Do you need to change your locks when moving house?
We're now into Springtime which happens to be a great time to sell your house - the weather is (typically!) milder, properties and gardens look their best and the market is full of buyers. Chances are because it's such a popular time of year for it, you may know someone who's in the process of moving home right now or it could be you making the big move.
One of the most common questions for us over Spring and Summer is from new homeowners asking 'do we need to change the locks in the new house?' So today we'll share the opinion of our expert locksmith on why we'd recommend it and how it can give you peace of mind during a stressful time...
The statistics say it all
A survey in 2014 revealed that a huge 74% of homeowners fail to change the locks when they move into their new properties. This coupled with the Home Office's statistics that you're actually almost twice as likely to be burgled if you have just moved house in the last 12 months is quite a scary thought.
With facts like this it's clearly not an issue to ignore, so let's use three key questions to delve a little deeper into why it's important to change your locks and how making it your first priority can help you to avoid becoming a victim of a break-in.
Q1. How many spare keys are in circulation?
According to a survey by insurer NIG over half of British residents give away spare sets of house keys. Without changing your locks you'll be vulnerable to break-ins by anyone who had a key during the last ownership, and even the ownership before that if the previous owners didn't change the locks!
You may completely trust the former owners but even then there's no way of telling how many sets they've lost or innocently given to friends or family over the years and then forgotten about. In addition to this keys are often given to other companies and individuals, including home pet sitters, tradesman and estate agents.
The question is do you know exactly how many sets of your house keys are in circulation right now and the individuals who have them?
We'd always advise that you change your locks on the day you get the keys to your new home. That way you'll be safe in the knowledge that you're the only one with the keys - after all it's not just your belongings you're trying to keep safe, this is a sensible move to protect yourself and your family.
Q2. What's the condition of the existing locks?
Another important reason to change the locks when you move into your new home is that the new ones might simply not be up to scratch anymore. It's vital that your new locks aren't broken or damaged in any way at all so that they still work efficiently and can be secure. Don't forget that it's not just about outside appearances - there are things you can't see inside the lock that a locksmith would be able to spot as a potential failure.
Considering the latest British Standard 3621:2004 and if your locks meet this is another consideration and now a requirement in most home insurance policies.
Q3. Is your home insurance valid?
The police and home insurers recommend changing your locks for a very good reason. It's a basic security measure that they would expect with every house move, and it's important to be aware that your home insurance policy won't pay out if there's no clear signs of a break-in.
Basically if an intruder has let themselves in with a key and there are no other signs of breaking and entering you could be left with an in-valid claim and potentially financial and emotional losses. With all the stress of the move this is of course the last thing you'll want to be dealing with whilst you're still settling into your new home.
Changing your locks in Sheffield
If you've just moved house or have a move coming up and need help securing the property please feel free to call us for some friendly advice and a free quote for our home mover lock package. We can change your locks on all doors and windows, from main entrance and exit doors, to garage doors and external gates.
Call us on 0114 291 9070 and we'd be happy to give you peace of mind by helping to make your new home more secure for you and your family.