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Key safes or alternatives

(29 Posts)
rowyn Sun 02-Oct-22 14:16:20

I'm rapidly approaching 80 and am not that secure on my legs, thanks to arthritis , poor balance and gout. I live on my own and if I fall, I know I will have the utmost difficulty getting up. Even if I can get to a phone, the problem will be that I have a deadlock on the front door so no one can get in. There is a key buried in the front garden, but it would be difficult to explain all that.
So I am thinking of getting a key safe. I mean a heavy metal box which would be attached to the outside wall, and a number code set by me would be the only way of opening it.

I have been looking online and in particular at one called "police approved Supra P 500ProKeysafe" ( P - not C which is a less superior version)
I would be interested in hearing if anyone has got this model, or indeed if anyone recommends a different one.

(Incidentally I have a very good neighbour who I would trust with a key, but her husband has dementia and has a tendency to squirrel away items which she then has great difficulty finding, so I know it would worry her to have the responsibility.

crazyH Sun 02-Oct-22 14:25:17

I think it’s a good idea, but I guess, it will need some building work, which will be both disruptive and expensive.
My family and one of my neighbours has a key to my house.
My advice is to get a mobile phone and keep it with you at all times. Mine is always in my trouser pocket.

SueDonim Sun 02-Oct-22 14:29:16

I’ve just had one installed for my mother for when she’s discharged from hospital with carers. It hasn’t actually been used yet but the people I bought it from were very helpful in choosing and the installation was done smoothly.

It seems an ideal solution, to me.

aggie Sun 02-Oct-22 14:32:48

We have a key in a metal box beside the front door , it was necessary for carers to come and go and family knew the code too !
The carers weren’t allowed to write down the code , so very occasionally I would get a phone call asking for the code , anyway it was / is useful
The box is sturdy but small and hidden by the post box , neither of these entailed any building work , just a drill to put in the screws

SueDonim Sun 02-Oct-22 14:33:15

Following CrazyH’s post, the installation was simple, involving drilling four holes in an outside wall and some special screws. It took 20 minutes and there was no disruption.

I paid for the installation service offered by the company that sold it but I have no doubt I could have got a local person in to do it cheaper, had I had the time to research it.

Norah Sun 02-Oct-22 14:47:29

We have this sort, for tradesmen and deliveries. Works for our AC if they misplace their key.

Install was easy and reasonable.

We change the code after major work project is complete. Thus the most recent set of workers no longer have access.

Jaxjacky Sun 02-Oct-22 14:57:00

You might also consider a lifeline pendant that you wear so it’s on you all the time, I’m sure others on here know more details.

Nannarose Sun 02-Oct-22 15:09:06

I think that OP means that even with a pendant or mobile phone, someone would have to get into the house.
It makes sense that a key safe isn't easily detached - the ones discussed here look robust.
The other issue is that it should be easily found by carers / emergency workers etc. but preferably not immediately in the line of sight to anyone just calling at the door. It works if you have a small cupboard in a porch, or even tucked the 'wrong' side of a post or similar.
My parents had one of those tiny front gardens with a low wall. they simply put it on the house side of the wall, about halfway along - easily described, but not easily seen.

Some emergency pendants offer a 'call out' facility and hold a key for those purposes, but that is very expensive and probably not necessary.

I also think that you are wise not to leave the key with a neighbour. Should there be an emergency in the night, it can be upsetting for them. Also, when my parents did that there was always a fuss about who was away when.

Charleygirl5 Sun 02-Oct-22 15:19:16

I have had a keysafe for many years. This is the second one installed. Be careful because not all models can have their code changed- my last one could not and as so many people had had to use it I thought it safer to change the keysafe box. A neighbour of mine fitted it, took him about 10 minutes. The box is unobtrusive. Sorry I have no idea of the make or model.

Franbern Sun 02-Oct-22 15:20:33

I have had a key safe outside my front doors for the past 12 years. Wonderful little boxes, never had an expensive one. Usually just held on to walls by one or two screws. Well within a few minutes job for any handyman.

When I was away from home, and two of my daughters were in the area and let down with their overnight accommodation, was able to give them the code over the phone so they could get in. Useful for me when I slammed the front door behind me when in nightie and dressing gown and 'popping out' to put something in dustbin. Never had any problem with anyone trying to get it off the wall, etc. felt verys afe with it, and when ambulance had to come in the middle of the night, was able to give them the code.

Have one for my front door in my flat - although building is secure, when I first moved here, on a good few occasions I went out with taking my front door key with me. Was able to access one with this safe.

