New Home Safety and Security Checklist
From start to finish, home safety is paramount for house removals. When moving home you will become the master of the lists. You’ll have lists for everything from who to change address with to packing materials you need.
One factor often overlooked is the safety and the security of the new home as many assume it will all be done. Whether you have children or not, this new home safety and security checklist should help ensure you have everything you need to keep your new home safe and secure.
Burglar Alarms – Depending on how much you spent on your current burglar alarm you may have to leave it behind. Or you may find it’s not suitable for your new home (if you’re upsizing for example). Try to get measurements of all rooms and book installation on the day of the move so you can sleep soundly on your first night knowing your home security is taken care of.
Neighbourhood Watch – There’s nothing stopping you signing up before you move in. In fact it could be a good idea especially if you’re moving to an urban area as properties left empty can be a prime target for squatters. Your new neighbours will keep an eye out and report any suspicious activity to police.
Windows and Doors – The fiver lever lock is the most popular in modern times as it’s almost impossible to pick or bypass, unlike the Yale. Although a Yale will keep your doors locked if you’re security conscious you may consider better protection for exterior doors at least. Not everyone updates their homes when locks are concerned as they can be expensive and an inconvenience to install but if you do it before you move in, even the day before, you can avoid the inevitable. Window locks are also important for your security while you should closely examine the home for weak spots such as a garage door that could easily be accessed or a broken window. Taking care of the locks will also make your home feel like your own while you’ll have the peace of mind knowing no one but you and your family owns the same set of keys.
Whether you have children or regular children visitors child safety at your house should be paramount. Depending on the age of the children there are certain problem areas that you should consider paying attention to within the first week of moving in.
Windows and Balconies
It’s amazing how often these are overlooked but all it takes is a wide opening window for accidents to happen. Make sure you know how windows open and where. Examine any sash windows for ease of use because as well as the more dangerous accidents, such as falling out, there are also mini accidents to be had with old windows such as trapping fingers and broken glass.
Many gardens have ponds or water features. If your child is under six make sure these are covered or fenced. If over six, make sure they know how to get out easily should they fall in. In the UK we rarely have pools to consider but if you do, please take care to ensure no accidents can happen.
If you’re moving into a house that has been owned by people without children to consider you may have quite a bit of work ahead in the garden. Stone steps can lead to accidents (consider a stair gate on the backdoor or a playpen in the garden for young children until hazards are tended to) while decking can become very slippery when wet. You may also find debris, rusted metal or even barbed wire, while some weeds can really sting.
Top Tip: If you have very small children examine the garden for poisonous plants. Laburnum and Foxglove are not suitable plants for a child friendly space.
Don’t assume your current stair gates will fit as few are one size fits all. For example, ours was wide enough yet the spindles on the bannister meant we needed one that could go around corners. If you have a toddler you’ll know how scary it is to have stairs without a gate, “what if they get up in the night and wander in the dark?” You’ll be guaranteed a restless night’s sleep.
Fires and wood burning stoves look great but need intervention to make them safe. They need the chimneys sweeping every year to ensure no fallen twigs catch fire. You’ll also need fireguards for little ones. If you’re moving into somewhere with a range oven or an AGA consider safety here too as these can become very hot for little hands.
These are just some of the safety and security areas to consider when moving into a new home. Better still, be safety conscious before signing the deed – one of many tips we’ve written for buying a new house. If you have any tips of your own to share, please do so in the comments below.