Whatever your reason for moving home is, the chances are you want the process to run as smoothly as possible. Relocating is renowned for being a stressful, chaotic time but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hope for the best and do our best to arrange what we can to ensure anxiety is kept to a minimum. One of the most overlooked things to consider when putting a plan of action together for the big move is the security of your new home, your old home and all of your precious possessions.
Today we thought we’d give you a helping hand, highlighting some of the biggest risk factors to be aware of and advising how best to ensure they do not affect you and your overall experience! Ready? Grab and pen and notebook, you’ll want to remember this:
Why does moving house put us at risk?
OK, so stress is a factor that puts us at risk immediately. We all know that the more overwhelmed we are, the more forgetful and carefulness we become. It is really easy to be distracted when you’re in the mist of moving house, picking up boxes, moving things around and loaded one or maybe even two removal vans – it’s a lot for anyone to manage, even professionals.
But stress isn’t the only risk. Your front door is likely to be unlocked and your home left unaccompanied for much longer than it usually would be. The chaos attracts opportunists, and it only takes a few seconds for someone to turn their back and a burglar to grab whatever they want…
How do I protect my household possessions during this chaotic time?
It takes awesome organisation skills, to put it simply. Be hands on, even if you have hired a team to do all of the heavy work for you. After all, the ultimate responsibility lies on your hands, and a failure of any kind will affect you the most. The best tip of ours is to create an inventory of boxes and note exactly what values are in which box. A more obvious tip is to load the boxes from the house directly into the van, without leaving them outside for even a short period of time unattended.
You’ll have to be really cautious of the removal van also, as it can be tempting to leave it unlocked or unattended while concentrating so much on your possessions. The ideal scenario would be for you to get a driver, friend or family member to keep a watchful eye over both the van and the items at all times. Of course, extremely valuable items, important documents and fragile items are best kept on your person at all times. This includes jewellery, passports and birth certificates.
How do I know what the risks are in if I’m new to an area?
To add to all of the above, you also have to give thought to the security risks in your new area. You know what to watch out for (to some extent) in a neighbourhood you know, but this may not be so clear if moving to a completely new location. Our only advice here is to make friends with the neighbours as soon as you can, research the local crime rates and even ask the question in private online forums.
You can’t predict someone else’s actions, ever, but you can obtain a fairly accurate idea of the level and types of crime in a specific area, which will indicate trends that you can compare to your current area and therefore apply the correct safety measures.
What do I do to protect my new home upon arrival?
Again, this is no time for faffing about making a scene – you have a job to do and it certainly doesn’t involve unloaded boxes just to leave them pilled up outside… Take them straight on through to a safe spot in the house, preferably somewhere away from a window or at least that will be easy put up some makeshift blinds/curtains for the night. Don’t unlock the back door unless you’re using it and have a close eye on every entrance.
Also, take the precaution of changing all of the locks, as it is impossible to tell how many duplicate keys were cut (and lost) by previous owners beforehand. The new house may have an alarm system already installed and you’ll want to know exactly how to use it, especially if you have no idea of its existing password used by the previous owners. Contact the seller for a manual and ask any questions you may have. If you’re due an update, don’t prolong it. And if the house is a blank canvas, without any alarm, protective gate or other home security measures, get in contact with 1st Ace Security to see how we can install safety features that will give you utter peace of mind today…