Home Improvement

The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Using a Key Safe

Do you find yourself locked out of your home because you’ve lost your keys occasionally? Do you need to give access to your property – for example, to social care workers who look after the elderly in your home, or ou run a B&B which requires that you give keys to your property to a variety of strangers? Then you’re in the right place!

Here, we explore what a key safe is and how you can use it for your home, along with a wide range of useful information to help you make the right choice for your home or rental property.

So, if you want to know:

  • What a key safe is;
  • What to use it for;
  • What the different types of key safes are;
  • How to buy the best key safe;
  • Where you should put your key safe;
  • How safe key safes are.

And much more… Then, this keysafe buying guide is exactly for you.

Table of Contents:

What is a key safe?

A key safe is a box-type mechanism that can be locked using a variety of means – digital, mechanical or electronic – which is used to store your keys outside of your property safely. This device’s purpose is to help you in tricky situations, especially when you’ve lost the keys to your home, or if you need to grant people (or professionals) access to the property when you are not at home. 

What can you use an outdoor key safe for?

The main purpose of using an outdoor key safe is to ensure that your keys are stored in a safe place, out of sight of prying eyes or burglars. You can also use them if you or your children tend to forget or lose keys, or if you need to give access to your property to professionals such as gardeners, cleaners, social care workers, or others who may need access when you are not there. 

Ultimately, key safes are a great way of storing your keys and keeping them safe in case of emergency, or in case of need.

How do I choose a keysafe?

The type of key safe you choose will depend on your needs. For example, do you need it in case your children need to get into your house at all times of the day and night? How about giving access to your property to professional workers? Or maybe you need a key safe to let cleaners or gardeners in.

Answering these questions will help you determine the type of key safe you should choose. Here are the three main ones for you to consider:

  • External – These types of key safes can come in a variety of shapes and forms. Some can be mounted on an exterior wall (preferably not at eye level), while others can come in the shape of garden ornaments. Either way, as the name implies, they are placed in an external area on your property and they come in a variety of sizes to enable you to store either one or a number of keys.
  • Disguised and concealed – Similar to external key safes, you can often find disguised or concealed types at the exterior of the property. However, you should be careful when installing one to ensure no one sees its location. Furthermore, you should make sure that it’s not visible to the prying eyes of burglars after its installation. Choose a key safe with a sturdy locking mechanism and hard casing.
  • Visible – This key safe type should be secured to a sturdy wall or another object to ensure that it can’t easily be tampered with. The reason you might choose a visible key safe is that you may need it to be easily found by renters, or to allow health care workers to access your property without the hassle of searching inside a gnome or under rocks.

The main factor you should take into consideration when choosing a key safe is its purpose. What are the main reasons for its installation? Who do you want to assist with it? How many people will have access to it? And how often the code needs to be changed.

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How to buy the best key safe?

When you’re considering how to buy the best key safe for your home, you need to think about the various types of key safes that are available on the market.

  1. Consider the factors – the people using it, its primary purpose, the frequency with which the key safe’s combination will need to be changed, and others.
  2. Consider the device’s mechanism and its capacity – for example, will it only be able to store one key or more? How many keys do you need to store? Will the key safe have an attack-resistant design, whether it’s Police approved, and its ease of use.
  3. Compare different safes – there are three/four dial combination styles, push-button combinations, digital safes, and others. Each of them comes with a combination code that only you should know and share only with people you trust. For combination key safes, it’s essential to select one that has an extensive choice of possible combinations – the longer the code, the better security. This will make it more difficult for anyone who tries to access it. Also, choose a weather-resistant model, as you don’t want your key safe mechanism to become damaged due to natural elements.
  4. Look out for the “Secured by Design” logo – as this is a guarantee that the safe conforms to the Police Preferred Specification. Such safes usually feature anti-tamper mechanisms.
  5. Consider the key safe size – This will mean giving serious thought to the number of keys you’d like to store and the types of keys they are (different keys for various locks differ in sizes). Storage is another factor to keep in mind – some key safes have hooks for keys, while others don’t.

