Gone are the days where you can leave your doors and windows unlocked or a spare key under the doormat, flowerpot or above the door frame. Even in the sleepy village in Yorkshire that I am writing this from (I have twice now caught the same man going through our recycling bin (its hidden out of the way) probably looking for parcels.
Sadly, the times we live in are full of crime and domestic burglaries seem to be on the increase. People are now starting to take home security more seriously and fitting stronger locks, better lighting and not leaving valuables on show in downstairs windows (check out police.uk for other some crime prevention advice). That also means no spare key left outside.
But what if you do need a spare key outside? You might want to leave one for the kids coming home from school. You may have ill elderly relatives at home that need carers and medical professionals to let themselves in to administer care. How do you leave a key outside for them to use while keeping it safe? The answer is an outside key safe and we were sent the Supra C500 KeySafe to review from The Key Safe Company.
The Supra C500 KeySafe is a Police Preferred key safe tested on external walls, and only one of only two key safes to do so (Police approval through Secured by Design as a product that can help to reduce crime). Before installing and using it, please check with your home insurer that if by using one it would invalidate your insurance (some insurance companies will only allow certain outside key safes, if any).
The Supra C500 KeySafe is Police Preferred and has been tested on external walls, and as long as you use the fixings supplied (self-tapping masonry screws that fix into brick or concrete without the need for rawl plugs) you will maintain the Police Accreditation. It has also achieved an independent security rating from the the LPCB (Loss Prevention Certification Board) to LPS1175. Constructed from Zinc Alloy, making it attack resistant, it has over 4,000 possible combinations and you can change the code as often as you like.
When it arrived, it was like picking up a brick as it weighs 1.7kg (I felt sorry for the postman having to lug that around, I hope we went at the end of his round). The KeySafe is a metal box with a plastic, pull down front to protect it from the elements. Behind the cover are 12 push keys (numbered 1 to 10, letters A and B) and a reset button. It has space to store up to 6 keys on an internal hook (depending on type and size of key).
Before doing anything, a code needs to be set up (it does not come with a preset one). This is straightforward. It has 4,096 possible code combinations – a mixture of numbers and letters. The code you decide to use has to be between four and seven digits (you really should use at least five for better security). Each digit can only be used once – you could have 1234 but not 1122. Caution: there is no override or reset code, so don’t forgot the code – make sure you test it before closing the unit and keep a note of the number somewhere safe. Once locked you will not be able to open it again without the code that you have set.
Once the code has been configured, and tested before closing it, it needs to be affixed to the wall (the correct fittings are supplied). Find a suitable place that is not too obvious to site it. Using the template on the back of the instruction leaflet drill four holes and then screw the key safe (using a T30 Torx driver) to the wall. It needs to be onto brick or dense concrete (not masonry) to be fully secure. Once fitted, you can now store a spare key(s) outside and be safe in the knowledge that they are secure.
Overall, this is a quality key safe. It is strong and secure, rust and weather resistant and constructed from Zinc Alloy to make it attack resistant.
It is the prefect way to securely storing a spare key for family members and carers (especially if you have different carers in and out all day, no cutting of keys or the risk of any getting lost or misplaced when a carer changes). It is Police and some home insurers approved (check with yours’ first), giving great assurance that your spare key is safe.
If you do need to use a key safe for whatever reason, always use a Police Preferred one, install it out of sight if possible and with the correct fittings and only give the code to anyone that is absolutely necessary to have it. As an extra precaution, make sure that you change the code regularly, it really isn’t difficult to change it.
The only issue I found with this key safe is that when you set a code, i.e. 8391, the number doesn’t have to be entered in in that format, you can enter 1938 or 3981 and it will open. As long as the numbers from the code are entered in any order, the KeySafe will open.
Before you do decide to use please check with your home insurer about its use: check with your insurer that your policy covers an external key safe and if so carefully check the wording to what would invalidate it (carers entering etc… you might be covered for an authorised carer but if they give that number to someone else you might not be covered).
This is an excellent way of storing a spare key outside. It is safe and secure and the box seems very robust. You can install it yourself if you are happy to so or The Key Safe Company offer a professional nationwide installation service for just £58.
Don’t take the risk of leaving a key under the mat or flowerpot, you never know who’ll go rooting around your garden. Keep you spare key safe and secure with a KeySafe.