Top 5 Home Movers Security Tips
I was brought up in Finchley and Barnet areas and have moved house several times. Now I am a North London locksmith covering Finchley and Barnet as well as other London and Hertfordshire areas. In my work I am constantly reminded of the significant security risks involved in moving home.
There is an inherent lack of awareness of the security risks involved in moving home. Basic security needs are commonly overlooked.
This is why I am sharing my top 5 security tips for home movers.
General Advice on Moving Home
I think that most people will be aware of the obvious things to do when moving house;
- Book a removals company
- Redirect your mail
- Arrange childcare
- Cancel deliveries, window cleaners etc
If you look on the internet there are numerous websites which give top tips for moving house. Some of these lists are quite detailed.
Home Movers Checklists
The post office have a checklist for homemovers which covers a range of things however it doesn’t mention security.
There is a home movers checklist here which does briefly mention changing locks. However, there is a lot more to consider when it comes to security checks required when you move home.
Why Burglars Target Home Movers
The fact that people don’t tend to put security at the top of the list when moving home is something that intruders are aware of. Burglars target home movers, and look for opportunities. I have seen many incidences that confirm this over the years.
What I want to cover in my Home Movers Checklist are those all important, (but often overlooked) points that will avoid putting your family and belongings at risk. I have been called to the scene of too many burglaries where security considerations have not been prioritised.
Top 5 Security Tips for Home Movers
1) Arrange a Free Security Survey of Your New Property as a Priority
You can’t be sure if the previous tenants have addressed the property security adequately.
Door and window locks are the most important means of security. Not only will they deter intruders but they will physically keep intruders out of your property. For front door security tips read here.
A qualified locksmith will be able to make recommendations about how to improve you home security in general including everything from front doors and windows to garden office and shed door security. You can read about ways to maximise your home security here.
You may also want to consider an alarm or CCTV which don’t keep intruders out but can be a good deterrent alongside high quality locks and physical security measures. Read about choosing an alarm here.
2) Choose a Qualified Professional Locksmith with Credentials not A Cowboy!
Choose a qualified and approved Locksmith who specialises in physical security measures such as; Locks, Grilles and Safes.
Be aware that many UK locksmiths are;
- Not DBS checked
- Ripping customers off
- Doing substandard work
3) Change your Locks on Moving Day
It is important that you change the locks on your new house on the day you move in.
Why Should you Change Locks After Buying a House?
Whether you are buying or renting your new home it is vital to change the looks on moving day. It may feel like an unnecessary hassle on such a busy day but if you consider all the people that could potentially have copies of your keys and free access to your home it is really important.
Should a previous key holder enter your property and steal your belongings you will most likely find that you are not covered by your insurance policy.
Who Could Have Copies of The Keys To Your New Home?
- Previous owners
- Builders and other tradespeople
- People working for the previous owners such as cleaners
- Friends or neighbours who held a spare key for previous owners
- Estate agents of which there may by a few
With this is mind it is concerning that a large percentage of new home owners fail to change their locks!
How Much Does it Cost to Get House Locks Changed?
A reliable locksmith should charge between £90 and £250 +vat for changing a lock. The cost depends on the type of lock required and chosen and the time of day the work is done.
A standard upvc door lock should be at the lower end of the price range and a 3 star diamond sold secure antisnap lock would cost a bit more. An Ingersoll for a wooden door would be at the higher end.
You can read more about what locksmiths charge here.
4) Arrange Your Home Insurance to Start on Moving Day
If your home security is not in compliance with your insurance policy requirements you could be giving your insurance company another reason to avoid paying when you make a claim. For more information on insurance approved locks read here.
5) Prepare a Burglary Prevention Plan for Moving Day
Work on the assumption that your movements on moving day may be watched by potential intruders looking for opportunities.
This may sound extreme but the fact that all your belongings will be seen leaving a large conspicuous van makes you an obvious target. It is like window shopping for a burglar. Spotting these opportunities is something that the experienced intruder is good at. In fact when I was younger and moving to a new home in Finchley my family experienced this first hand.
My House Move Burglary Experience
We moved into a house which was surrounded by a high wall and it was a hot day so we had left a number of windows open. We were in the living room and my Dad walked into the ground floor bedroom, where most of our belongings were, to find someone climbing out through the window with a box of my Dads favourite records! The intruder dropped the box and ran.
It made us realise the surrounding wall and lack of window locks was something that we should have considered before moving in. The intruder had obviously watched us unloading the contents of the removal van and liked the look of some of what he saw including my Dads records!
Home Movers Security Plan
To prevent such situations when you move home make a plan before moving day so that you can feel safe from the moment you move in.
Review our burglary prevention guide here. Each property should be considered individually for intruder opportunities. You may not have had a garden in the past and now have a shed which requires a lock. The guide will help ensure that you don’t overlook anything when it comes to adjusting your ideas with regards to the security required for your new home.
Home Moving Security Tips Summary
- Arrange a Free Security Survey of Your New Property as a Priority.
- Choose a Qualified Professional Locksmith with Credentials not one of London’s many Cowboy locksmiths!
- Change your Locks on Moving Day.
- Arrange Your Home Insurance to Start on Moving Day.
- Prepare a Burglary Prevention Plan for Moving Day
If you know anyone who is thinking of moving house please share these security tips with them. You could be doing them a big favour.
I hope this has been helpful to you and would be happy to hear any questions or comments you may have.
IKS are provide everything from UPVC lock replacement services and wooden door lock fitting to strengthening weak doors, installing high security grilles and fitting security safes. If you have any concerns about your home security call us to arrange a free security survey.