Are you one of the 58% of people who don’t change the locks when you move into a new home? Regardless of other priorities you may have, this is a vitally important step to take when moving to a new property. So, why is changing locks on a new house so important?
Do you really want to risk it?
Changing the locks on your front and back door should be one of the first things you do. Tick it off your moving home checklist early on.
You’ve invested a considerable fortune into this property. You’ve moved your furniture, possessions and family into this new property. It will fast become a home. Do you really want to risk someone else having a set of house keys?
This could be the previous owner themselves, or someone they know. Remember, people can have multiple sets of spare keys.
Not changing locks can invalidate your insurance
You don’t know how many keys there are in circulation, so don’t take just assume all sets have been handed over.
If you’re burgled by an old workman or previous occupier with a key, it could invalidate any insurance claim you make.
A survey carried out by Halifax Home Insurance found that 12 million adults had lost their keys at least 6 times in the last 10 years – along with other key identification documents. The research found that these people hadn’t changed locks on their house.
Most insurance companies want to see evidence of forced entry before they pay out on a claim. Neglecting to change the locks means someone with an old key entering the property won’t count as forced entry.
Your locks must conform to British Standard 3621:2004
Most insurance policies state your locks must conform to the British Standard 3621:2004. If this isn’t the case, it’s another vitally important reason to change them. This is particularly relevant for older properties.
Considerations to make about lock changes
Not yet sold on the importance of changing locks on a new house? Here are some key considerations to make:
- Do you know how many previous occupants your home has had?
- Has the property ever been rented?
- When were the window locks last changed?
- Has anyone ever given a set of keys to a tradesman?
- Has the property ever been looked after by a third party?
- Has every set of keys to the property been collected from all of the above?
- Think about garage doors and windows
- Do you have the master key?
It’s unlikely you’ll know the answer to all of the above. Is it really worth taking a gamble on this? All it takes is one key unaccounted for.
Lock changes for shared access properties
If you share access to a property, it’s worthwhile talking to your neighbours about potential security concerns. Locks should be changed every 5 years, if this hasn’t happened recently encourage other residents to come on board. If you aren’t the freeholder, speak to them or the management company about having external door locks changed.
Should you hire a locksmith or DIY?
You can hire a professional locksmith to change the locks for you. This can be a particularly good idea if you want to install more advanced security measures and lock systems.
Having said this, it’s a relatively simple process. Even DIY beginners/amateurs should be able to manage it. Locks are inexpensive and readily available from local hardware or DIY shops. Depending on your level of skill, they can be quick to fit. While the cost of moving house can add up, the enhanced security and peace of mind is worth the small price tag and time investment.
Need a locksmith?
If DIY lock changing isn’t for you, get a quote from a local trades person here.