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Make Your New Home Secure

By Todd Levinson Published 08/6/2009 | Home Improvement

The excitement of moving into a new home may cause many  necessary steps to be overlooked when it comes to preserving you and your  family's safety. Never consider yourself completely moved in until you have  done the following:

- Change all locks and inspect doors

You don't know who has copies of your keys. The former  owners may swear that they were the only ones to hold copies, but who knows?  Someone could have made copies without their knowledge. Many respectable people  have less than respectable friends and acquaintances who may have taken  advantage of their trust. Change the locks or at least have them re-keyed so  that you don't have to wonder who may have access to your home.

This is also the best time to make sure that your doors are all  in good working order. Make sure they are up to withstanding a determined  assault from someone who has decided that they’re getting through that  door.  Nothing can keep someone out  indefinitely; you are looking for doors that will make it hard for a criminal  to get into your house without alerting you or your neighbors.

- Introduce yourselves to your neighbors

People are more likely to look out for the property and  possessions of friends and friendly acquaintances. Get to know your neighbors  as soon as possible to establish friendly relations with them. You may have  introduced yourself when you were first home hunting; now is the time to cement  neighborly bonds.   Invite your neighbors  over for a housewarming barbecue or dinner.

- Repair, replace or install security features

All lights should be in good working order, concealing  shrubbery trimmed back, fence repaired or replaced, doors checked for fitting,  and security systems installed.  Do a  walk through and note things that someone bent on entering your home uninvited  might use to gain entry.  Think like a  home invader.  Few ideas are ridiculous –  home invasions have happened down large chimneys, via trees and large shrubs.

- Inspect windows and glass doors

Do a thorough check of all windows and make sure that they  are installed with good locking mechanisms.   You may want to go so far as to replace your windows with tougher glass  if they are single panes.  Some people  find they sleep easier with attractive metal grillwork over windows on the lower  floors; if that is your choice, choose a manufacturer and installation that  treats the grillwork as a home security addition as well as decoration.

Sliding glass doors can be a security nightmare if not properly  housed and fitted with locks.  Make sure  that there are strong locks and anti-lift devices installed.  Glass doors that serve as an entrance to the  house should have tempered glass and strong housings.  Consult a security specialist if you have concerns  about glass doors and home security.

Although you've got your mind on  moving and getting your family settled in their new home, home security should be a priority.  Some time spent making your new home secure  will be well worth it, not only for the safety of you, your family and your  possessions, but also for the safety of your neighborhood and community by  establishing a friendly network among neighbors.

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