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HOME SECURITY

Are key safes secure?

A key safe is a secure and practical way to store keys to your home. Here's what you should consider if you are thinking about getting a key safe.

August 02, 2023

Person putting their key in key safe safely

A key safe is a strong, secure, durable metal box that you can use to store spare house keys in. A key safe is normally fitted on either a brick or concrete wall outside your home and can be opened using a combination code you set. Only you and those you share the code with can open the key safe, allowing quick entry in emergencies to your home if you cannot get to the door.

At TakingCare, we recommended that older adults with a personal alarm also have a key safe so that in an emergency such as a fall, ambulance or police staff can reach you quickly. If you share the key safe code with us when you setup your personal alarm, we will only share it with the emergency services if they cannot otherwise get into the house if they are called.

Key safes can also be helpful when a carer visits so you do not have to get up to open the door.

Key safes use either a combination lock or a digital keypad. You set a unique code or combination that opens the key safe so you can use the keys stored in it. 
A strong metal box to store keys

How safe are key safes for the elderly?

Key safes are very secure, as long as you only share the code with people you trust. Many elderly people prefer key safes to sharing keys because the code can be changed and if you lose your keys, you can still get into your home (as long as you remember the code!).

When it comes to the safety of key safes for the elderly, there are some things to consider:

Security features

High-quality key safes will have a strong metal casing and tamper-resistant locks. This makes them tough to break into, as well as weather resistant.

Be careful who you share the code with

Only share the code with trusted family members, carers or neighbours. You should change the code if you think someone you don't trust knows it - but remember to tell your trusted contacts what the new code is! If you have a personal alarm, you should also tell the company that monitors your alarm what the code has been changed to as well.

Useful in case of emergencies

Key safes are especially useful in an emergency. If you or your elderly loved one needs help, whoever is responding to the emergency can open the key safe to get a key (assuming they know the code) and enter their home without having to wait for a someone with a key, or by breaking a door or window. If you have a Taking Care personal alarm, then a key safe is really valuable if you need help because we can share the code with the emergency services so they can reach you.

Helps to avoid lockouts

If you lose you keys and have a key safe, you won't be locked out. When family or friends visit that do not have their key with them, they can still get indoors if you have shared the key safe code. A key safe is certainly more secure than hiding a spare key under a flower pot! 

Convenient for trusted family members and carers to gain access

If your loved ones receive in-home care, key safes enable caregivers to access the home easily without relying on the elderly person to open the door. This allows carers to carry out their scheduled visits conveniently and without delay.

Regularly check your key safe

You or your elderly loved ones should regularly check you can open the key safe. Check the lock and keypad works and that the code hasn't changed. If it has a battery-powered lock, change the batteries whenever needed to prevent lockouts.

Education and communication about the key safe

To keep elderly family members safe, show them how to use key safes and remind them to keep access codes secret. When fitting a key safe, it's best to place it in a secure location that's not easily noticeable to anyone passing by.

How do you fit a key safe?

Fitting a key safe isn't too difficult but you will need to be confident using a drill. If you want to install a key safe, you will need these items:

  1. A key safe rated for outdoor use and a spare key to store in it. We recommend a key safe with a weather-resistant cover.
  2. You will need a suitable drill with the right drill bits for where you will be fitting the key safe, for example brickwork or concrete.
  3. Choose screws that are suitable for the surface where you'll be mounting the key safe. Your key safe may come with these.
  4. Use a spirit level so the key safe is fitted horizontally. To help with this, you'll need a pencil to mark the position of the screw holes. 

 

How do you use a key safe?

How to use a key safe

You can buy a key safe from your personal alarm provider or from another retailer. It should come with instructions to help you set it up and the manufacturer might have videos on their website that you can share with loved ones so they understand how to change the code and open the safe. Whichever key safe you choose, the steps will be similar to this:

1. Set up your code

Your key safe will have a default code and you should change this to something you will remember.

2. Test the code

Before storing your keys, test the code to ensure that it unlocks the key safe and that you have entered the code correctly.

3. Put your keys inside

After checking the code works, you can put the keys inside the safe.

4. Shut and lock the key safe

Shut the key safe and make sure it is locked. If you are using a combination lock, rearrange the dials or cover the code to prevent others from viewing it. An electronic key safe will automatically lock after it's closed.

5. Share the code

If you want family, neighbours or friends to have access to your home, make sure to share the code with them. If you have a personal alarm or elderly fall alarm, let your alarm provider know the code so they can pass it to the emergency services if needed.

6. Keep the code confidential

Make sure that the code is not revealed to anyone unnecessarily by you or your elderly loved ones. 

Do key safes invalidate house insurance?

Before installing a key safe, check with your insurance provider about any impact on your house insurance. Each insurance company and policy may have different rules. However, installing a key safe will not automatically cancel your house insurance. Review your policy for specific security requirements and inform your insurance company of any changes. Consider having the key safe professionally installed and keep records of the installation and correspondence with your insurer.

How to order a key safe with your TakingCare personal alarms

We recommend having a key safe for emergencies. Our Supra Pro KeySafe™ is secure and can hold up to three keys. It's made of heavy-duty steel and zinc alloy and comes with a waterproof cover. Remember to have an extra key ready to store in your safe.

You can add a key safe to your personal alarm when you order online or by phone. If you order our Classic Personal Alarm, then you can also add our professional installation service and we will arrange for your key safe and personal alarm to be setup and tested. 

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

Download brochure

Ways to support independent living

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

Download brochure