’t want to spend money on a locked cabinet, keeping your neighbors’ keys in a secure place that closes and stays out of sight is the safest way to keep those keys protected. 

There is no simple way to get back into your house (or your car) when you get locked out. Some methods of hiding a spare key can even lead to a misplaced key that is now floating around for anyone to use or abuse. The safest, easiest, and most efficient way is to contact your local locksmith so they can securely help you get back into your home. If you’re looking for a locksmith in Hamilton, New Jersey, or nearby states such as Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Delaware, and Virginia, Firstline Locksmith is the right choice for you!