We had an emergency residential service call last week from a couple who were very upset. They finished moving into their new home on Wednesday. On Saturday night when they were away someone got in with a key and robbed them. At least no one was hurt, but they obviously needed their locks re-keyed.
Last year we had a similar call from a single mother who was robbed the first day after moving in, while she was at work. She was afraid to stay in her house that night with her children, so we fixed her up that night. There are always more keys around than the previous owners turn in!
We see terrible things happen when a couple goes through a messy divorce. You hear about the worst cases on the news when someone gets hurt.
Home security should start immediately when you buy a house or when there is a change in living arrangements. Check the quality of the locks, make sure they latch properly and have them re-keyed. Consider spending more for high security locks which are un-pickable or for push-button locks that don’t use keys. Make sure windows lock properly. Look at slider doors especially close to make sure they latch well, and make sure the sliding unit cannot be lifted completely out of the frame. Install motion activated exterior lights, and maybe add a security system. If there is a safe, change the combination.
When you have a new home custom built have the locks re-keyed before you move in. Think about how many workers were there with access to the locks and keys. Incidentally, do not have the builder install a wall safe – every person who goes through the house will know about it. Workers all have access to various power saws, so they could come back later and just cut the safe out from a stud wall. Wait until after the contractors have left the jobsite to install wall safes or fire/burglary safes.
Don’t ignore security at these life changing events when you are especially vulnerable!