After taking months to find your dream home, weeks of sweating the closing process and finally getting the keys, the work isn’t over just yet. Now that you’re the new owner you have to take additional steps to properly secure the property.
Install New Door Locks
There’s a reason why landlords must replace the locks on all exterior doors before new renters move in – because the previous renters could still have a key. The day you get possession of the home, it’s a good idea to change out the locks on the exterior doors.
If you have a garage, there are a few additional considerations. The lock on the door between the garage and the house will need to be changed. You’ll also need to change the pin code if the garage door has a keypad so someone can’t gain access through it. Having a backup padlock on the garage door is always highly recommended if security is a top priority.
Set Up a Smart Home Security System
The first line of defense is a home security system. Providers like ADT Security have been evolving their security systems for decades to utilize the latest technology and thwart would-be burglars. Statistics have shown that just having a home security sign in your yard can significantly reduce your chances of a break in.
Today’s top home security systems make the most of smart features like Wi-Fi enabled cameras, automation and 24/7 monitoring. These types of features allow homeowners to protect their property when they’re home and while they’re away.
Use Smart Smoke Alarms and Sprinkler Systems
Home security systems aren’t the only safety devices getting a high-tech upgrade. Smoke alarms are also using automation and smart features to improve safety.
Fire is one of the biggest causes of concern for any homeowner. It doesn’t matter where you live or what your home looks like, it can burn down just like any other house. The last thing you want after moving into the home of your dreams or making lavish luxury updates is to see it destroyed or worse.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes that even standard smoke alarms can reduce the chances of death in a home fire by half. If you go a step further and install a sprinkler system the property damage can be minimized as well. One of the top advantages of a smart smoke alarm like Nest Protect is you can receive alerts remotely via your phone.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Any home with gas appliances can benefit from having at least one carbon monoxide detector (CO detector). Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer because the gas is odorless, tasteless and colorless. It’s produced by a number of combustibles such as gasoline, propane and wood. If people are exposed to carbon monoxide it can cause poisoning severe enough to cause permanent damage or death.
A carbon monoxide detector monitors the level of CO in the air and sounds an alarm if it reaches a certain saturation point. There are also carbon monoxide detectors that are built into smoke alarms, which is the case with the Nest Protect device. These are good options for homeowners that want fewer devices to worry about.
Make Sure Your Homeowners Insurance is Adequate
Insurance is a safety net that you hope you’ll never have to actually use, but if you do, you’re glad that added layer of protection is there. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they’re under insured even though they have homeowners insurance.
There are three things to pay attention to when you’re setting up homeowners insurance:
- Personal Property Coverage – Replacing or fixing the damaged part of a home is a given. However, property replacement is more of a grey area. A number of things can impact how much you receive when property is damaged. The biggest factor is whether you have actual cash value (lower cost, lower payout) or replacement cost coverage (more expensive, better coverage). There are also monetary limits for property replacement depending on the total value of the home. If you own particularly expensive items you may want to consider adding on what’s called a rider to cover them separately.
- Flood Insurance – Many homeowners think that flood damage is included in a standard insurance plan. In actuality, flood insurance is a separate plan that may be required by your lender if you live in a flood zone.
- Mold Insurance – Mold is another issue that isn’t commonly covered on a standard homeowner’s insurance plan. Typically, it’s a separate policy that can be added on.