You’ve just moved into your dream home and you can’t believe how much work you have to do. There’s unpacking, rearranging furniture, putting up curtains, cleaning, grocery shopping – the list is endless.
It can be so overwhelming that you might forget all about ensuring your family and your new home are safe and secure. Burglars are paying attention and they’re well aware how distracted new homeowners can be right after move-in day.
Here are five tips to keep the burglars at bay and your home and your loved ones safe and sound.
1. Change All Door Locks
The first thing you must do before you and your family move into your new home is change the locks on all the doors. You have no idea how many people have keys to those locks. You can call a locksmith or you can do it yourself – just be sure to do it. You might also think about installing deadbolt locks for additional security.
2. Check Window Locks
The fact is that burglars will look for easy ways to break into your home like an unlocked first-floor window. It’s critical that you ensure that all the locks are working so you don’t make it even easier for a burglar to enter your home.
3. Join or Start a Neighborhood Watch Group
Working together, you and you’re your neighbors can help keep your community safe by keeping an eye on each other’s properties, patrolling the streets, and reporting suspicious activities to the police. Police departments like the Boston Police Department often have Neighborhood Watch Units to help you by providing “the skills and tools necessary to create and maintain organized and empowered teams that work with the police to deter crime and reduce fear.”
4. Don’t Leave Moving Boxes on the Curb
After you’ve unpacked, break down all the boxes and hide them in plastic bags, trash containers, or recycling bins. Leaving the boxes intact on the curb will alert burglars that you’ve just moved in, which means you’re probably stressed and not paying much attention to security. If you’ve purchased a big-ticket item like a top-of-the-line computer or 70-inch plasma TV, it’s also not a good idea to just dump the box on the curb for everyone to see – burglars included. Don’t let them know the good stuff you have that they can steal.
5. Install a Home Security System
Homes that don’t have alarm systems are three times more likely to be burglarized than those with alarm systems, according to the Electronic Security Association Inc. If your new home already has an alarm system installed, notify the service provider and then change the access code.
Additionally, most major insurances companies will offer discounts to homeowners who protect their homes against theft, fire, and vandalism with a professionally-installed and monitored home security system.
If you follow these five security tips, your house will be home sweet home in no time.