A survey has revealed that a staggering 74% of homeowners do not call a locksmith to change the locks when they move into a new property, potentially leaving them vulnerable to break-ins by someone who obtained a key during the previous ownership.
Survey participants were asked if they had their locks changed within a fortnight of moving in to their current home, only a quarter said ‘yes’. This basic security measure is recommended by leading home insurance providers such as Churchill, as most insurance claims are valid only if there are clear signs of breaking and entering, so the insurer will not pay out if the intruder was able to let themselves in with a key.
According to the Office for National Statistics the number of recorded burglaries has been gradually falling year on year for the last decade, but there are worries that this positive trend can only be sustained if homeowners remain vigilant and don’t take unnecessary risks with their home security. British Crime Survey statistics from The Crime Prevention Website show that people who have been living in their home for less than a year are twice as likely to be burgled as the average.
Eddie Wilkinson, Operations Director at Keytek®, said: “Getting your locks changed should be high on the list of priorities for anyone moving into a new home. You have no way of knowing how many keys the previous owners lost or gave to other people, and this does leave your home vulnerable. For a relatively small amount of money you can get a locksmith to change your locks, and not only will this ensure you know exactly who has a key, but will also ensure your locks are new and adhere to British Standards.”