The “Secured by Design” (SBD) logo looks like this. You can always count that products with this logo are manufactured with security being the main priority and not just a technical feature.

Where to put a key safe

When it comes to the location of your key safe, you need to make sure that you install it on a sturdy wall or place it on an object so that it can’t easily be tampered with. Also, make sure that it’s out of sight of potential intruders. 

The variety of key safes on the market mean that you can also get a type that’s less visible, and which is either a completely disguised variety, in the shape of a garden gnome or rock, or where you can hide it yourself with foliage, trees, shrubs, or bushes.

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How safe are key safes?

Key safes are secure when they have been installed correctly and are used for their intended purpose. There are three Police approved lock boxes that provide excellent security and comply with UK safety regulations.

  • First up is the Supra C500 Key Safe. It was the first one in the UK “to undergo rigorous attack tests and achieve an independent security rating, LPS 1175 Level 1”. This key safe offers the same security as the equivalent to the safety and defence of a residential front door.
  • The Burton XL is the second-highest-rated key safe. It is Police approved, has been dual-attack tested, and feels solid, sturdy, and heavy.
  • Finally, there’s the MasterLock 5430D. It is a bigger version of regular key safes, affordable, and easy to install.

Does a key safe invalidate my house insurance?

You might be wondering “does a key safe invalidate house insurance?” Well, it depends on your insurance provider. Some insurers will allow it in several cases, especially those that are Police approved, while others will not.

You also need to take into account whether the key safe has been tampered with, whether its contents (the keys) were actually removed, and whether these were used to cause further damage to your property. 

How can I keep my key safe secure?

You can keep your key safe secure by following some simple guidelines. The first and best method is to change your security code regularly. If you have a rental property that you let out to tenants on a regular basis, the best idea is to change the code after every tenancy so that there are no unwanted and unauthorised guests on your property. In addition, keep your key safe well-maintained, even if you don’t use it often. 

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How to open a key safe without a code?

You might be wondering “can you get into a key safe without the code if you’ve forgotten it?” No, you cannot and that’s the whole point isn’t it? With that said, consider writing the code down somewhere safe or sharing it with a trusted person so that they can help you if you forget it.

There are other options, such as manually picking the key safe by using simple tools. However, this technique only works for four-wheel code key safes and there’s no guarantee that you will be successful at this endeavour. This is why it’s best to seek the advice, assistance, and expertise of a professional locksmith.

How to change code on key safe

So, you’ve installed your key safe and would like to change the code? This is a good way of keeping your keys secure. However, changing the code will depend on the model of the key safe you’ve chosen. In general, the steps to changing the code to your safe are the following:

  1. Enter the correct code to open your key safe;
  2. Press the internal lever or button in order to reset the code. This is the case with combination tumbler locks;
  3. Press the internal button to reset the code, and enter a new code. This is the case for push-button key safes;
  4. Close the key safe, and this will reset the new code;
  5. Test that you can open and close the key safe effectively.

Installing a key safe the secure way

The best way for you to have your key safe installed in a safe and secure way is to consult the professionals. The Fantastic experts can offer you the best advice on the best type of key safe in your specific circumstances, and will be able to install it in a way that’s stable, solid, and won’t come off easily if burglars attempt to break into it or cause damage. So, arrange your key safe installation service today using our simple booking form!

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There are many benefits to having a key safe installed on your property. Whether you choose an exterior one or a concealed key safe, it all ultimately depends on your requirements. A key safe is a great idea to avoid a series of hassles of physically handing keys over or forgetting or losing your keys. 

When selecting your key safe: 

  • Always opt for a police preferred key safe;
  • Choose key safes that have the Secure By Design logo;
  • When it comes to insurance, make sure you double-check with your insurance provider because it will depend on each individual situation on a case-by-case basis.

If you’re wondering how much you can expect to pay for locksmith services like installing a key safe, you might find our blog post on the matter useful!


Did you find this post helpful? Have you ever thinking about buying a key safe? Do share with us how you did it in the comments below!

Image source: Shutterstock / oscarporras

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