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Friday’s Big Question: New house? Why you should always change the locks
There’s so much to do when you move house, from deciding who’s going to have which room, to unpacking boxes, to putting stuff away – it’s not unusual for the whole process of settling in to take a couple of weeks or longer. It’s understandable if you have so much to do that you lose track – but the one job you really should prioritise is your home’s security.
Who’s got a key to your home?
Few things beat the feeling of being handed the keys to your brand new home. But the question to ask yourself is, how many people have a copy of those keys? Yes, the owners should have handed over their copies, but you can’t be sure there aren’t still copies out there they – or previous owners – gave to neighbours, family or friends.
That’s why it’s worth changing the locks as soon as you’re able to. While it’s unlikely that anyone will use a spare key to gain entry to a property once they don’t know the people living there, you might sleep better knowing that only you and the people you choose to can enter your home.
You can arrange to have the locks changed on the day the purchase of your new home completes – and don’t forget your back door as well.
Who knows the code?
Burglar alarms can add to your peace of mind and spotting that a property has one may even have swayed your decision to put an offer in. As well as helping you feel safe, burglar alarms can also bring down the cost of your home and contents insurance and so save you a bit of cash.
However, if there’s already a burglar alarm in your property you must remember to programme in a new code when you move in. It’s not much use if you don’t know how many people have the code in their possession.
Where are the window keys?
Most double glazed windows come with the option of locking, but the little keys some require to do so with are hard to keep track of. Be sure to check they’re all there when you move in.
If you go away, make sure you lock your windows. It’s an easy task to forget, but it adds another layer of security to your home.
Are you covered?
You will probably need buildings and contents insurance as a condition of your mortgage and it’s tempting to simply take out a policy with your mortgage provider – if they offer one – so that it’s one less thing to think about. However, it really is worth finding the time to shop around and look for the home insurance that best suits your needs.
Things like how many crimes have been committed in your area, whether your postcode is a place that’s prone to flooding, the age of the property and the value of its contents, as well as the security measures in place, can all affect the cost of your home insurance. However, insurance providers will each have their own priorities, so you should avoid simply accepting the first quote you’re given.
If you want to improve your chances of getting a great deal, it’s worth checking your new home’s security measures and investing in any areas that are lacking. Not only might you be able to knock a few pounds off your policy, but you’ll also sleep better at night knowing your home is safe as houses.
For more tips on how to improve your home’s security, click here.