The cottage key safe is an excellent method for leaving a key for a visitor if the owner can’t meet them in person. The problem is that they vary so much in size and quality. Getting a bad one can leave a visitor scrabbling around in the dark so here is our advice for choosing and fitting a key safe.
Many of us have experienced a bad key safe with a stiff lock or which is only able to hold the keys if you balance them on a small shelf and don’t let any part of the key touch the sides. Visitors who encounter these key safes have every right to feel aggrieved and it doesn’t make a good start to a holiday.
The best key safes are the large ones. Even if you have only one key to fit inside it is worth having plenty of room to position it and close it up. Looking at the outside of a keysafe to gauge the size is often a mistake as the thick metal makes the inside a lot smaller. Ask the shop to open it and hold it upright against the wall so you can test some keys inside.
The method for getting inside the key safes vary. In our experience the roll number combinations are more familiar to visitors as these are common on bicycle locks and padlocks. The push number ones offer more number combinations and therefore more security but experience tells us that these sometime keep out the people who are meant to get in.
Once you have your large and easy to use key safe home from the shop you will need to fit it. You will have to find somewhere solid (made out of brick, rock or cement) and in an accessible position. Many key safes are hidden behind walls but you don’t want to put it somewhere where someone could try all the combinations at their leisure and unobserved. If you put it somewhere dark (such as on the back of a shed) you might want to consider leaving a torch so visitors can see what they are doing.
Finally, for security ensure that you don’t leave the keys in the key safe for extended periods and choose a combination that will be secure. The vast majority of key safes have codes beginning with the numbers ‘19’ and an amazing number have the code ‘1969’. Try not to fall into these traps and choose something more complex.