How to Secure Your New Home

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Looking Into Home Security After Moving

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Your home is likely the most expensive thing you have ever purchased. It also contains all of your possessions and your family. After moving to a new home, you have already spent a great deal of money. You should look into home insurance and take some security measures to ensure that your family, all of your possessions, and your new home are safe. A new home is a fresh start, but sometimes it can be vulnerable when you first move in. What can you do to secure your home?

Home insurance

The first part of protecting your home from theft and other dangers is buying home insurance. It is likely that you have already bought home insurance if you took out a loan from a bank to pay for your house. Most banks or mortgage providers will not give you a loan if you do not purchase some form of home insurance.

General home insurance covers theft and damage from most natural disasters or chance events. Some things that are considered more preventable are not covered automatically. These possible damaging events are called perils, and when reviewing a home insurance plan, it is a good idea to examine the list of insured and uninsured perils.

Perils that are usually insured in basic plans:
  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Falling objects
  • Explosions
  • Riots
  • Vandalism
  • Non-flood water damage (caused by plumbing or appliances)
  • Electrical current
  • Aircraft or vehicle impacts
  • Wind/hail (excludes satellite dishes)
  • Transportation accidents (for your possessions)
  • Smoke (not from your fireplace)
Uninsured perils in most plans
  • Flood damage. This is uninsured because it is deemed predictable if a house is built in a flood-prone area
  • Landslides/earthquakes. Collateral damage, like fires, from these events may be covered but direct earth-movement damage is not covered unless you specifically buy extra insurance for earthquakes or landslides
  • Freezing pipes. This is considered a maintenance issue, so it is also considered your fault
  • Outdoor freezing damage/melting snow and ice damage. This can be bought as additional coverage
  • Pollution damage
  • Damage from war/terrorism/nuclear events
  • Damage caused by something illegal that you did or had in your possession
  • Damage you caused yourself in an attempt at insurance fraud
Basically, you need to read what your home insurance plan entails and buy any additional coverage that you see fit. It is important to note that particularly valuable items in your home are typically only insured to a certain limit by default, which may be well under their actual value. You will need to provide the insurance company with a receipt showing that a particular item's value exceeds the limit. As is the case with all insurance claims, things are made easier if you photograph and document the price and condition of all your valuable items when you move them into your house.

How to physically secure your home


Insuring your home isn't the same as ensuring that your home is secure. You may receive money for repairs or lost items, but you aren't literally protecting your home unless you take some real-life precautions. You need to take certain steps to prevent or limit the damage and likelihood of those perilous situations.

  • Photograph and document your valuable items: This is great for insurance purposes, but it may also help you retrieve lost items. Descriptions, serial numbers, and photos of stolen items can help police return them to their rightful owner if recovered
  • Install smoke/carbon dioxide/radon detectors: Smoke detectors are mandatory in many areas so be sure you have them in your home. Obviously they can help you put out fires if you detect them early or they can alert you to leave the house if it is on fire. Carbon monoxide and radon detectors can also protect you and your family from deadly gases that are undetectable
  • Make sure everything is in good condition: You should have had your new home inspected before you bought it. Old or broken plumbing, electrical wiring, foundations, frames, siding, and windows can increase your risk of fire, accidents, and even theft
  • Purchase a good alarm system: There are several options for buying home security alarm systems. Some simply set off alarms, while others notify local authorities. Choose the most complete plan that your budget allows for and learn how the system works. If you have too many false alarms, your neighbours may not take a real burglary or fire seriously if they hear an alarm
  • Avoid having exposed wires on your alarm:  Experienced thieves will target exposed wires to thwart alarm systems
  • Change the locks when you move in: As nice as that previous owner seemed, you don't want to give them free reign in your home
  • Always appear to be home: You can have timed lighting deter criminals. Leaving notes on the door or mailbox for service people or neighbours has the opposite effect since it basically announces to potential criminals that you are not home
  • Create a security team with your neighbours: If you are friendly with your new neighbours, you can let them know when you'll be away and have them keep an eye on your home when you're gone. Just make sure you can trust them. Luckily you can do the same for them, which should provide ample incentive to be trustworthy
  • Use at least one inch thick deadbolts on all exterior doors: Deadbolts are the best option for locking doors because they are nearly impossible to break and difficult to pick
  • Use burglar resistant glass or have alarms set up for your windows: Windows are always a vulnerable point for home invasion, so be sure they can lock securely and are either reinforced or protected by alarms
  • Don't leave your spare key under the doormat/in the mailbox: Come on. If you do this, then you aren't too concerned about your home's security
  • Have a dog: Patrolling guard dogs are the best at deterring criminals but even your cute little buddy who is lounging inside your home can deter burglars by simply noticing them and barking. People who are stealing typically don't like noise and attention. Cats, on the other hand, are probably already stealing from you themselves
  • Close and lock your doors and windows: It may seem obvious, but a surprisingly large number of burglaries occur when intruders simply walk through an open door or window. Remember to close and lock them anytime you're asleep or not home
Despite your best efforts, there is no way to keep your home 100 percent safe. No matter how much you prepare, secure, and insure, bad things can happen. Still, securing your home can substantially lower the chances and the damage of theft and disasters. This way you can have peace of mind included with your new home.

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on July 9, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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