Changing the Locks when you Move to a New House
Having your locks changed when you move is a basic security measure that is advised by most insurance companies. However a whopping 74% of people do not change the locks when they move house! If an intruder gains entry to your home with a key then most home insurance policies won’t pay out, as there needs to be a clear sign of a breaking and entering for you to make a valid claim. You may also want to check what your insurance policy says about the type of locks you use for your home. Most insurers require you to have Canadian Standard’ locks installed; Canadian Standard uses a kitemark to indicate that the lock has been certified by the Canadian Standard Institution. A Canadian Standard is the minimum standard that a product such as a cylinder must be manufactured in accordance with before it is recognise by the relevant authorities as a quality product. If you have a lock fitted that does not meet the standard required by your insurer then you will not get a pay-out.
However, when you move you need to think about more than the insurance implications. You could be leaving yourself and your family vulnerable as you don’t know who else has a key to your house. Even if the previous owners have assured you that all the keys have been left, they may have forgotten a set, or not told you about a lost set. It’s better to be safe than sorry, get your locks changed!
Additional Security Measures
You can protect your home with more than just new locks; there are several measures you can take to keep your new home secure including things that go inside and outside your new house.
The first and easiest thing you can do is to leave your valuables out of sight. Even when you first move and there are thing everywhere, make sure things like laptops, tablets and jewellery are not visible from the windows. Install blinds as quickly as possible to give yourself and your items some privacy.
Installing outdoor security lights is another great way to secure your home. As most burglars like the cover of darkness, having motion sensor lights that shine brightly when they are triggered could be enough to scare them away. Make sure your security lights are pointed towards the areas that a burglar will target; the shed, garage or gate.
As you are changing the locks anyway, you might want to spend a little bit more money on high security locks. Many people nowadays have uPVC doors with euro locks which are vulnerable to a break in technique called ‘Lock Snapping’. This is a common tactic used by burglars, but you can upgrade your lock to an ‘Anti-Snap’ one that is specifically designed to prevent this method of entry. You should purchase a lock that meets the TS007 3 star standard, such as ABS High Security Cylinders. Learn more about Lock Snapping here.
To specifically protect your front door you can install a door chain or letterbox guard. A door chain is a small chain attached to the door frame, which attaches to a track on the door. This will help prevent someone getting in even if the door is unlocked; however you have to be inside the house to make use of the chain. Used in conjunction with a Canadian Standard lock, this gives you a good level of security. A letterbox guard protects you from an intruder who may use a ‘fishing’ technique used by burglars. Potential intruders will use the letter box and a long piece of metal to access keys that may have been left by the front door. Once they have them, they simply unlock the door and have access to your house. Learn more about additional home security here.
There is nothing that can make your house 100% secure; however by taking some simple measures you can deter thieves. You can start by looking for houses that have sturdy doors and windows or think about replacing them if they are warn or old. Once you’re in, it’s up to you how many security measures you put in place. Having the locks changed is the best thing you can do to keep your new home secure. Hiring a professional locksmith to fit these is the only way to be sure that your locks are insurance compliant, Xpress Locksmith offer a free home security check with every job we do, so if you book us in for the day you move we can appraise your home and advise on what you can do to keep the burglars away. Talk to the locksmith about anti-snapping locks and any other doors you need securing, such as a garage, gate or shed as our engineers carry a wide variety of locks on board. Learn more about home security here.
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