The Advice of a Security Specialist: Don't Leave Your Key in the Lock at Night

The Advice of a Security Specialist: Don't Leave Your Key in the Lock at Night

Some people think it's a good security measure to lock the door and leave the key in the lock overnight. However, according to security specialists, it isn't.

Many people believe that locking the door and leaving the key in the lock overnight is a good security practice. However, according to security expert Samuel Prieto from the Institute of Public Safety (Netpol - The Network for Police Monitoring), this habit may be more harmful than helpful.

Why You Shouldn't Leave Your Keys in the Lock Overnight?

Leaving the key in the lock doesn't enhance security. In fact, burglars have simple techniques to manipulate locks even with the key inside. Additionally, in many countries, it's even prohibited to leave keys inside locks because it can hinder emergency services from gaining quick access during critical situations.

What Are the Potential Risks?

  • Emergency access: In an emergency, medical personnel, firefighters, or other emergency responders need fast access to your home. A key left in the lock can delay their entry, potentially endangering lives.
  • Accidental lockouts: There is also a risk of accidentally locking yourself or others out. If the key is turned slightly or falls out of position, it can make unlocking the door from the outside or inside difficult, trapping occupants or preventing entry.

Instead, consider other security measures.

What Are Alternative Security Measures?

Instead of leaving the key in the door, consider these options to improve your home's security:

  • Smart locks: These locks use codes, mobile apps, or biometrics like fingerprints for access, eliminating the need for a physical key and reducing the risk of unauthorized entry. This option might seem too high-tech, however, there are many options that are quite easy to set and handle.
  • Locks with security buttons: These locks allow you to disable the key from the outside without leaving it in the lock. They provide extra security, as only those inside the home can control the locking mechanism, offering better control while keeping a physical lock.

If you prefer to keep a spare key outside your home, consider leaving it with someone you trust, such as a neighbor, friend, or family member. Avoid the common mistake of hiding it under the doormat, in a flower pot, or in other obvious spots, as burglars are well aware of these typical 'secret' places and can easily find your key.

While leaving your key in the lock at night may seem like a good security practice, it can pose significant risks. It is safer to remove the key and rely on other security measures to protect your home.