What are key safes, why do I need one and which one should I choose?

Which key safes are police approved, why do I need one and which is the best key safe?

At YourStride, we often receive enquiries about key safes. Given that we provide personal alarms for the elderly, this is unsurprising. What is surprising, however, is how difficult it can be to choose the right key safe. With so many different brands available and wildly varying prices, the choice can be overwhelming!

Worry not, though. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know when it comes to choosing and ordering a keysafe, its installation, and we’ll even recommend a couple that we believe stand out from the pack.

So, without further ado, let’s get started on the guide to choosing the best key safe for you.

So, what exactly is a key safe?

As the name suggests, a key safe is a safe box that stores keys in it. To open the box and get to the key, you punch in a pre-set code on a keypad on the front of it. Voila! Box opens, and out pops the stored keys.

A major benefit of a key safe, particularly if you have a personal alarm and have made an emergency call, is that a trusted person will be able access your home and get you the help you need. It means that your trusted contact need not worry about looking after a spare key and ensuring that it is on their person at all times. Of course, it will also save you from an awkward conversation should they lose a spare key that you’ve spend good money on having cut! A trusted person is typically a carer, health professional or even a neighbour, and are often those supplied with a key safe’s secret code.

Are key safes safe to use?

Key safes are a secure alternative to:

If you are currently doing any of the above, we highly recommend that you look into acquiring a key safe as soon as possible.

Which is the best key safe?

We will only ever recommend using a key safe which has been accredited by the police. Look out for the ‘Secured by Design’ initiative logo. This means that the key safe has withstood industry ‘attack’ tests to ensure it is, as they say, “secure as your front door". You can see the ‘Secured by Design’ logo below:


Personal alarm services (including us at YourStride) often point to the following three key safes when asked for recommendations:

  1. Supra C500 (a robust, well trusted option)
  2. Supra P500 (more advanced than the C500 and can even connect to your home alarm)
  3. Burton Keyguard Digital XL (a newer key safe with higher certification)

These key safes are all Police accredited by the ‘Secured by Design’ initiative. They also have LPS certification (an independent security standard). Prices start around £60 for the Supra C500 or Burton Keyguard Digital XL. They can go up to £100 for a home alarm system connected Supra P500.

Key safes and personal alarms for the elderly

Most personal alarm services will ask for your key safe details if you already have one. If you do not have a key safe, then in some cases a personal alarm provider may actually recommend that you have a key safe installed. This is especially true if you do not have any emergency contacts available to provide to your personal alarm monitoring team. This is because in the event of an emergency, and with no alternative means of entry, the monitoring team may need to share a key safe code so that help can get to you as efficiently and quickly as possible.

At YourStride, we would recommend a key safe if you do not have any nearby emergency contacts with a key. And even if you do, we would still recommend a key safe just to be extra careful. We store your key safe details on our secure system and our team will only ever give this code to emergency services. For example, this could be paramedics that need to get in and help you as soon as possible. It can be a real life-saver, so make sure you consider installing a key safe if you don’t already have one.

Once you’ve chosen your key safe, and hopefully this guide has helped, you’ll need to move onto installing it. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there, too! Read on…

How to safely install and use a key safe

When it comes to installing a key safe, it really comes down to two options. Do you feel comfortable enough to install it yourself, or would you prefer an expert to come in and do it for you? We discuss the pros and cons of each option below.

Installing a key safe yourself

It is absolutely possible to install a key safe yourself, though it can be a little tricky. Key safes are almost always attached to the outer wall of your home, and installation will usually involve drilling 4 holes into the bricks which the backplate will then screw onto. There are videos online that we recommend viewing if you choose to go down this route. If you’d like us to send you these videos, give us a call or contact us via email or our contact page.

Getting an expert to install your key safe

When ordering a key safe, you can also choose to pay for an expert to come and install it at your home. Whilst you will pay extra for this, somewhere in the region of £60, this is the more reliable of your options and will give you the peace of mind that your key safe has been installed correctly and is fully secure.

This option also allows you to put your feet up. In fact, the only thing you will need to do is tell the expert where you want it installed. We can help with that decision, too…

Where should I install my key safe?

The best, most secure place to install your key safe is on a concealed part of the building’s outer wall. This way, people you know and trust will know where to find it but strangers walking past your property will be oblivious to the fact that you even have a key safe installed. See the image below for an example:


At YourStride, we also store the location of your key safe when you order a personal alarm. This means even if it is in a well hidden location, we can always help the emergency services find it. Getting help to you is our key objective, and we’re always available if you would like to update the details of your key safe, its location, code, or anything else. Just give us a call.

Choosing a secure code for your key safe

With all those steps taken care of, It’s important to choose a code that is secure and difficult to guess. Most key safe boxes need each digit to be unique so for example, you can’t have two 1’s in your code. Here are some good rules to follow in setting a secure code:

Installing a safe box if you live in a block of flats

Living in a block of flats does not mean that you can’t have a key safe installed. It does, however, mean that you might need special permission from the management company to install a key safe to the outer wall. This could be the housing association or council. It’s always good to consult them before installing one. They may specify that the key safe is police accredited for insurance reasons. The one's we've mentioned above will all be suitable in that case.

Usually, emergency services have a 'fire key' which lets them in through the front door of the building. So you need only put in the key for your home.

I hope this has given you some tips to using key safes safely and securely at home. If there is anything else you would like me to include or if you have any suggestions, please do get in touch.

If you need more advice, our team is very happy to help. Do give us a call on 020 3868 5575 with any questions or you can email me personally at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.