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The Complete New Homeowner Safety Checklist

Bill Gassett's picture
How to Make Your Home Safe

How to Make Your Home Safe

Purchasing a home is one of the most significant milestones many of us aspire to hit one day. When that day finally comes, it is easy to get over-excited about all the different aspects of moving into a new home such as purchasing new furniture, painting, decorating, and other projects that will increase the value of the house.

Making these improvements over the long term will be especially important if you have bought a fixer-upper.

However, before you get to the fun part, there’s something much more pressing you need to tackle, and that’s setting up security measures in your new abode. The primary role of a home is to provide you with feelings of safety and security and put your mind at ease. For that to happen, there are a couple of things you need to cross off your checklist upon moving in.

Let’s take a look.

Change the old locks

First things first, when moving into a new home, you want to make sure that you’re the only one who has the key to it. No one likes the idea of their home’s keys circulating around, but if you don’t change the locks right away, you can’t be certain about how many people actually have access to your home.

To prevent potential intruders from letting themselves in, make it your top priority to replace the old locks. If you’re not handy yourself, you can hire a locksmith to do it for you. The sooner you cross it off your checklist, the better.

Doing so becomes especially vital if you are moving up into a more expensive neighborhood where theft might become more probable.

Secure the doors and windows

Putting the new locks on your front door is definitely a must, but you also want to take additional measures to secure the main entry points to your house – your doors and windows. This is important given how 34% of burglars will use the front door while 23% of them will use first-floor windows to let themselves in. Consider reinforcing your doors and windows with deadbolts, strike plates, and smart locks, and install a mail slot cover or a secure box to burglar-proof your mail slot as well.

Have your property and possessions insured

As much as you try to protect your home and keep the intruders at bay, sometimes they will find a way to get in. When such mishaps occur, it pays to have your property and possessions insured in order to prevent financial losses in case of damage or theft.

Since a homeowner's insurance policy does not provide coverage for valuable possessions such as cars, you’ll need to have your vehicle insured separately. Look for a reliable insurer who offers comprehensive insurance for your vehicle as well as some optional extras. That way, you can find a cover that will suit you, and in case anything out of the ordinary occurs, you will have peace of mind knowing your belongings are well-protected.

Invest in a home security system

Whether you opt for a DIY version or a top-of-the-line one, installing a home security system is a no-brainer for anyone looking to keep the intruders at bay. In fact, homes with some kind of home security system are 60% less likely to be targeted for burglary.

Today there are several options available on the market so you can easily find one that’s in line with your needs and budget. Fake security systems, cameras, stickers, and signs can also be effective in deterring porch pirates, but if an experienced burglar spots a phony, these will be of no use. You can make the purchase as an overall process of making your home "smart."

Make sure your landscape is well-lit

Part of securing your property is making sure your landscape is properly illuminated. Thieves tend to target homes that are poorly-lit as it makes it easier for them to break into a home without anyone noticing. Make sure your landscape is properly illuminated by adding solar and motion-activated lights to areas such as garages, front and back yards, and pathways.

Not only will all this extra lighting make those potential intruders think twice before striking, but it will also boost your property’s curb appeal and help you create a loveable home that is both stylish and secure.

Get a dog to keep your home safe at all times

Speaking of pets, other than being great companions, your furry four-legged friend can be an effective burglar deterrent by making your home undesirable to enter. Loud, large barking dogs are helpful in preventing break-ins, although certain breeds such as Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, and German Shepherd make for better guard dogs than others.

If your loyal pet has access to both the house and the yard, be sure to burglar-proof the doggie door as well. It is always wise to buy a home with your pets in mind.

Become friends with your new neighbors

Being on good terms with your neighbors is one of the most effective security measures in itself. Upon moving into your new home, make sure you get to know the people living next to you. Greet them every time and try to make friends with them. They can watch your home for you if you have to go somewhere, and they can also water your plants and feed your pets if you’ll be away for longer, and you can return the favor later.

Final thoughts on making your home safe

While safety may not be one of our primary concerns when moving into a new place, it’s best not to leave anything to chance and solely rely on a home inspector to inspect the property and check its safety.

Your home is the one place in your life where you should be able to be at ease and have peace of mind, and as a new homeowner, you want to do everything you can to make sure your new home is safe and secure.

One last bonus tip for you when it comes time to sell - skip the open house! Open houses are one of the most archaic forms of marketing and are a magnet for crime. They are wonderful for a real estate agent to prospect for business but do little for a seller. Real buyers schedule showings with real estate agents for homes they want to view!

Cross off these seven items from your safety checklist before you settle in, and you can rest assured your home will be well-protected from day one.

Hopefully, you have found these tips to keep your new home secure to be helpful.

About the author: The above article about making your home safe as a new homeowner was written by Chloe Taylor. Chloe is a graduated journalist from Adelaide and a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. She loves everything related to real estate, decorating, and lifestyle topics. She is also passionate about photography.

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