Security is a significant concern for most homebuyers, but it is sometimes overlooked in the hustle and bustle of moving.
Change the locks. You don’t know who the previous owners might have given spare keys to, so it’s best to start afresh. Before moving into your new home, replace all the existing exterior locks and make sure all the keys are in your possession.
Ensure that all sliding doors and windows have sturdy burglar bars or security gates and fit correctly in their frames. You may also want to install safety chains and spy holes on solid doors and fit additional anti-lift devices to sliding doors.
If there is no alarm system, have one installed before you move. If an alarm system is already installed, get the previous home owner's instruction manual and emergency numbers. Then, change the security codes and passwords. It would be best to regularly have the alarm system checked after you move in and change your passwords from time to time.
Ensure the alarm system has an exterior siren to alert neighbours and passers-by if the alarm goes off. Burglars know that the police or security companies can't respond that fast if they trigger the alarm, so they make sure to be in and out quickly. However, they may be deterred by the fear of having other witnesses.
If your new home already has CCTV, check that the system is working. In addition, you might consider installing a camera security system linked to your Smartphone before you move in, as these have proved to be strong burglar deterrents.
Check to see how vulnerable the property is. Then, stand outside and imagine how you would get in if you were locked out. The first thing you think of is probably how a burglar will get in. It would help if you addressed these safety concerns before moving in - whether it's a branch hanging over the wall or a garage door without a lock.
Install lights. Criminals don't want to remain unseen, so make sure the whole property is well-lit at night. You can also set timers to turn interior lights on and off when you are away to create the illusion that someone is home.