Why you need to consider home security when moving

Why You Need to Consider Home Security When Moving

February 8, 2021 by

Moving is one of the most stressful events in life. It is both physically and emotionally exhausting, with a seemingly endless list of things to do before you move and when you get to your new home. Even when moving to what is considered a “safe” neighbourhood, it’s important that you make home security one of your priorities before relocating.

It’s unfortunate that many people overlook their basic home security during a hectic move, with as many as 50 percent forgetting to change the locks or security codes on their main doors, garage doors, and sheds. You should keep in mind that the previous occupants may have shared their spare keys with other parties, including nearby family members, friends, the cleaning person, or even their dog-walker, all of whom may walk in at any time if they’re unaware or have forgotten that the previous owners have left.

Here are a few measures to ensure that you feel safe and secure in your new place:

  • Immediately replace the door locks and change the security codes. Make sure to install deadbolts in your main doors if there are none.
  • Reprogram your new garage door code.
  • Get a good padlock for your storage shed, especially if you plan on storing your expensive garden and lawn equipment there.
  • Check your door frames—door jambs and strike plates—for any rot and other signs of damage, and schedule the necessary repairs.
  • Inspect your window frames, security bars, and window locks for signs of damage or weakness, and schedule the necessary maintenance.
  • Ensure that all your exterior lights are working well, and provide adequate lighting to help deter crime. Consider using light automation for indoor and outdoor lights to make the house look occupied 24/7.
  • Burglar-proof your house with a good home security system.

Moving With Your Home Security System

If you have a security system in your current home, it should be possible to move with it to your new one. That said, you should determine whether or not you’re permitted to take your equipment with you, any moving fees, the requirements for your short or long-term contract, and the cancellation fees if you choose to terminate your current security agreement.

The moving policies vary across different home security system providers as follows:

  • Most don’t have any contract stipulations. That said, a few may require you to have had an active contract for about 3 years, and then require you to sign a new contract for a similar period of time. In the latter case, you may incur very high cancellation fees if you go against the contract.
  • Many providers don’t charge moving fees for clients who have been with them for more than three years. Some may require a small activation fee and most require a new contract.
  • Most providers allow their users to move with their security equipment, with a few demanding the purchase of a new security system when you move.
  • Some providers offer professional installation of the security system in your new home, as well as equipment upgrades and replacements depending on certain conditions or an extra cost.

Even if you can move with your current security equipment and plan, the security needs in your new home may be very different, requiring you to replace or upgrade some of the equipment. Some of the factors you need to consider include:

1. Location of your new home

You need different security features to protect a home on a main street or a cul-de-sac. You need to consider the new security challenges depending on whether you’re moving into an apartment, condo, or townhouse. The security needs are also different for city dwellings or the suburbs. If your new home is surrounded by trees or next to a lake, then you should consider the greater risk of fires or flooding, and upgrade your security system accordingly.

2. The size of your home

If your new home has more square footage, then you may need to increase the number and/or range of your security equipment. For instance, you may need to install additional door sensors, motion sensors and cameras to cover more entry points.

3. Children or pets

If you’re relocating because you need to accommodate more people and pets in your household, then you need to change your home alarm system accordingly to reduce the risk of tripping a false alarm. You may need extra cameras or door sensors if you have children so you’re aware of their movement. You may reduce the number of motion sensors in the home to avoid your pets from setting off the alarm. Glass break sensors are a great alternative to protect your windows if you have pets in your home. If your new home has a pet door, you should also consider protecting it as a potential entry point, perhaps by installing a doorbell camera that can alert you if someone is at your front door.

4. Expected visitors and guests

If you expect to have frequent visitors, including cleaners, dog-walkers, and delivery persons, then you should get the right security equipment to keep your eyes on the entry points. Depending on your lifestyle, you may consider installing smart doorbell cameras, security cameras, or keypad locks so you can easily keep an eye on your packages and anyone approaching your door, and also let certain people into your home while you’re away.

New Home With Existing Home Security System

If there’s an existing alarm or monitoring system in your new home, then you can proceed in one of three ways:

a. Inspect and activate the system

Carefully inspect the security hardware and go through the instruction manuals provided before activating it to prevent accidentally arming or disarming it, or triggering the sensors or alarms. Considering your current workload when moving into a new home, it’s best to contact the local security company to assess the existing monitoring system. You can also call your current security provider to activate the system. Don’t forget to change and update any passwords, codes, and personal details linked to the system.

b. Update the system

Depending on the age of the existing home security system, and how long it had been active or idle before you moved there, you may consider upgrading, reprograming, or re-configuring it. You can update the current system and/or call your security provider to discuss your options and pricing.

c. Replace the system/plan

If you don’t like the provider, security system, or plan in your new home, you can replace it with your current plan or shop around for the best home security product for your current needs. Make sure to ask about any requirements or restrictions when removing or changing the old system so you’re fully prepared.

Final Note

Don’t forget to talk to your children about the new home security measures. It will take some time to get familiar with your neighbours and the place, so remind them to keep the main door and garage door closed, never to let strangers into the house, and not to explore too far outside. In addition, you can obtain professional monitoring and/or automate your security system for remote monitoring and better control of your security even when you’re away from home.

For more information, please contact Canadian Security Professionals.

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