To think that if you have guests you should leave a set of keys in an accessible place so they can get out?

(35 Posts)
PickleMyster Sun 13-Apr-14 09:00:06

Okay, so I am currently staying at my Mum's, have gone to open back door (put something in outside bin) and can't find keys. I have had to wake her up to get out. She has all the keys to the house in her room which she had locked herself in, the house was in complete lock down.

At home I have similar doors and the first time she stayed she made a point of asking where we would leave the keys so "I can get out if I need to". We left them where we all could access them easily.

My biggest fear is fire, I would have no choice but to start breaking downstairs double glazed windows and it doesn't take long for smoke inhalation to take hold. This is not the first time this has happened, I've explained my fears, but she doesn't take any notice.

So am I being unreasonable in asking her to leave a set of keys in an accessible place?

My ILs started doing this when they got a new front door fitted (their old one was the pull shut and it is locked from the outside type, as is ours). They would lock it then take the key and hide it in a drawer in the front room. We had quite a lot of discussion about it which resulted in DH saying we wouldn't be staying again if they wouldn't leave it somewhere more accessible in case of fire - we live too far away for day visits. They leave it in the hall now.

SelectAUserName Sun 13-Apr-14 09:11:54

Your general point is NU - we always point out to guests where the spare keys are, and leave them close to the relevant door but not on view - but did you really have to wake your mum up to put something in the bin right then? Could you not have placed whatever-it-was beside the back door and had a conversation with her about keys and access routes when she got up?

PickleMyster Sun 13-Apr-14 09:14:41

I've asked her to leave them in the hall also, but because I go to bed earlier than her I'm never up to insist that she does it as she's going to bed. Right now I'm thinking about going home a day earlier (due to go tomorrow) but we've got a big family meal planned this afternoon.
Think I'm going to give her the ultimatum of not coming up again unless she leaves them out.

PickleMyster Sun 13-Apr-14 09:16:33

No I didn't have to wake her to put something out, I was more pissed off about the fact that she knows how I feel about leaving me with no access to get out yet she continues to do it.

Coconutty Sun 13-Apr-14 09:19:03

UABU to wake her to put something in the bin. Couldn't you have waited til she got up and then told her why you need the keys accessible?

Honeybear30 Sun 13-Apr-14 09:20:31

Agree with selecta, not sure why you woke her up to get to the bin.

But, YANBU to expect an easy route out of the house. My DH used to think I was silly about telling guests the key is HERE and he once tried to leave a chair in front of the front door in the hallway and I told him it was ridiculous. It's just basic fire safety. Especially when you're in someone else's house, you can get easily disorientated and a fire will make it ten time worse. Plus, your guests, your responsibility. Maybe ask mum how she'd feel if she got out and you were stuck inside in a fire?

Also why is she locking herself in her room?!

Slainte Sun 13-Apr-14 09:21:30

If you've already discussed with her the fire issue, I would definitely give her the ultimatum.

It would terrify me not to be able to get out of a house in an emergency situation.

Also, what would happen if she fell/had a heart attack in her room overnight?

SelectAUserName Sun 13-Apr-14 09:23:03

Does she refuse to do it because she's controlling or minimising your concerns or does she just forget by the time she goes to bed? I have a night-time routine that I do on auto-pilot and if you've gone to bed first and aren't around to remind her about the keys, she might be on similar autopilot.

If the former, then it's clearly a bigger issue than just the keys and you'd be within your rights to refuse to visit again. If the latter, could you get your own set of keys cut? I have copies of my parents' front door keys.

sleepyhead Sun 13-Apr-14 09:26:27

I was also going to suggest getting a set of keys cut for you to keep.

It would be handy if you ever had to get in (or out) in an emergency.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sun 13-Apr-14 09:30:02

Yes, why don't you have your own set? Most people I know have keys to parents and frequently vice versa.

PickleMyster Sun 13-Apr-14 09:32:48

If it was the first time then yes I it would have been unreasonable to wake her, but it's not the first time (more like the 5/6)

Yes we have had issues in the past with control and her trying to get me to do things her way. At one point she did I did give me a set of keys to her house which made things easier but she got burgled and she had locks changed. It's not that she actually refuses to leave the keys/give me any new keys, she just avoids getting into a discussion about it.

I am baffled by her behaviour at times sad

Bunbaker Sun 13-Apr-14 09:42:20

I leave my keys in the door so anyone can get out in a hurry. It is safer than leaving them within easy reach for an opportune burglar as they don't slip out of the door very easily. Also, if the key is in the door you can't use a key from outside.

SelectAUserName Sun 13-Apr-14 09:47:15

In that case I'd say "I realised when I had to wake you up this morning that I've still got your old keys from before the burglary. Can we sort out getting me a set of the new keys before I go, then I won't have to disturb your lie-in again."

gamerchick Sun 13-Apr-14 09:52:17

Don't we get 3 breaths or something in a fire before we're unconscious? Hiding keys would be quite dangerous as you're likely to panic if you wake up to a fire. You don't have the time to faff on.