The pendants and mobile phone are fine for calling for help, (although I prefer to rely on Alexa), but to let someone in a keys afe is definitely the answer.

SusieB50 Sun 02-Oct-22 15:34:04

I had a simple but sturdy key safe fitted after DH died as I now live alone . I’m OK but you never know if you are going to have an accident or become suddenly ill. It was useful when my brother was stranded as his train was cancelled. I was away but he could get into the house for a night. Mine is on a wall fitted unobtrusively behind my bin . My AC and sister in law also have keys too!

ElaineI Sun 02-Oct-22 15:42:29

DM has one put on by Social Services. It is sturdy and has a key code set by them. I've used it a couple of times and it is reassuring that it is there in case I forget her key - now keep it in my car though. She has been needing a lot more help recently. She still hangs her alarm buzzer on the bottom of the stairs though and I can't get her to realise that if she fell she might not be able to reach it.

Georgesgran Sun 02-Oct-22 16:03:55

My friend had one put near her son’s front door when he let the house out as an air b’n’b, so she didn’t have to be around to meet and greet at an unearthly hour.
Easily installed - her DH did it and he’s generally useless (according to her).

travelsafar Sun 02-Oct-22 16:54:50

I use a pendant linked to careline. 29.00 pr month. I also have keysafe but by my back door. I felt If by front door it shows a vulnerable person lives in that house. My son installed my keysafe which he purchased from Amazon.

travelsafar Sun 02-Oct-22 16:55:37

Sorry 20.00 pr month not 29.00!!!!!

Concordia Sun 02-Oct-22 17:08:56

I had a Supra P500 installed after the death of my husband, Just-in-case. A couple of trusted neighbours and my adult child have the code.
My only comment really is that I thought the push buttons were a bit small and fiddly and might be difficult for someone with arthritic fingers to use.

Georgesgran Sun 02-Oct-22 17:14:47

Yes - the buttons are a bit fiddly and in my friend’s case, it was a dark street, and one visitor complained that an outdoor light would help.

PerkyPiggy Sun 02-Oct-22 17:15:54

We've had one for several years. Our current one is in a place where it can't be easily spotted by passers by. Previous to having a key safe we used to have a key in a jam jar, buried under a garden bush. Our key safe was purchased from Amazon for about £20.

Hellogirl1 Sun 02-Oct-22 17:16:27

I had a key safe fitted after my husband died. My SIL fitted it in just a few minutes, on the wall behind the bins. My adult children have the code, also my daughter`s carers for when they come during the night. Sorry, can`t remember the make, it cost £19.99.

Sago Sun 02-Oct-22 18:04:29

rowyn We have the key safe mentioned and had it fitted by the company, it’s at a holiday let.
We are very pleased with it.

rowyn Sun 02-Oct-22 22:33:46

Thanks so much for all your comments - in particular, NannaRose and CharleyGirl5. It hadn't occurred to me that some safes don't have the facility to change the code once it's been put in. And thoughts about where to place one are helpful too. It also sounds as though buying a sturdy one and finding someone locally to fix it would be equally as effective as paying a firm for safe and installation.

Charleygirl5 Sun 02-Oct-22 23:03:57

rowyn my first keysafe was installed in 2009 by SS and it was that one which could not have the code changed. My present one is better quality and the code can be changed but I would need help to access the key because the numbers are small and fiddly and I am partially sighted.

My keysafe, although close to my front door is a few inches above the ground and is unobtrusive. I would love handrails outside my house for ease of access but to me that screams that the elderly and vulnerable live here.

choughdancer Mon 03-Oct-22 09:19:50

I've just ordered one on Ebay for £7.99! Re-settable combination number.

Franbern Mon 03-Oct-22 09:31:46

Could I come back with regards to helplines which people may require. Usually those pendant ones worn, either round neck. or as a bracelet. All need to be on a monthly paid contract basis (one poster mentions twenty pound a month). Most of these also rely on you having two people quite local, who can be key holders. So, the company contacts one of those key holders should you require help at any time.

If your home has internet, then I would really recommend a once off payment for something like Alexa. I know there are other makes. I have this, and can call out to from anywhere in my flat (even if I am on the balcony). I can either ask it to contact my daughter or SiL who live close by, or just ask it to call an ambulance. I do not have to remember to wear any pendant or anything else, once purchased and set up, no further outlay. For me, a far better, easier and cost effective method of ensuring I can always obtain help.

Nannarose Mon 03-Oct-22 11:08:47

Thankyou Franbern, for making the point about Alexa.