If you've ever been locked out of a house or car, you know how awful that can be. That might have spurred you to get one of those little boxes or fake planters that holds a spare key. This isn't an unusual move; many people want to have a spare key waiting for them if they get locked out. But those boxes can cause you trouble, and you may be better off forgetting the spare key and just keeping the phone number of a good locksmith nearby instead.
Crooks Know About Them
One of the biggest problems with these boxes and fake hiding places is that crooks already know about them. What's worse is they know where to look for them, too. You're basically giving crooks access to your home or car by having a spare key in one of these boxes. Even if you were to try to hide the box well, because the boxes are such a common item, the crooks would know exactly what to look for -- and they will search your property if they think they have the time. Don't use those boxes -- make their search futile.
They Can Fall Off
If you're using one of those magnetized boxes for your car, those can actually fall off if you go over really rough road or if you're in an accident. Then you're left without a spare key, and someone who saw it fly off could retrieve it and, if they see your car again, use the key to get in the car. The boxes have relatively strong magnets, but an impact of any reasonable strength could send the box flying.
You Can Forget to Put Them Back
Of course, another issue is human error -- you could use the key and then forget to put it back, resulting in you staying locked out at a future date. Or, you could rekey the lock and forget to replace the spare key.
You are better off keeping the phone number of a locksmith with you so that, if you are locked out of your home or car, you can just call them and have the lockout taken care of. Another advantage to having a real locksmith service come out is that, if anything is wrong with the lock, the locksmith can still open it. If the lock has been mangled, for example, your key might not work anyway. Give a locksmith a call, though, and you'll be inside in no time.