Homeowners risk invalidating insurance policies as 1 in 5 still leave spare door keys outside of their house

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Leaving a spare set of house keys hidden in a place well known to only you and your nearest and dearest is nothing new, yet as security and household insurance experts readily remind us, it’s a practice which should be put out with the old.

Whether it’s popping the spare keys under a flower pot, doormat or loose patio brick, the fact of the matter is we really shouldn’t still be doing this in 2016 on the grounds of making a potential thieves’ job that much easier.

Yet this general understanding hasn’t deterred some 20% plus of UK homeowners who still insist on leaving the spare door key somewhere outside of their property for ‘safe keeping’. Or for a family member to pick up should they return to the empty house before the mortgage payer, along with numerous other oft-trotted out excuses.

These are the somewhat alarming recent findings of a survey carried out by Keytek Locksmiths who discovered that 1 in 5 of us are still insisting on hiding our spare door keys outside of our properties (and nowhere near as far from the view of prying eyes as homeowners otherwise believe) despite the habitual warnings from every group such as the police and security experts to household policy-providing insurers, reformed burglars and the Government.

And one of the many issues raised by this admission is the one surrounding the subject of home and contents insurance, and more pertinently that perpetuators are risking invalidating their existing insurance policy by essentially leaving the security of their property far more vulnerable as a result of their ignorance.

The perfect hiding place?

The perfect hiding place?

As to the precise whereabouts of just where secreted spare keys are historically located, the study revealed that 2% (of those polled) admitted to stashing it under a strategically-placed plant pot, while 6% confirmed that it was deposited under a mat of some description when they left their home.

Meanwhile another 6% reported that they hid their spare keys in the garage or shed, with 7% readily suggesting ‘somewhere in the garden’ (as if it’s actual coordinates were top secret). Perhaps most interestingly the survey threw up the news that a figure of 44% of householders gave their neighbours spare keys for safe keeping in their absence, which if nothing else hints that Brits are becoming more neighbourly once more.

Neighbourliness aside, this revelation will do little to appease the UK’s leading home and contents policy providers who have long campaigned for householders to be more aware of creating opportunities for potential thieves by continuing to deposit spare keys outside their homes.

To reiterate the important point we made at the top, such practices will invalidate home insurances should an intruder locate the keys and subsequently gain access to the policyholder’s property, with insurance providers insisting that we avoid hiding spare keys outside as burglars are well versed in knowing exactly where to look for them.

In a press release which accompanied the publishing of the results of its key research, Keytek’s Operations Director, Eddie Wilkinson, went on record as saying; “Although Britons on the whole are more security conscious than they used to be, these results show that many people are still taking big risks with the safety of their homes, by leaving keys in obvious hiding places that experienced burglars will be well aware of.”

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