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Make Safety a Priority on Your Move-In Checklist

May 2004 - Three out of four people who move this year will ignore the fundamental new home security rule: “When You Move into a New Home, Change the Locks.”

Homeowners should replace every exterior lock or have the existing locks professionally re-keyed as soon as they take possession of their new home.

New homeowners who do not change their locks are vulnerable to burglary. Previous owners may have given keys to friends, family, repairmen or neighbors. Spare keys may have been hidden near entryways, mailboxes or in other spots that burglars check for easy home access. Even brand-new homes run the risk of contractors or trades people having duplicate keys to the home.

Whether your locks are new or old, the only way to make sure a new home is secure is to install new locks, or re-key all existing exterior door locks.

The FBI reports that one in three burglaries occur without forcible entry. Open and unlocked doors, windows and garages, and keys that are unaccounted for are all opportunities for burglary.

Protecting against forcible burglary attacks starts by installing a deadbolt, with a one-inch throw-bolt on every exterior entrance. Don’t forget to install a deadbolt on the door that leads from the garage into the house.

The best deadbolts are rated “Grade-One” and pass the rigorous ANSI (American National Standards Institute) testing process for strength and durability.

The test measures against attacks such as kick-ins, lock picking, and assaults with sledgehammers and wrenches.

The Kwikset UltraMax Security® 980 Deadbolt meets Grade One standards with features like the Ultra-Strike Door Jamb Brace™ – a device that improves the strength and integrity of the door frame. The UltraMax Security deadbolts are available in many contemporary finishes for about $29.

Installing keyed knobs and keyed levers can also improve home security. Kwikset locks and deadbolts have the ‘keyed-alike’ convenience. Homeowners can discuss keying options with locksmiths and associates at hardware or home improvement stores nationwide. Home safety tips and information about Kwikset deadbolts and products are available online at www.Kwikset.com or by calling 1-800-327-LOCK.

Apartment renters should ask their landlord to replace or re-key their apartment’s locks when they sign the lease and make their first payment. Landlords should make replacing locks a standard part of turning over the property. Renters have the right to know their unit’s security has been properly addressed.

Tips for Home Security:

  1. Lock your doors and windows
  2. Install deadbolts on every exterior entrance
  3. Use motion-activated lights
  4. Reinforce glass panels on entryways
  5. Join Neighborhood Watch
Kwikset.com