Lost keys and unlocking a door: What’s another way to carry or store your house keys so you don’t lose them?

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What’s another way to carry or store your house keys so you don’t lose them?

Question

My mother-in-law is living in a supported independent living unit where the entrance to the building is staffed and the residents live independently. My mother-in-law has been misplacing her keys, which results in concerns that someone has broken in to her living unit. She has started obsessing about where they are and even having replaced keys, she is still worrying. We've considered a lanyard but are concerned about it getting tangled around her neck. We've also considered changing to a punch lock but what if she forgets the combination. Do you have any suggestions?

Our answer

Losing keys can be a frustrating and worrying ordeal for anyone – and the cost of changing a lock each time can be a troublesome and unwanted expense. Your mother-in-law may be interested in knowing about a few of the carrying and storage devices that are designed to reduce losing a key. Here are a few options that she may be interested in exploring:

  • Retractable Key Holder by Securit (at Uline.ca) is a small keychain that is designed to clasp to the individual’s body – such as a purse or a belt loop – and uses a retractable cord to extend the keys so the keys are never separated from the individual. The key holder can hold up to 16 keys, and the cord can extend up to 48 inches. This product is sold in a two-pack and costs about $21 (Cdn) for the two.
  • Tile Mate Bluetooth Item Tracker by Tile Inc (at BestBuy) is a small keychain device that uses Bluetooth connection through a smartphone to help locate an object, such as keys, wallet or backpack. Through the smartphone app, the individual can track the Tile Mate’s location, and the Tile Mate can be controlled (from the smartphone) to play a loud tune until it is found. This device is sold as a pack of four Tile Mates and costs about $50 (Cdn) plus possible shipping fees.
  • Set Your Own Combination Push Button Lock Box by Master Lock (at Canadian Tire) is a small, portable lock box that is designed to store a door’s key so the individual does not have to take it with them. The lock box allows a combination anywhere between 1 and 12 characters (numbers or letters), so the combination can be easy to remember. The lock box fits over a round doorknob, which allows it to remain securely attached to the door. This product costs about $45 (Cdn).
  • Wall-Mount Push Button Lock Box by Master Lock (at iBuyOfficeSupply.ca) is a small lock box that is designed to store a door lock’s key so the individual does not have to take it with them. The individual manually programs a combination between 1 and 12 characters (numbers or letters), so the combination can be easy to remember. This lock box mounts to a wall, which allows it to remain securely attached near the door. This product costs between $50 to $86 (Cdn) plus additional shipping fees.

You may want to watch the “Master Lock 5422D & 5423D Push Button Key Safes” video by The Lock People to see how the Master Lock lock boxes work and how they are programmed.

Depending on the rules and policies of your mother-in-law’s independent living unit, another option that you may want to explore is a fingerprint-scanning door lock. These door locks remove the need for a key altogether and enable the individual to unlock their door easily with their finger. Here are a couple products available:

  • SCYAN X7SC Keyless Keypad Door Lock with Fingerprint Scanner (at Amazon.ca) is an electric door lock that is designed to unlock through either a fingerprint or through  keypad entry. This product indicates that it has a self-learning ability, which means that each scan updates the individual’s fingerprint template and greatly reduces rejection rate. This product costs about $155 (Cdn).
  • Ultraloq Electronic Reversible Door Lever by U-Tec (at Wayfair.ca) is an electronic door lock that is designed to unlock through an individual's fingerprint, code, key, or smart phone. This product costs about $250 to $430 (Cdn) plus additional shipping fees.

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