Security tips when moving into a new home
Hello there and welcome to the Valentine’s Day special of the blog. How is it a Valentine’s Day special, I hear you ask? And there you have me beaten, because it isn’t. But everyone else is doing bloody Valentine’s Day tie-ins so I thought if you can’t beat them, join them. It’s now gone a bit wrong though as I don’t even have the most tenuous of links between Valentine’s and the subject of this month’s blog. I guess mentioning Valentine’s 5 times in the first paragraph sort of counts. But there the mentions end.
So, moving on anyway.. ooh, and an apt choice of words there, almost as if I planned it, because today I’ll be talking about the process of moving house, specifically in terms of the security side of things. As well as being one of the most stressful things you can do, moving house can also be an exciting step, but you don’t want that excitement to be quickly quelled by easily avoidable security worries.
If you’re thinking about, or are in the midst of a move, you’ll no doubt have lists longer than your arm concerning tasks you need to do whether it be arranging removal companies, contacting utilities, letting people know your new address, sorting out solicitors and estate agents, so I appreciate an additional list might not be entirely welcome but rest assured, I’ll make it as short as possible!
Insuring your new property
First up, and of the utmost importance is to get your new property insured immediately. This isn’t one you can put off for a week or two, it’s a number one priority. Let’s face it, houses aren’t cheap – they’ll likely be the most expensive asset you’ll ever own, so please don’t think that insuring it can wait until after you’ve been in a while. The risk may be slim, but if anything happens to your house in this uninsured period you’ll be left open to losing everything, turning your dream move into a nightmare. So if you take nothing else away from this blog...GET INSURED.
You wouldn’t go around handing out copies of your house keys along with your address to random folk in town. At least I hope you wouldn’t, and if you would, we may have serious issues to address there. But in reality, that’s not far off what happens if you move into a new house and don’t change the locks. In an ideal world you would be given all the existing copies of keys to your house but it’s becoming increasingly clear we don’t live in an ideal world. It’s not just the previous owners you need to be concerned about. What about the owners before them? Or people they had given a key to for safe keeping in case they locked themselves out? Or workmen, cleaners, au pairs (okay, possibly not the latter around these parts but you get my drift).
Any number of people could have copies of your keys and whilst I’m sure most of them will be as honest as the day is long, some may not be. The only way to be sure is to get all your locks changed as soon as possible after moving in. That goes for the front door, side door, back door, garage door...all of them. Yes, it’s an added expense, but for the peace of mind it gives, it’s worth every penny.
There is no better time to review your security arrangements than when moving into a new property. A fresh set of eyes on the existing measures is always a good thing. Look round before moving in all your belongings. Is there a burglar alarm? If it’s a coded entry model, make sure you change the code immediately. Are all entries to the property lockable (including windows)? Are smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms fitted and if so, are the batteries in working order? Are the doors secure and not rotting away? Is there a security camera in place? At this stage I’d advise getting in a local locksmith and using their experience and expertise to inspect the place and suggest any additional measures to take.
Everybody needs good neighbours
Yes, sorry, this might involve talking to people you don’t know, but it’s a good idea to get to know your neighbours soon after you move in. For one, it will reassure them that the strange new person in the neighbourhood is actually the homeowner and not a burglar, but it will also encourage them to keep an eye out on your property. Immersing yourself in the neighbourhood social circle makes it more likely that they’ll report any suspicious activity going on around your house – they’ll be more invested in you, as you will be in them.
Don’t forget the outside
Your new house is very important but don’t lose sight of the property’s exterior. Look around outside to see if there are any potential security problems there. Check the strength of the garden fences and that there aren’t any gaps in them and inspect the gate (fitting a lock if necessary). Security lights are an important addition if there currently aren’t any – if there are existing ones, ensure they’re in working order.
I hope these pointers have been of some use, even if you’re not currently thinking of moving house – the tips are fairly universal so worth thinking about even if you’re staying put. For any queries about anything related to your home security, or for help with repairs or replacements, give me a call on 07990573857. We are Rotherham locksmith specialists.