I’ve never been a fan of leaving house keys hidden in the yard. But I’ve come to realize that having backup keys around are a good idea.
Our next door neighbor has a key to the house, as does our former nanny. I thought this was good enough to prevent me being locked out. Turns out I was wrong.
The Story Of How We Got Locked Out
My husband locks doors out of habit. I do not lock the house doors if I am out in the yard working. So while my daughter was at a neighbor’s house, I was working in the yard, and my husband was working in the attic. I left the door between the house and garage unlocked as I was going back and forth to get things. My keys were inside.
I went to pick up my daughter, and my husband came down to the garage to get something. When my daughter and I returned, the door to the house was locked.
I rang the doorbell. I pounded on the door. I went to a neighbor’s and called. I honked the horns of the car. Nothing. He wasn’t hearing any of it in the attic space.
What about the spare keys? The neighbor who had it was out of town. The other neighbor who had the first neighbor’s keys was also out of town. The nanny was not at home. We were out of luck. (See the bottom of the article for how I finally attracted his attention).
I realized then we needed a key hidden in the garage.
I didn’t want to do anything obvious like a lockbox, or one of those fake-and-obvious hiding places. I wanted to make the key difficult to find. So with a bit of packing tape, I picked a really inaccessible place, big enough to get my hand in, and taped the key out of site. It can be reached, but only with a struggle and only if you know the key is there. It cannot be seen, because there is no way anyone can get back there and look.
The End of the Story
After trying for 45 minutes to get my husband’s attention, I was about to go to the neighbor’s to spend the afternoon, leaving a note on the door. But my eye fell on the circuit breaker box. So I walked over and flipped the switches off for the attic.
After a few minutes, I switched them back on again, because my husband had taken a nasty fall earlier in the year and I didn’t want him to fall again. But on not hearing any footsteps coming down, I switched the breakers off again.
It did the trick. My husband came down to figure out why the circuits were acting so strangely. He thought he would find a fried circuit. Instead he found a cooked goose.
Do you have an emergency plan for getting into your house? Tell me about it below.
Photo by Stars*Go*Blue