Key Fob Safety
Automated technology developments have led to smart phones, smart appliances, and recently, smart cars. With rearview cameras, Bluetooth capabilities, and more, it seems new vehicles can do everything but steer themselves. Many new vehicles use small pieces of hardware – key fobs – that contain built-in authentication allowing you to lock and unlock your vehicle by pressing a button or even holding the key fob close to the door handle. While these entry methods make locking and unlocking your vehicle quick and easy, they can also lock you out and let unauthorized passengers in. Stay smarter than your car with the following tips:
- Always park in a well-lit area close to other vehicles. Roll all your windows up, hide your valuables, and lock your doors with your key fob as soon as you exit your vehicle.
- Some vehicles open when the key fob is in proximity to the door; be sure not to leave your key fob in your car, where it could lock or unlock the door from within.
- Unlock your car door right before you open it; unlocking your car from a distance enables an intruder to enter before you do.
- Keep your automated key in a secure place and ensure that the buttons can't be accidentally pressed – some cars can be unlocked from a range of up to 60 feet, so if your vehicle could have been accidentally unlocked, be sure to lock it again. Don't let young children play with the key fob.
- When you purchase a vehicle, you should always receive a spare key. Store your back up key fob in a place where you or a family member can easily access it if you lose your key fob or it stops working.
- Change the batteries in your key fob at least once a year, since remote keyless systems rely on batteries to send the lock and unlock signals. Keep an extra battery in your glove compartment. While each vehicle is different, most keyless entry cars display a light on the dashboard indicating that the key fob's battery is low and needs to be changed.
- If your key fob dies and you have no other batteries, check for a key hidden inside the key fob that you can use to manually lock or unlock your car doors. If you have a push start vehicle, hold the key fob directly over the push start button while keeping your foot on the brake; this should provide enough power to turn on the engine.
- Keep your key fob by your bed at night. If a burglar attempts to break into your home, or if you hear suspicious sounds, you can hit the panic button on your key fob and set off the car alarm. This can startle the burglar and alert neighbors and security service patrols to the problem.
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