When you move to a new home, it’s a good idea to consider what the current state of security is. Don’t be so excited about your new place of residence that you forget to think about the safety of your new home. I know it’s tempting to go into tunnel vision while trying to get everything back to normal, but there are important things to consider about your new home before settling down. One of the first things you should do when you get to your new home is to have your locks rekeyed. This will protect your home from people who may have access to your home without you even knowing. These are people that the previous owner may have given your house keys to – people you don’t even know! Make sure that you prioritize the safety of your family when moving into a new home.

The people who previously lived in your new home likely have several copies of your house keys – even though they should give up all of them based on the contract. This can cause a serious concern as you never really feel fully secure in your home. As a new resident, you need to make sure that all of your bases are covered. This includes making sure that you’re the only one with your own house keys! You can also have insurance problems in the future. Most house break ins are committed by people who knew the former owners of a home. This is why you need to change your locks when you move into a new home. It’s another to-do item on the list, but it’s one that is certainly worth it.

Beyond rekeying your locks, take a look at how your home’s current locks match up on the ANSI (American National Standards Institute). This company sets the standards for security grades on locks. They’ll tell you whether or not the performance of a lock is reliable and consistent. Based on this you can decide whether or not you just want to rekey your locks or replace them altogether. The locks that your new home has may not even be worth keeping once you see how they line up with ANSI standards. If your locks aren’t up to standard, consider replacing them with a lock that grades better than the ones you have now. Lock sets graded by ANSI can be Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3. Grade 3 is the lowest grade granted, and some of these lock sets may not be graded at all. Grade 1 locks can cost more than their cheaper counterparts, but it’s worth the extra coin if it means stronger home security. Your safety and the safety of your family is most important.

Want to beef up your locks even more? Why not install a deadbolt? Deadbolts are the best and most cost-effective way to add a considerable layer to your entry’s security. Deadbolts are a second layer of defense behind your lock, and some high security models are virtually unbreakable. Don’t overlook the other entrances to your home as well. The front door isn’t the only place where burglars will try to gain entry. Be sure to check all side doors, your back door and your basement door. All of these entrances should be reinforced, as they’re often the target of thieves who know that some homeowners only pay close attention to their front door. All exterior doors should be secured, so be sure to do your due diligence.

If you’re newly renting a house, don’t hesitate to ask the landlord to change the locks between tenants. You should also know who is going to have access to your home. Even though you’re renting, your family and valuables are at stake. For the time being this is your home, and your security should be just as strong as if you owned the home. There may be master key systems in place that allow certain maintenance personnel access to your home. Needless to say you should be fully informed about any of this going on. The same goes for if you’re renting an apartment. Your best bet is to take a close look at the fine print on your lease in order to avoid any surprises. Make sure that everyone involved is okay with you changing the locks; there could be some red tape in place that you don’t know about.

Town homes and condominiums come with a lot of perks, but many of your choices will be monitored by a Homeowner’s Association. These groups have a lot of rules that govern how owners can customize their homes. These rules can get pretty detailed – even dictating what your lock looks like from the outside. Make sure that you know what the parameters are, and that you go over them with a representative from your community association. Instead of replacing your locks, you can always rekey them in order to preserve your locks current appearance. Sometimes putting in a new lock requires drilling, which can take away from the overall aesthetic of your new home. The best way to limit damage to your door is to have a professional locksmith handle any lock replacement or rekeying. When moving to a new residence, you already have enough on your plate – leave any lock work to the professionals, especially if you need to have multiple exterior doors worked on.

Of course you can do the job yourself. But aren’t there better things that you could be spending your time on. It’s a lot of work preparing a new home for being comfortably lived in. Plus, also take into account that you may spend well over an hour watching videos online just to prepare you for rekeying or replacing your locks. It’s a professional locksmith’s living to work with locks – your best bet is to give the job to someone qualified who will do right by your new home. Don’t view it as an annoying extra expense – it’s an important  job for you to do for your new home.