With so many types of key safes on the market from lock boxes, smart key safes and wall mounted key boxes to mention just a few, it can be hard to know how to choose a key safe that is right for you. As the company that introduced the concept of storing a key in a box into Europe, allow us to dispel the mystery and give you the pros and cons in this handy Key Safe Guide. 

Are Key Safes A Good Idea?

100%. Here’s why.

Needless to say, storing a key under a mat, a wheelie bin or in an outdoor key keeper like a key rock is asking for trouble. You might as well send a burglar an invite to come and help themselves to anything they like in your home. Not only is leaving keys in hiding places or secret stashes insecure, but it will also most certainly invalidate your home insurance. So, don’t even go there - it’s not worth the risk. 

For key storage outside, a lockable, secure wall mounted key safe is definitely a sensible idea. It’s the most cost-effective way to share home access with people you trust safely and securely. This could be your family, friends or service providers such as cleaners, dog walkers or carers. Outdoor key safes are also great for personal use too – not only in case of an emergency or if you get locked out but for leaving the key inside so you can go on ‘handsfree’ walks or jogs. (Check out ‘7 reasons to install a key safe’ to get the most out of your device.)

BUT be warned – some key safes are not as safe as the name implies. Some are more of a ‘key box’ than a secure ‘key safe’ and it’s important to know what to look out for if you’re looking for a product that won’t let you down.  If you’re wondering how to secure key safes are and what is the best key safe to buy, here’s what you need to know:

Are Key Safes Safe?

There are three independent assessment standards in the UK that certify key safes for physical security: Secured By Design (SBD), Loss Prevention Standards and Sold Secure scheme. 

SBD - the official national police crime prevention initiative - run the ‘Police Preferred’ product-based accreditation scheme that works to improve home security. To achieve the Police Preferred Specification, the factory needs to be independently assessed to Loss Prevention Standard LPS 1175 issued by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). 

If a key safe has SBD’s Police Preferred Specification (often referred to as a ‘police approved key safe’) and the LPS1175 Issue 8 standard, it will have undergone stringent attack tests to certify it is safe and secure for domestic use. Find out more on this in our ‘What is a police preferred key safe’ blog.  

As a rule of thumb, if a key safe does not have either of these accreditations, it cannot be guaranteed to be of an adequate physical attack standard. 

If you’re looking for a truly safe key safe that will give you peace of mind, make sure it has at least one – and ideally both – badges of approval. 

Additionally, check that the manufacturer you buy from is ISO-accredited which will ensure the product has been tested multiple times for weakness. At The Keysafe Company, one of Europe’s first ISO approved companies to sell key safes, every product that leaves the assembly line has undergone stringent quality tests. 

Types Of Key Safes 

With key box and key safe prices ranging from £15 to £100+, the old paradigm of ‘you get what you pay for’ is true. However, whilst the higher key safe price is a good indicator of feature richness, it is not necessarily synonymous with higher levels of physical security. 

  • Lock boxes and key boxes

These are the low-priced scroll boxes or mechanical push button key storage devices that are partially made out of plastic material. Sometimes misleadingly advertised as ‘key safes’, for these types of devices are typically not that secure and are easy to break into. With prices starting as low as £15, be realistic and do not expect any level of proven security or longevity from such devices. Lock boxes are great for storing a key to a shed or an outbuilding with low-value contents but we would highly advise opting for a higher security product for installation onto buildings with high content value such as your home, holiday property or garage. If you are opting for a lower security product, it should at least be fitted out of sight.   

  • Smart key safes

These are digital key storage devices that allow you to share access remotely via an App. Whilst the digital functionality is an advantage as you no longer have to change codes manually, not all smart key safes are as safe as you might think. With a price tag north of £100, the smart connectivity is not always matched by adequate physical security levels. If it doesn’t have an independent security accreditation such as Police Preferred Specification or a LPS (Loss Prevention Standard) accreditation, it is still more of a ‘smart box’ and cannot be burglar-proof. 

  • Secure Mechanical Key safes 

As the name implies, these are mechanical push button key safes with high physical security levels. Secure mechanical key safes will be independently accredited by SBD (Secure By Design) police initiative and/or LPCB (Loss Prevention Certification Board). 

Secure mechanical devices are tested to ensure they can withstand different levels of physical attack and are safe to be positioned on an outside wall of a domestic property for maximum convenience. As well as the physical security, these type of key safes offer the reliability of a mechanical device and are cheaper than smart key safes, typically retailing at £60-£80. 

What is the best mechanical key safe? 

It’s official - Supra C500 and Supra P500 from the Key Safe Company hold the joint ‘best key safe 2021’ position. As police preferred key safes, they are also the only two mechanical key safes to have attained the LPS1175 Issue 8 A5 accolades – the highest physical attack standard to have been achieved by any manufacturer for a mechanical key safe in the UK to date.  

Please note that all LPS certified key safes must be installed in line with the manufacturer’s instructions to retain their LPS accreditation. If you’d like to know how to install a Supra key safe, visit our resources section. Alternatively, we offer a handy installation service. 

Still unsure which key safe is best for you? Contact us today and we’ll be glad to help.