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Dual change keys?


Furd's Avatar
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12-02-17, 11:08 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Dual change keys?

Although my sister has a key to my house she does not seem to want me to have a key to her house. I recently changed my door set for a lever model and in the process also changed the key. I am thinking of re-keying the lock, and maybe hers as well, so that she could have a single key that would work in both her house and mine while my key would only work in mine.

I know this is possible using master pins in my lock that would allow two differently cut keys to work my lock while still leaving her lock as independent. My question is, should I talk to her about this or just give her a new key to my place? Or should I try to convince her that we should have BOTH houses keyed alike? She has locked herself out of her house at least once.

 
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12-03-17, 12:05 AM   #2 (permalink)  
It wouldn't hurt to say, "Hey sis, I just got a new lock on my house -- would you like it set up so your one key can open your house and mine, instead of keeping a second key?" I've never been bothered by carrying an extra key on my key ring for my parents' house, but if it's an issue for her and makes her life easier, why not suggest it?

And then it's easy enough to slide from that into, "By the way, since we're talking about keys... are you sure you don't want me to hold onto a spare key for your house? It's getting to be winter, and I'd sure hate for you to be accidentally locked out in the cold." That way you're not beating her over the head with the idea, it just seems like it just popped into your head.

If she already has misgivings about sharing her key with you, having both houses keyed the same might not be the best suggestion though. After all, if she changes her mind about sharing the key, it's a lot easier for her to say, "Give me the key back" versus calling a locksmith.

 
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12-03-17, 12:32 AM   #3 (permalink)  
Good ideas, thank you! opkjvf-er[opgk][agvfl]\E[GB

 
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12-04-17, 08:28 AM   #4 (permalink)  
The nice in-between your solution would create if she didn't want you to have a key but allowed you to key her locks to set up the master key situation is you would know the key code to her house so that you could tell her what it was, she could relay to the locksmith and he could cut her a new key. Costs more than copying a key but less than having the locksmith come out to let her in.

 
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12-06-17, 08:13 PM   #5 (permalink)  
The fact that she wants a key to your house, but not vice-versa, is one reason I'd just leave it be with separate keys; The other reason is that a master keyed lock (especially a residential-grade lock) will suffer reduced security against lockpicking, key bumping and random/try-out key attempts.

 
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12-06-17, 09:32 PM   #6 (permalink)  
I have several medical problems is why I want her to have a key to my house.

Good points concerning master keying in general. I was thinking of adding the ridged driver pins (top pins?) to make bumping a bit harder. On the other hand, if someone REALLY wants in the silly door locks are not going to stop them. Even if I had grade 1 locks they would just come through the window or batter the door down.

 
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12-06-17, 11:34 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Since your concern is partly for medical issues, have you considered a Knox Box? If you're not familiar, Knox Box https://www.knoxbox.com/residential-knox-boxes/ (and several other companies) make secure key safes that you can buy and install on your house. The local first responders have a key that opens the box, and your house key is inside. It saves them from having to wait for your sister, or battering down the door, and it's a lot more secure than the "key under the door mat" approach. You just have to talk to your fire department to see if they participate in the program, since your box would have to be keyed to match their master key, and they would have to open the box for you to put your key in.

 
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12-07-17, 01:03 PM   #8 (permalink)  
Nice idea, Squirrel! A bit on the expensive side though. I wonder how secure the box is, it looks like it is made with pot metal and would break fairly easily if attacked by a hammer. I didn't see any kind of guarantee in the advertising they would reimburse someone $25,000 (or anything) if the box were broken and the house ransacked. Since the mere presence of the key box is advertising that entrance to the home is easy IF you can open the box, I'd be reticent about it being so obvious.

The one time I did have the fire department respond I left the door unlocked after I called 911 and on the way out I asked the EMT to please lock the door as he exited.

Oh, letting Kate have a key is more to allow her entry to feed the cats and such than her letting in emergency personnel. She rarely answers her phone and she lives about 20 minutes away.

 
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12-07-17, 10:21 PM   #9 (permalink)  
I'm afraid I can't attest to the sturdiness of the residential versions. My experience has been with their commercial versions, usually recess mounted into masonry.

The specs on the website says the residential model #1650 has a 1/4" welded steel body, and a 1/4" steel plate door. https://www.knoxbox.com/store/files/...PEC-0016-F.pdf I have no clue about the smaller "HomeBox" versions, I couldn't find a spec sheet for them.

I would think that forcible entry into the box would be difficult without power tools. But once you start talking about needing angle grinders, it'd probably be easier (and quicker and quieter) for a burglar to just kick in a door. I have no idea how sturdy the door hanger part is on that version of the box. It might be possible that a burglar could somehow break the hangar, steal the box, open it in the safety of their own home/cave/evil lair, and then return with your key. And then there's relying on the fire department to keep their master key safe.

It's a trade off, for sure. I honestly can't say whether or not I would put one on my house.

 
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12-08-17, 12:16 AM   #10 (permalink)  
The less expensive home box model is made of reinforced zinc and does not have the option of a tamper switch. Then again, it is about $100 to $127 lower in price.

I checked their website and didn't find my city listed. I filled out the inquiry form so I'll see if they respond positively.

I like the idea and IF I go for it I think I will make it a semi-recessed installation. I would use a solid piece of steel plate on the inside between the studs with welded angle brackets to secure the plate to the studs.

 
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12-08-17, 10:24 AM   #11 (permalink)  
Zinc? Yuck. Why not just make it out of cheddar? It's a shame that there's such a variation in quality between the models. It always makes me queasy when I recommend a product or brand based on past experience, and I find out later they've made substantial changes to quality.

I want to say that I've heard of competing brands to Knox Box as well, but I'm blanking on their names. So if your local FD doesn't participate with Knox, they might with another brand.

Good luck with your research and (maybe) installation.

 
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12-08-17, 11:32 AM   #12 (permalink)  
I just did a Google and it appears that many cities around me have the Knox box system but mine does not. I also found that Kidde makes a key box, several actually, but details on their construction and cost is minimal. At least one model is also made of reinforced (with what?) zinc.

Further, I found an article that stats the Knox box CAN be hacked. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-s...92004T20130301 and Security Vulnerabilities Created by Fire Department Key Boxes

Finally, reading several sites from my city's pages I don't think I want anything to do with my local fire department. Let them break down my door if I am unable to open it for them. I'm pretty sure my homeowner's insurance would cover the repairs.

 
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