Hide-a-key

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by MarkHastings, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I have to start leaving a key out for a friend to get in my house. I don't want to go the hidden rock method.

    I liked this idea. The fact that you need a code to gain access to the key.

    Any other ideas? I saw a version where the key was hidden in a thermometer, but I'm looking for a little more security.

    Like I said, I liked the above 'key combination access' style. Anyone use something similar? Where is the best place to get one?
     
  2. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Do you have an electric garage door opener? My parents solution when I was growing up was an electronic keypad that opened the garage door when the right code was entered. From there we could get in the house.
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I have one of those locks but be warned, this is what happened to me last year:

    I have a habit of turning the doorknob lock immediately after opening a door, which leads to my often being locked out of the house. So I installed a key safe in the garage, where I am most likely to be locked out. One warm summer day last year I stepped out into the garage to throw something into the recycling and lost my balance on the step as I was still holding onto the doorknob, pulling the door closed. No problem, I had a keysafe with a spare! But unfortunately I hadn't used the case in several months and couldn't remember the numbers. On top of that I had a pot of water on the stove, coming to a boil. The only other way into the house was through the attic crawlspace, going from an opening in the garage to one just on the other side of the locked door. I wasn't relishing the idea, though, because I wasn't wearing a shirt because of the warm day. Once I got into the crawlspace (fortunately I had a ladder in the garage) I thought I was screwed again because boards were covering the path to the dwelling area. But turns out there was a space - about a 1 foot by 2 foot gap between the boards - and I was able to make it back into my house.

    So the moral of the story? If you get a keysafe, remember the combo otherwise you'll be in your own personal Fear Factor!
     
  4. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    Well Cameron, I certainly won't be getting one of those any time soon! My wife has the bad habit of locking the door to our screened in porch when she comes in, leaving me outside. I have a key in our garage for when it is open but also have one outside around the pool. You can be creative, no under the doormat or over the doorjab, but even partially buried beside a plant.
    If this friend needs access on a regular basis, i'd just give him/her a key.
     
  5. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Why can't you just give your friend a spare key?
     
  6. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Get one of those Master combo key-boxes. They look like large pad locks, but they have a combo under a flip lid. They are basically unbreakable, attach anywhere (like a pad lock, mine is attached to my rear porch railing), and can hold many keys.

    But, you still need to remember a combo. Mine is WHAT THE HECK? YOU THINK I'M GONNA DROP MY SPARE KEY BOX COMBO ON YOU? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!

    [​IMG]

    MC
     
  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    LOL MicahYeah, I was thinking about that, but I like the idea of leaving a key, then when the woman leaves, she leaves the key in the house. Not that I don't trust her, but you never know. I hate the thought of someone knowing my garage code and can get in whenever they feel like it.

    But, all of this may be moot because I also looked into a professional maid service (Merry Maids). I used them before and they have a system where they lock your key in a safe (at their office).

    I'm not thrilled about that method, but I guess that's probably better than leaving a key under a mat.
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Why not just replace your key access door lock with a combination lock? One step less than hiding a key in a lockbox and you don't have to worry about losing a key. (We used a hide-a-key when we were kids, because kids are idiots and tend to do things like themselves out of the house. BUt I can't remember the last time that I locked myself out. I don't use the cheeseball "button" lock in my doorknob anyway. I always use the deadbolt, which requires the key, and then lock the doorknob lock from the outside. So I can't lock the door unless I have the key in my hand, which tends to limit the chances for lock-outs. [​IMG])

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  9. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    Re Electric Garage Doors - Ours has a feature where you can program a keypad number for one time (or maybe it's a user defined) number of uses. Set up a one time code and give it to your friend. After it's used it can't be used again.

    Perhaps it's possible to upgrade to one of these keypads?

    -paul
     
  10. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    For what it's worth, we have MerryMaids service, and how they handle the keys is pretty secure. Ask them to explain it to you, you'll feel better about just handing them a key for them to keep.
     
  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Don, after I started this thread, I checked into Merry Maids. Originally I wasn't going to go with them because I did not want to have to leave a key under the mat.

    But they did explain their 'secure' method, and while it obviously isn't 100% foolproof, nothing else really is, so I think I am going with them. I mean, I'm not totally comfortable with it, but leaving a key under my front door mat, for all to see, doesn't make me feel too safe.Yeah, as unsafe as that sounds, the alternative doesn't sound much safer.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Whereas leaving a key for someone, who can hop over to the hardware store, make a few copies, and get in whenever they feel like. And with less noise than opening the garage door.

    Once you've given out your key, even if temporarily, your house is potentially wide open to them.
     
  13. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    If you trust the person enough to let them go into your house, why not just give them a key? We do keep a key hidden out in our backyard (not in plastic rocks) but that's just in case my wife and I lock ourselves out.
     
  14. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I'm definitely going with Merry Maids and letting them hold onto my key.I know, it's a bizarre thing. Perhaps we should start a new thread on the matter...

    Actually, I just did: Irrational Fears
     
  15. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    Mark, I don't find anything irrational about it, I usually just try and find the simplest way to do things.
     

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