Focus on home security risk

Changing your lock when you move home rules out at least one easy route into your home

Changing your lock when you move home rules out at least one easy route into your home

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A Brighouse firm is highlighting a gaping home security hole as a study revealed more people do not change their locks when they move home.

Research undertaken by Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (NHWN) and Avocet Hardware, found that two thirds of the 6,000 respondents do not change their locks when they move home. And of those two thirds, 86.2 per cent don’t even consider it.

Jim Maddan, chairman of NHWN, said: “These figures alone may not seem that surprising, but when you consider that around 11 per cent of the population moves home in the UK every year and that the average Briton moves eight times in their lifetime then it begs the question just how many people could have a key to your new front door?”

“And when you take into account the most recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) crime survey showed that 92 per cent of all domestic burglary in a dwelling in England and Wales was committed through either the front or back door then it’s obvious that everything possible should be being done to secure them.”

The security lapse highlighted by the research not only means that two-thirds of NHWN’s members are putting themselves and their possessions in unnecessary danger when they move, but they are also running the very real risk of having their home insurance negated should a burglar simply unlock their front door and let themselves in.

Clive Lloyd, managing director of Avocet Hardware, said: “Whenever I move home I make sure I change my locks as quickly as possible – the reason being the sheer number of people who’ve had access to my door keys in previous homes.”

“Whether it’s friends or neighbours we’ve given spare keys to while we’re away on holiday; workmen we’ve left a key out for; or even our grown-up children who still have their own sets of keys; there’s no escaping the fact a lot of people could still have the key to my old front door when I move. Therefore, I assume everyone else is in exactly the same boat and so change my locks as soon as I move.”

Close to 40 per cent of those who told NHWN that they do change their locks when they move did so for the same reason, while a further 25 per cent made the decision based on the fact they felt the locks looked inadequate.