Combination Lock Boxes

October 13th, 2023
Traditionally we control access to our houses with "something you have": a key. This works pretty well, until you have a visitor arrive when you're not home to give them a key. The traditional way to handle this is to hide a key (under the mat, in a flower pot, etc), turning this into "something you know" (the information about where the key is hidden).

I've talked to a few people recently who've been enthusiastic about swapping traditional keyed house locks out for combination locks, and while I do see the appeal they're somewhat expensive and require batteries. But they're definitely a more secure way to implement access conditional on "something you know" than hiding a key.

Another option to consider, however, is a combination key lock box, sometimes called a "realtor box":

You set a combination on it, and then store a spare key inside. It is more hassle than a pure combination lock for access, but for a our house it works well. People generally carry their keys, but we still have a reasonably secure option if someone forgets theirs or a guest arrives while we're out.

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