New Year, New Home: But What About Your Locks?

For many, the start of a new year – or in the case of 2020, a new decade – can mark a new beginning. Those who’ve exchanged house contracts,  often agree to delay completion until shortly after the new year, to mark the start of a new journey and new beginning in a new house.

With this in mind, new homeowners often begin their new chapter by moving furniture in and starting to redecorate. However, securing your home should always be the first priority. Changing locks when moving house is crucial, yet 58% of movers fail to do so. So you’re not alone if you haven’t got around to it yet. “

If you’re wondering why you should change your locks after moving house, here’s a few reasons that should hopefully explain why it’s so important.

1) How Many Other People Have Keys to Your Property?

A mistake that many new homeowners make is underestimating how many people have keys to the locks that secure your home. The obvious candidates are the previous occupiers, but the list of keyholders will undoubtedly extend far beyond them alone. 

For instance, what happens if they had keys cut for both sets of parents, grandparents, close friends, and neighbours in case of emergency? That’s at least six sets of keys unaccounted for that grant access to your home through the front door. 

That’s without even mentioning other potential candidates such as trusted tradesmen, or a landlord with a master key if the property previously had tenants. A house is the most significant investment you will ever make. Therefore, can you afford to risk giving so many unknown individuals the ability to gain entry to your property? 

2) Your Locks May Not Conform to Current British Standards

The security and quality of house locks have improved dramatically since the turn of the millennium. If you’ve bought an older property, it could be the case that the lock doesn’t conform with British Standard 3621:2004.

This is a standard that is a minimum requirement for the majority of home insurance policies. Without a lock that meets this standard, you may find it very difficult to source home insurance or find that it’s prohibitively expensive to reflect the higher theft risk. You can learn more about BS 3621 here.   

3) Thefts with Old Locks in Place Can Invalidate Insurance Policies

Even if your current locks do comply with BS 3621, they can still invalidate your insurance policy. If you suffer the misfortune of being burgled by a neighbour, former tradesman, or the previous occupiers themselves, it may invalidate any claim you make against your losses.

Insurance companies will want to see signs of forced entry before validating any claim. If an individual was able to use a key to enter through the front or back door, you’re unlikely to receive any money back.

Despite the potential lack of insurance coverage, staggering research from the Halifax building society found that 12 million homeowners who have lost their keys at least six times over the last ten years have still failed to change their locks. It’s not a risk you should be willing to take.

Should You Hire a Locksmith or Do It Yourself?

While it is possible to change your locks yourself, you should always use a professional locksmith to ensure that they are fitted per industry standards. New lock fittings can cost as little as £50; therefore, it’s worth investing slightly more to have peace of mind.

If you’ve recently moved into a new home, changing the locks is one of the first items you should take care of. Here at Securit Locks and Keys, we can provide lock fitting services in Portsmouth and surrounding areas at competitive prices. What’s more, we also offer emergency locksmith services in Hampshire for urgent circumstances. 

So if you want to secure your new home, why not use a police-background-checked locksmith with £5 million in public liability insurance for total assurance?

Call Nick now or book an appointment today.

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