Houses come in all shapes and sizes. They have different layouts, different purposes and different interiors, but there is one thing every home has and that’s at least one lock or more. Locks are predominately used for two things: to protect your personal safety and to safeguard important possessions. In 2016, we don’t know one homeowner who doesn’t have a lock on their front and back doors, which isn’t surprising, considering the type threat not having one leaves.

Nevertheless, what is surprising is how often these locks are changed. Even in the 21st century, where robbery is a widespread worry, a recent study showed over half of movers do not change their locks after buying a pre-owned property.

As alarming as this may sound, changing locks isn’t something suggested for home security. There aren’t any campaigns to promote awareness on this subject, nor is it something brought up or talked about in friendship groups, which is why we thought it important to share a few specific instances in which a lock-change is vital. Take a look:

  1. When moving into a new place

As we hinted above, it is extremely important to change all of the locks in any property you buy, both pre-owned and new on the market. Not only will this protect your new home from unwanted visitors, it will also ensure your home insurance policy is valid, as if there is no force of entry at a break-in it’s not actually classed as a ‘break-in’. If you think this is an overreaction then consider how many hands those keys have been in prior to you – they would have circulated among not only potential buyers but also buyers’ agents! As they say, it’s best to be safe than sorry!

  1. When locks become stiff, unable to turn

One of the most obvious signs you need to change your locks is when they become difficult to turn. Though locks are usually well-designed and durable, wear and tear will affect them over time and as they are the only things standing in between your possessions, irreplaceable heirlooms and more importantly, your personal safety, there’s no point in taking the risk for the sake of a few bucks.

  1. Immediately after a break-in

Break-ins are the type of thing you never think will happen to you, until it does. It can be super distressing to experience a break-in and as a result many victims are so shocked by the incident that they are distracted enough to forget to change their locks right away. Of course, support during this time is just as vital, so get a professional security service on board to help you set up a new safety system. Making the home safe again will put you and your families mind at ease, allowing you to still get a good night sleep after all the drama.

  1. When you’ve lost your keys outside

We all get flustered, unorganised moments where you panic and forget where you last left your keys – it’s a human thing. However, misplacing your keys within the comfort of your own home is one thing, loosing them out on the street is another – anyone could pick them up! To save trouble later on down the line, change your locks as soon as you realise they’re gone for good.

  1. After lending keys to 3rd parties

Many of us hire house sitters or have family members come in to feed pets while we are away and though it’s likely the person you get to carry out these tasks are trustworthy, it’s never a good idea to dish out open-access to your home. You may trust your house sitter, but she/he may trust someone else to the job for you, meaning the keys to your home could be passed out to someone you don’t even know. There are all kinds of possibilities to watch out for when someone has the ability to unlock your castle – take control, let them know you, and only you, are the king!

With these five instances in mind, do you think it’s time to change your locks? Have you found this article useful? Let us know using the comments section below and if you have any questions, head over to https://www.1stacesecurity.co.uk/ where you can chat with a professional.