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Why security should be a key step in your spring-clean checklist

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:43 27 March 2015

Ideally, you should change the locks on your new property as quickly as possible

Ideally, you should change the locks on your new property as quickly as possible

Archant

Spring is high season for moving house and sprucing up the home. But in the bustle of moving boxes and clearing off cobwebs, few of us remember to check the key security features that keep our homes and families safe all year round.

In fact, if you’re one of the 74% of people who have just moved house without changing the locks, chains or security systems on your new property, there is an added risk that your insurance may be invalidated if intruders with access to keys from previous owners are able to let themselves in.

To save the hassle- and the heartbreak- of a break-in, security specialists Yale have come up with some top tips to safeguard your home this spring:

1. If you’re moving, make sure estate agents have copies of all sets of keys belonging to your previous and your new home. Check that everyone you’ve lent keys to- be they friends, neighbours or workmen- have returned spare sets to you. You don’t want to be responsible for the keys to someone’s new home! Equally, check that all sets of keys to your new property are safely with the agent so you can be sure of peace of mind when you move in.

2. Try to change the locks on your new property as quickly as possible to avoid any nasty surprises spoiling your ‘just moved in’ excitement. If you want to upgrade from the traditional key lock, you could research the growing trend for ‘smart locks’ which allow homeowners to simply reprogram an electronic lock and regularly reset the codes. Traditional door chains and spy holes are trusty favourites and will give you an affordable extra layer of security.

3. If your property has electronic security products such as house alarms or CCTV systems, make sure you have the instruction manuals to hand so that they can be reprogrammed with a minimum of hassle. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have any product guarantees, such as a ten-year guarantee for an alarm.

4. If you’re looking to upgrade your security system, why not think about installing a DIY home alarm, an easy-to-install CCTV system or a digital door viewer, many of which can be synced to hand-held devices and mobile phones which enables you to keep an eye on your property even when you’re out and about.

5. Don’t forget to ensure that windows, gates and outbuildings are also fitted with up-to-date locks and padlocks.

Finally, make sure you’ve ticked off the basic security checks every time you leave the house- after all there’s no point upgrading to the latest home security system if you’re going to leave the window wide open!


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