The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Using a Key Safe
By John Barry
Aug 16, 2019
Outdoor key safes offer numerous advantages, providing they are professionally installed, they are of excellent quality, and a few important steps are followed. In this post we’re taking a look at why you might benefit from using a key safe, and the vital things to consider when installing and using one.
An outdoor key safe can be very useful to allow controlled access to keys across a range of scenarios, such as:
- Carers making home visits to elderly or incapacitated patients who cannot answer the door
- Visitors to elderly or incapacitated relatives who live alone
- Cleaners, gardeners or other contractors requiring access when the homeowner is out
- New arivals at guest houses during hours when reception is not manned
- Holiday rentals, Airbnb, etc. where owners cannot meet guests in person
- Households where keys are regularly left indoors
What type of key safe should I choose?
There are various different types of key safes. The most common are three or four dial combination style key safes. Push button combination key safes are another option. More recently, digital key safes have been introduced which provide users with access via a smartphone app. All of them allow you to choose an access code that you can remember easily, although it should not be too easy.
If you are opting for a combination key safe, make sure you choose one that offers an extensive choice of possible combinations. The more dials or buttons it has, the more of a challenge it will be for the code to be guessed by an unwanted visitor. Ideally the push button code will be set to at least four, if not five digits. The longer the code, again the harder it will be to guess.
Look for the Secured by Design logo when choosing a key safe. This will demonstrate that the safe conforms to a Police Preferred Specification. These models will have been attack-tested to the highest levels and will usually feature anti-tamper measures.
Also think about the size of your key safe. How many keys do you want to store in it? Some will offer capacity for just one set of keys, others up to six sets. Some feature hooks inside for hanging the keys.
Ensure you choose a weatherproof key safe that is designed for use outdoors, rather than an indoor key safe that will not stand up to the elements.
Look for a model that is easy to set and re-set and, for additional reassurance, choose one with an auto-locking mechanism to ensure the safe locks whenever it is closed so you don’t have to think about locking it yourself.
Where should I install my key safe?
The most important piece of advice when installing your key safe is to make sure it is not on show. Even though the top models are designed to be impossible to crack, it is vital that you do not encourage intruders by placing it somewhere it can be seen.
Anywhere that is not immediately visible is the best place. Somewhere away from the door and not at eye level is ideal.
How can I keep my key safe secure?
Change your combination regularly. If you have recently had contractors accessing your property using the key safe, change the code once they have completed the work. If a carer or cleaner has changed, again, change the code. And if you have just moved into a new home and there is a key safe left behind, change the access code before using it.
If you are running a guest house or holiday rental, be sure to change the combination following the departure of each guest that has accessed it.
Keep your key safe well maintained. If you use it only occasionally as a solution to misplaced keys, check the safe is in good condition and still working.
Where can I get professional advice on key safes?
There is ample choice when it comes to key safes and, depending on your individual needs and reason for using one, there will be different considerations to make when choosing the right model.
At Barry Bros Security our experts are on hand in our London showroom to guide you through the choices on offer and to help you select the right model to suit your individual requirements. We also offer a professional installation service for all types of key safe.