How many people have keys to your home (and why it should worry you)

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House keysKeys can take over our lives. It is important to keep things secure, but this can mean we end up walking around with a set of keys too big to fit in our pockets at times.

It’s important to keep track of them, and make sure they don’t get into the wrong hands. When it comes to something like a bike lock key or a gym locker key, we are unlikely to make spares.

But when it comes to house keys, we seem more willing than usual to have several copies made, and give them out to other people. Given that our home is where our most valuable possessions are, this is a little odd.

So how many people have a key to your home?

If you have lived in the same place for a while, it could be more than you think.

And even though you may have only given keys out to people that you know and trust, this could be dangerous. It could increase the risk of a key to your home falling into the hands of a burglar.

It comes down to simple mathematics – the more people who have a key to your home, the more likely it is that one might get into the hands of a criminal.

Obviously it’s very handy to give a spare key to one of your neighbours who you know well and trust, in the event that you find yourself locked out.

It has happened to all of us at least once, and having a spare key close by can be very useful. So, if you are considering giving out a spare key, make sure you only give one key to one neighbour, to keep the risk as low as possible.

If, for example, a burglar was to break into your neighbour’s home, your house could then be at risk. If the burglar sees the key they may figure out that it is for your home, especially if it is on its own or labelled.

If you do get a neighbour to look after one of your spare keys, make sure they keep it in a safe and secure place, and out of sight of burglars.

Are there people who have keys to your home you didn’t know about?

Another thing to consider is who may have a key to your house without your knowledge. If you did not have the locks changed when you moved into your house, there could be a lot of people with easy access to your property and all of its contents.

Even though the event of one of these people entering your home is unlikely, it is always better to be safe than sorry. So, remember to get the locks changed as soon as you move in.

As well as the danger of burglary, you could find yourself even more out of pocket if your home insurance doesn’t pay out.

You may not know it, but many insurance companies might deny a claim if a burglar used a key to enter your home. This will, of course, vary from policy to policy, but it may be hard to prove your house was secure if a burglar used a key and that you weren’t negligent.

Policy Expert

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.