Locks, Keys and Security

19 KeysI mentioned before that we received an insane number of keys upon move in. Well, we still don't know where they all belong, but there is truly a key for everything (19 total).  Our back windows have keyed locks (2) each with its own key.  The back door as well, another key.  The storage/servicio room outside, another key.  Closet doors and bedroom doors lock, all with different keys.  We have three keys needed just to get in the front gate and front door.  

There are a few areas that do not have keys  though.  The windows in front that face the street front windows have wooden shutters that lock from the inside via a lever, so surprisingly, no key needed there (but there are also metal bars that are between the shutters and windows which is very common in Montevideo) .  The mailbox which is located at our front gate also doesn't have a key, at least not from the house side.  

Here we also have three locks on the front door, a security system with motion detectors inside and out, and cameras in the front and back courtyards viewable from a special monitor.  Pretty elaborate system and in terms of security, better to over-do it and be a bit excessive than the alternative!  

And all this in a great part of town.  Don't read the above information wrong, this is a wonderful neighborhood with low crime.  In all of Uruguay, violent crime is extremely rare and the overall crime rate is low but petty theft is viewed as common.  If you leave something out, it may just find a new home.  We don't want that so we're using all of our security features available to us!  

When we lived in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis (not known as the best part of town) for 7 years, we had only one key that opened the front, back and garage-to-house door.  The windows "locked" with a standard window latch, not a key. We also had a security system with glass break sensors but we never left windows open and never considered bars on the windows because of fire escape reasons.  Different construction here. Different standards, as I have noted previously, make bars on the windows nearly a non-issue.  

Half-closed shutters

As we've seen throughout our travels, the differences between the USA and the rest of the world are interesting.  There is so much to learn in a culture.  We are just taking a fingernail to the surface right now.  Not everything can be judged from our USA eyes, nor should it be.  The best lesson we've learned: It is what it is.