How to Secure Your New Home
By Sam Moxey
Aug 08, 2019
Moving into a new home is an exciting time, although also usually the culmination of a stressful and very pressured time. Even though you’ll have so much to do as you settle in, it is vital to think about taking steps to protect your new property. Home security should be high on the agenda, so let’s take a look at measures you should take as you make your new home your own.
1. Replace door locks
If you want to be certain that previous owners or tenants do not retain unauthorised access to your new property, you’ll need to change your door locks. This will also give you the opportunity to keep track of all the sets of keys you have.
Bear in mind that the previous owner may have given keys to neighbours, friends or family, so without changing the locks and starting again, you’ll never really know who has keys to your home.
When replacing your locks, always use a qualified locksmith who is a member of the Master Locksmith’s Association. This will give you the reassurance that the locks have been installed correctly and that they comply with insurance requirements.
Replacing locks with a patented or restricted locking system will further reinforce your peace of mind. These systems prevent keys from being copied without providing proof of ownership. Should patented keys be lost or stolen, they can usually be deleted from the key code database held by the locksmith. The lock can then be reconfigured and new keys issued so that the originals no longer work. This is often more cost effective than replacing locks altogether.
2. Check windows and doors
Something you won’t have had the opportunity to do on a regular viewing of your new home is thoroughly check the windows and doors to ensure they are in good repair, and that the locks are all working correctly. Unless you are moving into a brand new property, this is a very important set of checks to make.
Bear in mind that a lock is only as good as the frame it is attached to. A rotting wooden window frame, door or door frame will be no challenge for an intruder and certainly won’t prove sufficient support for a lock, however good its quality.
Relay any concerns to a security expert so that they can run a professional review for you and let you know if anything needs replacing.
3. Review your outdoors
Don’t limit your security review to inside your new home; outside is just as important. Outhouses, garages, sheds; these are all potential targets for thieves, especially if you store expensive machines in them, or tools that could be used to break in to your property.
When people move, they sometimes take with them the padlocks from the shed and sometimes even back or side gates, so it’s likely you’ll need to replace those. Check out our padlock buyer’s guide for advice on choosing the right lock to suit your needs. Our guide to garage security is also a worthwhile read if you have a garage to consider.
Think about whether you need new bolts, locks or window grilles to secure sheds or outhouses. Trim back any shrubbery that could be used as a hiding place for an intruder, and chain down any ladders as would-be thieves may use these to gain access to open windows on upper floors. Our guides to protecting your gardens and outbuildings and securing the valuables in your front garden are useful reads and both delve deeper into the advice you should be following to keep your outdoors safe.
4. Change your alarm code
If there is an intruder alarm fitted at your new property, be sure to change the code as soon as you move in, and then update it on a regular basis.
Check for evidence of servicing. If the alarm has not been checked for a while, make arrangements with a specialist security firm to do so. You may wish to invest in a maintenance contract to ensure the alarm is in continuous good working order and ready to protect you and your property should the need arise.
If you don’t have an intruder alarm fitted, consider investing in one. Some home insurance policies will make it a condition of cover, so check whether you need to have one installed in order to comply. Our intruder alarms FAQs offer expert advice on choosing an alarm and on the benefits they offer.
5. Check all home security equipment
Anything that’s already installed should form part of your new home security review. It is unusual for homeowners moving out to leave behind entire CCTV systems, but if they have, be sure to check it is all in good working order.
Also check any security lighting and electronic door or gate entry systems that are fitted to ensure they are functioning as they should be.
6. Run a general home security review
It might be that the home you’ve just moved into needs something of a security overhaul, especially if it is an older property or was vacant for a period before you moved in.
Think about adding extra bolts; door chains; spy holes; window locks; sensor lights; a safe… anything that will boost the security of the property will always be a worthwhile investment.
At Barry Bros Security we have been assisting homeowners in and around London for more than six decades by providing expert, professional advice on all aspects of home security. If you have recently moved into a new home and have any concerns over its security, why not give us a call or pop in to our London showroom for tailored advice from one of our helpful security specialists? We’re here to assist and look forward to hearing from you.