Are you constantly losing your front door key? Used to waiting for someone to come home so they can let you in? On a first-name basis with your local locksmith? Other than upgrading to a smart lock that can be operated via your smartphone, you might well be in the habit of hiding a spare key somewhere on your property. In general terms, this can be an easy solution, and yet when you get to the specifics of where you actually hide the key, it can pose a significant security risk. This is rather logical, since many people might think of hiding a key in the same place, whether it's their own home or whether a thief who wants to be the new owner of your laptop. Ideally, you could leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour, but this is not always possible. So if you feel you need to hide a key somewhere, there are some places that are better than others.
Avoid a Fake Anything
Yes, you might think that hiding your key under the front doormat or a nearby flowerpot is too obvious, but you might have been tempted by one of the many fake options for hiding a key. A fake, hollow rock specifically made for hiding a key isn't always as secure as it might seem. The rock can look out of place in its chosen location, meaning it can stand out more than you think. The same goes for a fake sprinkler head spiked into your lawn. Remember that these fake options are commercially available and are hardly a secret. A diligent, experienced thief might be able to spot them rather easily!
This is the absolute best place to hide a key, even though it might well be in plain sight. Have a secure lockbox attached to the exterior of your home. This is essentially a wall-mounted outside safe that is accessed with a combination lock. You might wish to have it attached to an exterior wall next to your home's electrical breaker panel, and even choose a model that's the same colour. At a glance it will just look like part of the covered breaker panel, but by inputting a code, your spare key will always be there for you.
With Your Dog
Your pooch can be a perfect hiding place. If your dog is the friendly type who is unable to differentiate between your mother or a thief when someone comes to your home, then maybe don't hide the key on the dog itself. But if your dog is suitably wary with strangers (and even a little scary for those who don't know them), firmly attach the key to the dog's collar. Otherwise, place a spare key under your dog's kennel. It would be a rare thief who would want to check there.
You need to be very careful where you hide your spare key, but in a lockbox designed specifically for the purpose or with your four-legged friend, your key will be nice and safe. It's really too important to chance hiding it anywhere else.