Posted August 7th, 2023 by SimpliSafe
Getting a fresh start in a new home can be incredibly exciting, but the stress of finding a new house, making an offer, actually buying a home, finalising the paperwork and moving all of your belongings can take its toll. The list of tasks can seem never ending, but once you tick off the final items, it’ll be so amazing to sit back and relax after all your hard work.
But don’t get too comfy just yet! One of the crucial tasks that people overlook when moving house is securing their new home and their belongings. Moving home can be a vulnerable time for you and your home security, which is why burglars may take advantage of people who’ve just moved or are in the process of moving. In this article, we’ll walk you through the top 12 ways you can keep your home safe whilst moving house.
One of the first things you should tick off your safety checklist is an inspection of the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your new home. You won’t know whether the previous homeowners properly maintained these detectors or replaced the batteries recently, so there may be a risk that they’re not currently working.
Smoke and carbon monoxide could lead to an incident if not maintained. To keep your family safe, make sure you press the test button on each detector to see if it’s working. You may hear a ‘chirping’ noise from your smoke detector if it needs new batteries.
Since the batteries should be replaced regularly, we would recommend changing them when you move in and making a note on your calendar to remind yourself in the future. If your detectors still aren’t working or they look old or faulty, replace them as soon as possible. Proper CO2 and smoke detector maintenance can save lives!
Did you know that 67% of burglars break in through a door? This makes doors the most common entry point for burglars, and therefore one of the main areas you should focus on when considering home security. However, an even scarier fact is that some of these burglars may not even have to break in – in some instances they might just walk straight in through an unlocked door!
It goes without saying, but you need to ensure that your new front door has a properly functioning lock. Plus, you should check the sturdiness of your front door. Exterior doors should be far sturdier than interior doors, which are often hollow to make them lighter and cheaper. The hinges and door frame should also be in good condition to prevent forced entry, and if you have a letter box, check that you’re not able to reach through it and unlock the door.
The final step is to add entry sensors to your doors and windows. These sensors have been designed with tiny magnets that detect when a window or door opens, which then trigger an alarm to deter intruders.
Have you ever given out multiple spare keys to family members, close friends or neighbours? This can be a great way for people to look after your plants or pets when you’re going on holiday, but giving out spare keys can also create a security risk for other homeowners down the line.
It’s quite likely that the previous owners of your new home have given someone a spare key at some point and perhaps forgotten about it. This means that a stranger could potentially have access to your home. It’s important to address this by changing the locks and also updating any key codes on your property. In future, it’s also a good idea to make a note of who you’re giving spare keys to so you can keep track of where all of your keys are, you should be careful about telling people the code for any keypads on your property, but with SimpliSafe you can set up bespoke pins...
After you've secured your exterior doors, it's time to move onto the windows. While doors are more common break-in targets, burglars enter through a window in 1 out of 5 burglaries, so you definitely can’t neglect your windows when going through your security checklist.
Just like with exterior doors, you’re checking for flimsy hinges that could be easily broken – and don’t forget to check the locks and latches! The material of your windows also makes a difference; cheap uPVC windows are prone to warping and can leave gaps (potential forced entry points), and wooden window frames can rot and become weak. Repair or replace your windows if you spot any glaring defects that could make your new home an attractive target for criminals.
To really beef up your home security, you should install security features like cameras and sensors to catch unsuspecting intruders in the act. Not only do these devices help you gather evidence if you did unfortunately become the victim of a crime, but they also act as fantastic deterrents by showing burglars they should steer clear.
Outdoor cameras and sensors can be placed at entry points like doors and windows to help you keep track of who’s approaching your house. Plus, video doorbells are becoming increasingly popular nowadays due to their small size, easy installation and motion sensing capabilities.
If you want the best possible protection for your home, you shCould install an all-in-one home security system. This interconnected system of smart sensors, cameras and alarms works seamlessly to detect threats, capture footage of criminals and, above all, keep you safe. Some home security systems even include professional monitoring, so if an alarm goes off, you’ll receive an alert and a phone call from a security specialist, who will contact the police for you.
Already a fan of home security systems? If you had one of these systems installed in your old home, make sure you leave it installed and armed until the very last day to protect your valuables as you’re moving house. Then, install your security system as soon as you move into your new home to be as safe as possible.
During the initial checks in your new home, make sure you have a look at your electrics and pipework. First, it’s a good idea to locate your fuse box and check if everything looks okay. Then, you can check all of your wall sockets to see if there’s any damage or loose fittings. If anything looks a bit dodgy, call an electrician rather than trying to tinker with things – unless you’re a professional yourself!