Pinotgrigioplease Sun 13-Apr-14 10:03:08

I think that might invalidate your insurance Bunbaker? I think it was in the small print of my terms & conditions.

Sounds tough OP, I would push for another set of keys to be cut.

Marylou62 Sun 13-Apr-14 10:04:00

Oh God...my biggest fear...a fire and no keys. Mine are on a hook above the door....at ALL times unless they are in the door. Just explain your fears. And your worry for her in that situation.

Ilovexmastime Sun 13-Apr-14 10:23:06

Yanbu and I think you did the right thing by waking her. Consequences and all that...

Janethegirl Sun 13-Apr-14 10:25:11

I'd sooner risk burglars than burning to death because I couldn't unlock a door. My keys are either in the lock or very near it at all times.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 13-Apr-14 10:26:55

I've had this conversation so many times with dh

He's paranoid about burglars, I'm paranoid about fire.

I won. Keys are kept in the door lock.

We keep a key in our back door at all times for the fire reason, take it out and hide it when we are away, but that's the only time. Front door is self locking - we made very sure we chose a self locking one when we replaced it for this reason. I'd rather be burgled than trapped in a burning house too.

Oh god YANBU.

My Dad does this all the time. He locks the front door and puts the keys somewhere, different somewhere every night.

Every time I stay and I have to search for the keys in the morning I remind him that it's dangerous in case of a fire and he should put a little hook somewhere in the hallway to put them on.

Mind you it served them right... last time I was there I had to get up and leave at 5am, and I had to go get him up to get the keys out'!!!

haha!

Pinotgrigioplease Sun 13-Apr-14 10:34:04

Our front and back door keys are both kept in dishes on the windowsill right next to the doors. Easy to locate when needed.

Honeybear30 Sun 13-Apr-14 10:43:37

pinot it invalidates insurance to leave keys on the outside, but surely not the inside which the pp was referring to?!

foslady Sun 13-Apr-14 11:04:52

I habe door curtains with tie backs and hang them on those. Not easily accessable from outside can be covered with curtain from inside but easy to find in emergency. Was suggested by fire officer when he did his check.

Cerisier Sun 13-Apr-14 11:12:01

YANBU as the fire risk is a huge one. I would not be going to bed first if I thought there was any chance I could be locked in a house. If it happened a second time after I mentioned it, I would not stay again. This is very dangerous behaviour.

Secondly, why is DM locking her bedroom door? No one is allowed to sleep with a locked door at our house in case of fire or illness. If I am going to bed and a teen has locked a door we will hammer on it until they crawl out of bed and unlock it.

Bunbaker Sun 13-Apr-14 14:41:15

"Our front and back door keys are both kept in dishes on the windowsill"

In full sight of a potential burglar? I would rather keep it in the lock.

My parents keep their back door key in a dish, it is just out of sight of the back door on the kitchen counter. However the dish is full of other keys, assorted coins, paperclips, you name it. I just don't think they have thought through how much harder it would be to find the right one when suffocating in smoke in the dark.

Bunbaker Sun 13-Apr-14 15:08:25

The local crime prevention officer says that you shouldn't keep keys visible in the house - on a key hook or in a dish. We keep them in the doors when in the house and hide them away when the house is empty.

SueDoku Sun 13-Apr-14 15:43:13

My DS was burgled recently when he absent-mindedly left his keys on the hall table instead of in the little box where they are usually kept. The police told him that it was common for burglars to look through the letter box and then fish the keys out with a small fishing rod. The front door was opened shock his bag and his OH's handbag taken from the hall and his car stolen and used in several further burglaries.....!!!

It took a LOT of time and trouble to sort all the insurance claims out (house - all locks changed; contents - bags; and car - which was eventually recovered, but had to be checked over and have all the locks changed)..... It's also left the whole family very, very anxious - it really really isn't worth leaving your keys anywhere where they can be seen. angry sad

Migsy1 Sun 13-Apr-14 16:01:22

Could you get one of them copied?

ExcuseTypos Sun 13-Apr-14 16:11:52

All keys are left in the doors in our house. We don't have a letter box so a burglar can't hook them out and use them.

But everyone else I know, locks their doors then puts the key in some obscure place. Really handy if you're trying to get out of a fire in the pitch blackhmm

littledrummergirl Sun 13-Apr-14 18:10:56

Key is in the door here. Im another who would rather face a burglar than a fire.
Pil used to hide keys, it terrified me especially when dcs were small. They changed the door.
We have a --great big scary barky--noisy lovable dog who would tell us if someone was coming. The police once checked houses on our street to see if we were likely to be burgled, we saw them running up the drivesmile

fluffyraggies Sun 13-Apr-14 18:21:32

Keys in the doors at night here too. In blind panic in the dark and thick smoke i defy anyone to fumble around even in the hallway for a set of keys.

It would be a very awkward angle for a burglar to fish from the letterbox to get the keys out of the lock here. But you can get those 'cages' which fit over the letter box to catch the mail cant you? That would make fishing from letterbox to anywhere even harder.

Bunbaker Sun 13-Apr-14 18:24:35

I can't see how a burglar could fish a key out of our lock either.

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