Your house is your fortress, and both you and the belongings in it should be protected at all times. It’s worth thinking about who you’re giving your house key to, whether you’re going out of town or just want a backup plan. Below are our top pointers on when to give your keys out and when to keep them to yourself.
DO: Only Give Your House Keys to People You Trust
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s the golden rule of passing out your custom house keys. Anyone with those keys has access to your space and belongings, so you want to make sure whoever has that access can be trusted to take care of your things rather than abuse that privilege.
DO: Set Boundaries on Loaning Your House Keys
There’s a difference between tight-knit family having your key for emergencies and someone house sitting at your place for a few days. Make sure your boundaries are clear when you give out your house key, whether it’s in the long term or short term. This is especially true for neighbors or first-time house-sitters.
DO: Keep Track of Everyone With a Key to Your House
Beyond friends, family and house-sitters, it may be necessary to give your house key to anyone that provides a service in your home. Dog sitters, maids and cleaning crews are the big ones that come to mind, but there are plenty of other essential services that require home access. For this reason, it’s important to keep a list of everyone that holds a key to your home just in case.
DO: Inform Security Companies When You’re Going Out of Town
If you have a security or alarm system and a trusted friend will be house sitting, be sure to give your security company a call before you leave. Accidental alarm set-offs will usually call a team to your house, and you don’t want your guest to be mistaken for a burglar!
DON’T: Hide House Keys in Obvious Spots
While hiding your house keys may seem like a smart idea for emergencies, it’s important to be aware of where you put them. Hiding one under your doormat is likely the first place burglars will look, along with any other areas surrounding your door. It’s best to drop off your keys personally with their intended recipients to avoid any issues. However, if you absolutely must hide one, try to be original with how and where you stash them so you (and your trusted parties!) are the only ones who know where they are.
DON’T: Label Your House Keys With Your Address
Most people have the best intentions for keeping track of keys, but it’s possible that even the parties you trust can lose their keys completely by accident. Never label your house key with specific identifying information, especially your address, since anyone who finds those keys now has access to your property at any time. Custom keys take care of this issue, since they’re identifying without needing a label attached.
DON’T: Give Out Your Entire Keyring
Car keys, storage keys and keys to businesses also find their home on your keyring so they’re handy in everyday life. Be extra conscious about which keys your family, friends or house guests will need access to, and keep the others to yourself. Storage keys might be necessary, but car keys or keys to other houses or businesses don’t need to be included.