Moving into a new home is exciting and a new start. It can also be a time of uncertainty when it comes to the security of your new home. The safety of your family is of the utmost importance, and there are some simple and practical steps you can take to have peace of mind in your new home.
The doors of a building are the easiest and most logical way to gain access to a home. There is a lot riding on the structure of a home’s doors. When you move into a new home inspect the doors. Look at the frame, hardware and the doors themselves. You are looking for signs of damage, loose screws or door knobs. Any issues should be fixed or resolved right away.
Exterior doors should be of a solid construction. Hollow doors are acceptable for use inside a home, but not for doors that lead outside. Hinges should be protected, and the hinge pin should be located on the interior side of the door.
If the front door has a mail slot spend time looking at this feature. Determine if it is possible to fit your hand into the slot. Consider if there is a way to unlock the door from the inside by going through the mail slot. If you decide to replace the door consider getting a door without a mail slot and install a mailbox on the exterior of the home.
Many homeowners opt to replace or rekey the locks when they purchase a new home. The previous owners are supposed to turn over all of their keys when they sell the home, but that may not always happen. It is possible the previous homeowner gave friends or relatives copies of keys to the home, and those may not have been returned. Since there is no way to know for certain if you have all of the keys it is best to change the locks, so the old key is no longer compatible.
The front door typically gets the most attention, but remember to check all doors that lead to the outside. Inspect backdoors and sliding doors as well as basement doors. If the home has a garage make sure to check those doors, too. Garage doors can be particularly vulnerable, so inspect the door and the garage door opener. It may be necessary to replace the garage door opener in order to keep the garage secure. Even if the garage is detached it is still important to consider the security of the building.
A dog door is a convenient feature for both owner’s and their best friends. A pet door is also a big security risk. If your new home has a dog door and you do not have pets secure the door until it can be removed. A lot of pet doors have security features that make it possible to lock and secure the doors. If your new home’s pet door does not have built-in security features and you want to keep the door upgrade to a more secure option.
Windows are the second most vulnerable spot in a home. Go over all of the windows with the same attention you gave to the doors. Inspect the glass for damage and ensure the locks work. First floor and basement windows that are easily accessible from the ground should receive special attention. Remember to also check windows on the upper floors of multi-level homes since these are still access points.
Install outdoor lighting so the areas around your home are illuminated. Lights should be near every door to keep your home secure. Install motion sensors on outdoor lights, so if an intruder enters your yard and inadvertently turns on the lights they may think twice about approaching your home. Motion sensor lights can also be handy and practical as a homeowner, so the security aspect is an added convenience.
A security system is always vigilant and can keep a home safe. If your new home already has a security system installed make sure to update the code and any security confirmation questions. Consider if it is worth updating the current system if you feel it does not offer the level of security you feel is appropriate. If your new home does not have a security system look at the community and your home to determine what type of system would be the best fit.
First and foremost you need to look over all doors and windows to determine the quality and condition of these items when you move into a new home. Check out your home’s security system if applicable and make adjustments to ensure your new home is safe and secure for you and your family.
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