When you buy a new house, there’s probably so much on your mind that you end up missing out on quite a bit of the important stuff. One thing that many new homeowners forget about is changing the locks on their doors.
Over half of new homeowners don’t change their keys or locks – so it’s hardly surprising that burglaries and break-ins are still so common today. Even while you might feel strangely attached to your new set of keys, and the milestone in your life that they represent, the sensible thing to do is change your locks and get yourself a whole newer set.
To understand why it’s so important to change the locks when you move into a new property, first think about your old home. How many keys did you or the homeowner have? Did they get their keys duplicated? Did neighbours have a copy? How about family friends? Your babysitter? Your aunty and uncle?
Chances are, you or the homeowner has dished out so many key duplicates over your years of living somewhere that you can’t even remember who has one anymore. And chances are, the previous tenant of your new home has done exactly the same.
While it may be completely harmless if your previous tenant’s grandma has a key for their home, it’s unlikely that you’d be too happy if she had a forgetful spell and showed up unannounced, leaving you to come home and find her in your living room.
On a more serious level, you might be creating an open house situation for guests who are far more unwanted than an innocent old lady. You don’t know the property’s previous tenants, and it’s unlikely that you want them to intrude your new home anytime in the future. Changing your locks is the only way to ensure that your house is accessible to you and you only.
So, how do you go about changing your locks in a new home? The first thing to do is to call a locksmith and arrange for them to change your locks for you. This isn’t a situation that you can get away with DIY-ing – it’s best leaving it to the experts for reassurance that the job’s been done well.
For your new keys, you can buy key blanks yourself (Schlage key blanks are recommended if buying online), or you can visit a locksmith, who will fashion your new keys from a collection of their own key blanks. The second option is usually easiest.
Once your locks and keys are changed, you can consider duplicating your main keys if you feel it’s relevant. It’s always useful to have a spare key somewhere around your property, and you might want a close relative to keep a key to hand in case of emergencies. Here’s some advice if you are duplicating keys, though: save yourself the future hassle and write down a list of who exactly you hand them out to!