Do the same for any exposed pipework in your new home, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom(s). You’re looking for any signs of damage, corrosion or leaks. If anything is awry, it’s best to get it sorted sooner rather than later, as unfixed issues could quickly become safety hazards in the future.
To make things easier, you could install a temperature sensor in your home. This sensor will immediately alert you if the temperature of your home drops below 5°C, which is when pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting.
Whilst you’re moving house, you’ll probably pack your life away into a great number of cardboard boxes. In addition to being tedious and frustrating, the process of packing your valuables into boxes can create multiple security risks.
Even the labels you write on your moving boxes could increase your risk of becoming a burglary victim, as you may be inadvertently advertising valuable goods that are sitting in easy-to-take packages. So, instead of writing ‘Playstation’ or ‘computer’ on a box, use vague language like ‘living room’ or ‘bedroom’ instead to hide your valuables. You could also avoid packing valuables like TVs in their original boxes, as this will show burglars exactly what’s inside.
For really valuable items, it’s probably best to keep them with you if possible rather than storing them in boxes. Alternatively, you might be able to lock some items in a portable safe or give them to trusted friends or family members for safekeeping.
Another way to keep your belongings safe whilst moving home is to take an inventory of all of your possessions before you start packing. This might make it easier for you to identify exactly what items are missing if you end up losing one of your boxes.
If you want to be super organised, write a list of valuable items on a spreadsheet and tick off items as you’re unpacking. For insurance purposes, it’s a good idea to take photos of your most valuable belongings to prove ownership.
It can be tempting to post all about your move on social media, especially if you’ve taken some aesthetic photos of your new house or neighbourhood. But whether you have thousands of followers or you’ve limited your account to friends and family, your social media posts might actually put your new home at risk.
Even if your account is supposedly ‘private’, you really don’t know who’s checking on your posts. Your social media posts can potentially help out burglars, especially if you use geotagging to show your location and post photos of your valuables.
How can landscaping help make your new home more secure? It’s simple, really. By trimming any trees and shrubs that block your view, you’ll get rid of hiding places on your property and have a clear view of all access points. However, some plants can actually boost garden security when they’re overgrown. Choose spiky shrubs like Holly and Hawthorn to add defensive features to your garden.
In addition to removing foliage that can block your view of your home’s entrances, you could consider adding some prickly bushes under ground-floor windows to deter burglars, or you could add stones or gravel to these areas to make it difficult for potential intruders to approach your home silently. So, not only can landscaping boost your kerb appeal, but it can also keep you and your family safe.
If you’re looking for a way to deter intruders, you could light up your porch and your garden with outdoor lighting. Burglars don’t like being in the spotlight, so keep them away by banishing dark places around your property – particularly around access points like doors, windows and garages.
A comprehensive home security system can help make your outdoor lighting even smarter. With smart lighting, the lights will be automatically triggered as soon as the sensors detect movement. Or, you could set your lighting on a timer. This will be especially useful when you’re away from home and don’t want burglars to know, which could be pretty often if you’re in the process of moving your belongings from your old home to your new home.
Finally, it’s time to greet your new neighbours. In addition to giving you a proper introduction to the neighbourhood, this could help improve your home security. During the moving process, your neighbours will see lots of people coming and going from your home, so they may get used to seeing strangers in the area. This could make it easier for burglars to slip in without raising an alarm, but if your new neighbours know who you are, they may’ll be more likely to spot anything suspicious and alert you.
Whilst you’re in the process of moving home, you could still secure your new place before you officially move in. We would recommend installing a home security system and outdoor lights as soon as possible. Plus, you should double-check all of the locks on your windows and doors. Try not to broadcast your move on social media, especially if your account isn’t private.
Again, it’s important to not post about your move on social media because this maywill alert burglars that your belongings are vulnerable. When packing up your belongings, you cshould label your boxes vaguely, keep your most important items with you at all times and take an inventory of valuable objects before you get started.
While we wouldn’t recommend skimping on home security, there are still some key precautions you can take if you’re on a budget. Always lock your doors and windows, trim shrubbery that’s obscuring your view of access points (or plant spiky shrubs), and avoid posting about moving home on social media. Visit the SimpliSafe blog for more essential tips on home security. Plus, if you’re interested in installing a state-of-the-art home security system to keep your home and valuables safe or if you want to add to your current system, get in touch