Did you know that one in every 36 homes is prone to receive the inopportune visit of a burglar this year? Or that more than 20,000 people lose their lives because of accidental injuries occurring at home on a yearly basis? Now if you’ve just sealed a deal you’ve been contemplating for a while, the last thing you want to think about is the frightening statistics above. However, amid all the chaos mixed with joy, you still have something critical left on your to-do list. Namely, to change the old locks in your new place. It would appear that close to 60 percent of people fail to do it – and most of them end up paying for it. A report issued by the Office of National Statistics tells us that people who move house are twice as likely to have their homes broken into in less than a year after moving in.
If you don’t want to be a part of the statistics, here is what you should do.
Don’t Take Any Risks
If you have bought a house that has both a front and back door, change both of these locks. You’ve most likely paid quite a lot of money for your new dwelling, and the last thing you want is for someone who still has a key to get in without your consent and snoop around. All that expensive furniture and prized possessions are yours alone, and you would probably hate to have anyone else laying their hands on them.
Plan A Lock Change Well In Advance
Schedule an appointment to have your locks changed ahead of time, even before the movers reach your home. This will prove to be a smart call that will save you a lot of money, time, and hassle. Call a local locksmith you’ve read good reviews on and have them prepare the new locks you want to have fitted, as well as the new sets of keys. It will take less time for them to get everything done in their own shop. Plus, it will most likely cost you less. Of course, if things happen fast-forward and you don’t have any time to schedule an appointment with a lock technician before arriving at your new home, you can still contact a reliable emergency locksmith service. Let them know you wish to immediately have your locked changed. Even though this may not be considered an actual emergency, you may still be able to work something out and have your locks changed in just a few days.
Some would argue that it may be better to wait a day after the closing to have the locks changed. Why? Because, sometimes, the seller or even you could change your mind. This happens when certain problems arise.
Have All The Information Ready For When The Locksmiths Arrive
In order to save precious time, make sure you have all the information ready prior to the locksmiths reach you. This should include:
- The number of locks you need to change. Count down all back, side, or sliding doors, including the door that separates the garage from the house or the garage door itself. If your windows have any locks on them, you may want to consider having them replaced as well.
- Depending on brands the house you have bought currently has, you could decide to upgrade all the locks. Deadbolt locks are always a better choice in the detriment of other locks that are weaker and less secure. Just remember to write down all the details concerning the current types and brands of locks your new property uses. If you are not sure you can personally identify all types of locks – especially on a big house – don’t worry. The locksmiths you have hired will have no problem sorting that out for you in no time, even though it would help for them to know what to expect.
- If you plan on using smart locks, write that down as well. Let the locksmiths know what you have in mind so they can come prepared and take care of everything fast and stress-free.
What Happens If I Don’t Change My Locks?
For starters, you will constantly have that itching “what if?” question at the back of your mind. What if the old owners or someone who still has a key left (babysitter, lawn mower, handyman) get inside your home while you’re having a party/relaxing in the bathtub?
Since there is no way of actually telling how many keys there are in circulation, it is safer not to assume you have been handed over all copies. Plus, if your home does get broken into and burglarized by a former owner or worker, your insurance claim will be invalidated.