As a new homeowner, you want to make sure your house is safe from intrusion, both when you are away and when you are home. You should take steps as soon as you move in to make the home more secure. Avoiding the following three mistakes are key tactics you can use for a safer home.
#1: Not changing the locks
You really have no idea how many keys exist for the current locks, or to whom the previous owners gave keys. This is a security nightmare, since it just takes one bad person with a working key and knowledge that ownership has changed to break in and steal your stuff. And, you may not need to actually replace the locks. Often, a locksmith from a company like Gene's Lock & Key can rekey the existing locks if they are of good quality. To make things easier for you, have the locks rekeyed so that the same key works in every single lock. This will make it easier to keep track of your keys as well as help cut down on the possibility of lost keys and lockouts.
#2: Putting off yard work
Often the landscaping is a bit overgrown when you move into a new home, simply because it has been sitting empty for several weeks or months. Don't let this task fall to the bottom of your to-do list, though. Overgrown grass can lead a would-be criminal to assume the house is empty, which increases the chances of a break-in. Overgrown shrubs can also block windows from view, thus giving the bad guys cover while they work on breaking into your home. Promptly mow the lawn and trim back shrubs before or soon after moving in. Also, move any outdoor items, like trash cans, that could be used to gain entry to second-floor windows.
#3: Ignoring window issues
The weakest link in most homes isn't the doors, but the windows. Over time, windows can become loose in their tracks, which allows them to be jiggled open even when locked. Broken panes can also give access to the locking mechanisms. Inspect every window in the home and repair any loose frames or broken glass. Also, replace missing or torn screens. Although these don't provide a lot of security, they do work to slow down a criminal looking for easy entry. Finally, have your locksmith check the locks and repair or replace any that have been broken. The locksmith can also add upgraded locks, such as drop-in railing locks for sliding doors or bar locks for window sashes.