Bought Your First Home – What’s First in Home Security

Moving into your first home is a very exciting time. You’re done paying rent on a house you don’t own and don’t have to live with landlords who fail to fix the property as quickly as you’d like. Still, owning your own home does come with some important considerations. Not only will you be responsible for doing all of your own home maintenance from now on, it’s also your responsibility to ensure that your home is as safe as possible. No longer can you rely on a landlord installing security features to protect their investment- it’s your investment, now!

Nothing feels like being a grown-up quite like buying your first home, but the process involves a lot of work and stress. The work isn’t done once the papers are signed and you get the keys- you’ll still have plenty of home maintenance projects ahead of you. In your efforts to fix up your first place, don’t overlook the need to improve your home security. Though it may not be as glamorous or exciting as painting the living room or installing a deck, these are essential upgrades that should be made by any new homeowner.

Security considerations even start before you get moved in and unpacked. Before you even move your possessions in, change the locks. You never know who could have a key to the old one. The moving process itself is essential to your security, because you don’t want to give criminals too much information about who you are or what you have. If you have expensive electronics or other large and valuable possessions, make sure they’re covered, either with moving pads or in cardboard boxes, so that they can’t be seen coming into your home. If you’re buying new electronics for your new house, don’t put the boxes out by the trash. Your neighbors aren’t the only ones paying attention to you on moving day; professional criminals may also be on the lookout.

Always consider the differences in security between your old home and the new one. You may have been used to living in a secure apartment building or one with a doorman. Though these aren’t necessarily any safer than living in your own house, the change does require some adjustment. Your new home may pose unique security challenges that you’re not used to. For example, if you have a pool, make sure that you install pool security alarms and instruct any children about pool safety.

As soon as you move in, make an effort to meet your new neighbors. Not only can this help you adjust to life in your new community, it’s also an important move for home security. If your neighbors know you, they are more likely to keep an eye on your house and to do something if they see someone suspicious around your home.

When it comes to home security, the best thing to do when getting settled into your new home is to walk around it, inside and out, making a detailed security list. Do you need to replace aging windows that could be pried open by an intruder? Is there a dark corner by the back door that could benefit from outdoor lighting? Make sure that there are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and check their batteries as soon as you move in. Now is also a great time to place fire extinguishers and emergency kits around the home.

Regardless of your home’s layout, always add door and window alarms, especially on the ground floor. Though you might think that an older home that never had a whole house security system installed can’t become any more secure, these stand-alone alarms are easy to install in an afternoon and will instantly improve the security of your new home.

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