Key Safe-a guide.
In conducting our home surveys its surprising how many people ‘leave a key’.
‘Well, its when I’m having a run, for the dog walker, or the kids’ for example. The number of people who would rather leave a key under a plant pot than give the kids a key (because they lose them) is more common than I expected.
‘What about a key safe-somewhere to hold them securely with a pin code?’, I ask. After a lot of err’s and umm we usually hit the two common answers:
- Complacency about home security-The usual ‘I know I should upgrade my locks/security but I never get around to it’
- The number of products available
I know we are not the only locksmith happy to give advice but I believe the expectation of the service we offer is aligned more to an emergency. Locksmiths are expensive is also a common view.
Well, in an emergency we are expensive but we offer a proactive service that is cost effective and are happy to help customers with questions (hence our Barnsley free security audit).
So-ring your local locksmith and have a chat as your insurers may invalidate your policy if the key was under a mat.
No-well let us give you some pointers. Have a look at the secured by design website, here they have a list of products:
As you can see there are 5 options available (01/11/2018)
- Supra UK C500 (I believe the most common)
- Supra P500 Keysafe
- Keyguard Digital XL Keysafe
- Sentrikey Lockbox Keysafe
All the products have been tested and Police approved. Our recommended product is
Keyguard XL (we supply and install in Barnsley from £80)
Why-well we have lots of requests to install these for people with mobility needs or the elderly. The product is great in low light conditions (in an emergency at night every second counts to get in). Increased visibility and ease of use are what we want for the customer. However, as a locksmith its not just about how it looks and opens but how secure is it. This key safe has achieved not one but two security standards.
The P500 is the ‘bigger brother’ of the C500 and is a little more robust with additional security. Overall a robust pair of devices but under low light conditions it is difficult to open. As a product its probably the market leader. I expect to see highlighted numbers in the next version and them to pass additional tests but at this moment the XL is our preferred solution. If you have either of these two products I would not recommend changing them unless you have issues with use as they would be our 2nd choice (the C500 is very cost effective).
As a residential specialist we see the Sentrikey more associated with a lot of managed housing (property management sector or health and social care sector). Bluetooth, logging of users-a true smart device. An excellent product (as are all in the list) but from our residential experience this is a niche product.
Some other top tips
- Avoid the use of dial access devices. In an emergency the door could be left opened and someone could simply lift the lid and the code is presented to them.
- Does it have an internal hook-limited mobility and a key in the bottom isn’t good.
- Is the lid hinged-some separate into two pieces, cold hands at night and a dropped lid isn’t fun to find.
But the best tip, consider how you would use it. Some issues I see may not be a problem for you and you may accept some limitations due to financial considerations for example.