Did You Change the Locks After You Moved Home?

Surprisingly many of us fail to change the locks after moving home and are subsequently unaware of the fact we are potentially leaving our new home vulnerable to a break-in by anyone who may have obtained a house key during the previous ownership.

In 2013 we carried out a survey and found that 74% of homeowners in Britain didn’t call a local locksmith to change the locks when they moved into a new property. All participants in the study were asked whether they had changed the locks to their new home within a fortnight of moving in. The study found that people located in the south of the UK were more security conscious than those living in the North and Scotland, 35% of Southerners said they did get their locks changed, compared to just 20% of people located in the North of England and Scotland.

The majority of insurance companies will encourage you to change the locks on your new home as a basic home security measure as many policies will not pay out if an intruder lets themselves in with a key, usually a policy will specify there must be clear signs that a break-in has occurred. Therefore by not getting your locks changed after moving home you could run the risk of invalidating your home insurance policy.

Changing your locks after you have moved house is easy!

Simply call a local locksmith on 0800 035 0451 and pre-book a Locksmith to change the locks on your new home.

 

Further reading

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The Future of Home Security

As technology has advanced increasingly over the last few years we are seeing more and more advances in the way we can secure our homes from an intruder.

For years we have dreamed of the idea of a fully functional smart home, the idea has even been depicted in movies i.e. the technology depicted in Back to the Future II such as keyless entry. Although the movie may not have exactly predicted the future for us i.e. hover boards, you may be surprised by the kinds of technology that are available to homeowners in 2015, right now you can control your heating and lighting from your smart phone or even text your fridge.

According to Mashable: “Right now we’re seeing a myriad of independent smart appliances, but eventually these products will be programmed to work in tandem … hence, the “Smart Home.” Yes, there are smart Samsung refrigerators, and yes, there are smart Sony televisions — but can they, or will they ever, be able to communicate with each other? If and when they do, the adage “If these walls could talk” will take on a whole new meaning.”

Already we are seeing ‘smart locks’ that allow a homeowner to open their front door using just their smart phone. Some of which even allow the user to let in guests when they are not at home. The ‘August lock’ was launched by an American Company in 2014 and is a keyless entry system which uses Bluetooth.

 

As well as different types of keyless entry we are also seeing numerous home security apps being introduced to the market which allow you to control different parts of your home from either your phone or tablet. Although these sound great there are some reservations that have been raised by technology experts, in 2014 a study was carried out by HP to see whether these apps could be vulnerable to hackers. The security Company found that the biggest concern with these types of apps is the fact that the majority (8 out of 10) didn’t require consumers to use hard-to-hack log-ins which could leave their home vulnerable to being hacked.

To infinity and beyond!

In 2014 Apple announced that they are working to develop a product called ‘Homekit’ which will allow homeowners to control lights, locks, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs and switches. Although this is still very much in development other manufacturers are already building products to encompass Apple’s ‘Homekit

Who knows what the future holds for our home security but we are sure it’s only going to get smarter!

Lost Your Keys?

Opportunist thieves could pick up your keys in a bar, or dropped on the floor at the supermarket, they then follow you to see where you live. Even if your keys were lost but were returned to you, someone may have copied them so it would still be a good idea to change the locks.

Keep your home safe and secure!

Don’t forget if you lose your keys a Keytek® Locksmith is only a few minutes away. If you need an Emergency Locksmith fast call us on 0800 035 0463. Our lines are open 24 hours a day.

Home Security and Home Insurance Requirements

When you take out a policy for your home with any insurer they will usually ask you to ensure that the security of your home meets their requirements.

Why is it important to meet my home insurance provider’s requirements?

When assessing your home security it is important to consider which steps you should take to ensure you are meeting the requirements set by your home insurance provider. This is important as failure to meet these terms and conditions could result in your home insurance policy being invalidated should the worse happen.

The Crime Prevention Website gives the following as examples of the requirements the majority of home insurance providers will ask a policy holder to meet *:

*Please be aware the examples given may differ to your own policy, therefore before making any changes to the security of your home it is advised to check your current policy for any requirements set by the insurance provider.

Final exit door i.e. your front door

– The majority of policies will require that your final exit door (i.e. the main external door you use to access your home such as your front door) should have the following fitted:

  • Is fitted with a mortice deadlock with at least 5 levers; or is fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621: 1998 or to a higher specification.
  • Additionally where a door is double-leaf, the first closing leaf must be fitted with top and bottom key-operated security bolts.  Bolts must be positioned vertically so as to enter the framework of the door, not the opposing leaf.

Single external doors (such as a porch door)

– A single external door should be fitted with one of the following:

  • Fitted with key-operated security bolts at the top and bottom.
  • Fitted with a mortice deadlock with at least 5 levers.
  • Fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621: 1998 or to a higher specification

French/Double doors

– French or double doors should be fitted with two key operated security bolts at the top and bottom of the final closing door or, if not rebated, to both doors.  The bolts must be positioned vertically, so as to enter the top and bottom of the door frame, not the opposing leaf.

Sliding Patio Doors

– In order to adhere to your home insurance policy, sliding patio doors should be fitted with an ‘anti-lift device’ such as the ERA Patio Door Bolts in order to prevent the doors from being lifted off their running tracks by an intruder when they are closed. They should also have either of the following fitted:

  • Fitted with two key-operated patio door locks on the inside of the doors at the top and bottom of the frame.
  • Fitted with a key-operated multiple locking system having at least two locking points.

Windows

– All opening ground floor/basement windows and all windows that are accessible from another part of the exterior such as a roof, wall or balcony must have at least one key operated lock fitted.