What can you do to safeguard your home if your house keys accidentally end up in the wrong hands? That’s a question nearly two out of every three American homeowners should consider closely, according to a new study. The study, Danger at America’s Doorstep: Who Has Keys to Your Home?, looked at how homeowners protect–or fail to protect–their house keys and safeguard their home.

The survey found that a majority (64 percent) of American homeowners have knowingly circulated their house keys outside of their immediate family and nearly one-third (27 percent) of American homeowners have given out a key three or more times. Every 15 seconds a burglar breaks into a house, apartment or condo in the U.S. Burglars are often quick to attack a home’s easiest point of entry, and nothing’s easier than unlocking a front door with a set of keys. According to John Heppner, President and CEO of Fortune Brands Storage and Security, including Master Lock Company L.L.C., «Too many Americans underestimate the potential risks they invite to their homes when they let their house keys wander.» Fortunately, there are ways to prevent strangers from entering your home–even if they have your key. For example, the Master Lock NightWatch™ Deadbolt looks and works just like a standard deadbolt lock, but it offers a powerful new security feature-a patent pending blocking function that locks out all keys. To activate, owners simply lock the deadbolt as they would a standard deadbolt and then pull the lever towards them. This simple motion locks the deadbolt into an «engaged» position that blocks out any key. The lock can only be engaged or disengaged from indoors and can be easily installed in any standard entry door, replacing any other standard deadbolt. To safeguard their homes, homeowners should: 1. Keep keys secured where they won’t be forgotten or left behind. 2. Don’t hide keys in «secret» places outside your home-experienced burglars can usually find them. 3. Never attach your keys to anything that lists your name, address or phone number, and never leave them behind in a locked (or unlocked) car. 4. Always separate your house keys from your car keys each time you valet your car or drop it off for maintenance. 5. Only give your keys to someone who will watch over them as if they were their own.