Texas Living

Don’t Get Locked Out

By James Mayfield 6.20.14

We’ve all been there. You step out the front door and go for a morning walk. When you get home, you find the door locked and everyone gone. Now what?

It’s spare key time.

While we wish it weren’t so, the days of putting a key under the front mat or inside a “fake rock” don’t seem to be the safest bets anymore.

If your neighbor hasn’t been given a spare, what other options do you have?

Luckily there are a few alternatives to get back in, in case of a lock out.

First things first: When thinking about places to hide a spare key, make sure it’s away from the house. Possibly in the backyard where it might be easier to hide a key from prying eyes.

Garage: Many electric-operated garage doors also come with an external keypad installed. These allow keyless entry into the garage for those who know the code.

An upgrade to the fake rock: A company called Stalwart has put a new twist on hiding a key in a fake rock — the fake sprinkler. The Sprinkler Head Hide-a-Key is not only budget-friendly ($6.99 for two), it also can be placed anywhere in the yard (we suggest the side of the house) and looks exactly like a sprinkler head.

Go mobile: What’s the one thing you never leave the house without, even when you go on a quick walk? Your cellphone. With the increase in mobile usage comes a new twist on the door lock. Companies such as Lockitron have created an app that allows you to lock and unlock your door right from your phone.