When you buy a new house, there are often so many things on your mind (mortgage repayments, new neighbours, decorating, renovating, packing, unpacking) you may forget the most important thing to address, your new home’s security. A common question I have heard (but not unfortunately been asked that often): Should I change my locks after buying a new home? Although you might feel nostalgic, remembering your estate agents ceremonial presentation of the keys (especially if you’re a first-time homeowner), changing your locks in your new home is a sensible idea. After all, if your home’s locks haven’t been changed and the previous owners had copies of the keys, they (or anyone they gave a spare key to) could easily break into your house. So should I change my locks after buying a new house? My answer would be “Definitely!”.
Here is another thing to consider; we all have relatives, and so possibly had the former occupiers of your new home. Now think about the amount of people who might have lived in your new house before you, statistics say we move house on average 8 times in our lifetime, if the locks have never been changed, that’s a lot of copies of your house keys that could be out there .
Security should be your first concern when you move into a new house. Most people create spare copies of their keys, so the previous homeowners likely had a few extra sets that they gave to trusted neighbours, family members, friends or workmen. I don’t know about you, but the idea of strangers having quick and easy access to my home is unsettling. Especially after moving into a new home, you want to feel safe and secure when you lay down your head at night.
Most insurance companies specify that you must have British Standard 5 lever locks on your external wood doors, in my experience, this is not the case. Since 2000 the British Standard specification has changed.
A niece of mine moved into a rented house, the landlord had not collected all the keys from the former tenant, but he still did not change the locks, my niece moved into the property with her young son. After a couple of weeks my niece came home from work and found that her laptop and several other things had been taken, the doors had not been forced, some-one had gained access with a key.
So if you had any doubt about changing your locks, this incident alone may make you re-think.
For more information please click on the link and read this article by the independent: