On the day when you finally move into your new home the last thing you will want to think about is whether or not you are likely to become a burglary victim. Although not as exciting as decorating the living room or planning a new kitchen, ensuring your home is secure should be right at the top of your "to do" list.

Firstly you need to consider how many people have keys to your house — is it only you and your family or do other people still have keys? People who may have keys include the previous owners, previous tenants if it was a rental property, estate agents, trades men who have worked on the property. Although you may think it unlikely that anyone would keep a key, you can never be sure. You may think that it won't happen to you but you are more likely to be burgled within a year of moving than at any other time, and if the thieves use a key your insurance may not pay out as there will be no visible means of forced entry. The only way to ensure that it does not happen to you is to change the locks on all external door, including the garage and shed as you will store valuable items in them.

Night latches (commonly referred to as Yale locks) can have new cylinders fitted rather than replacing the complete lock. Mortice locks (commonly referred to as Chubb locks) can have new levers installed, again this is cheaper than replacing the complete lock. UPVC doors can have a new cylinder installed. At the same time as changing the locks, you should take the opportunity to make sure that all your locks meet the relevant standards specified by your insurance company. When changing the cylinder on UPVC door you should opt for snap safe / anti snap and anti bump cylinders to protect against lock snapping and lock bumping. If you are unsure how to change your locks or check their suitability then contact us to arrange a free security survey.

Once you are happy that all of your locks are up to standard and you know who has keys to them it is time to consider what elks you can do to improve your security. A good place to start is with the windows, all of them should have key operated locks fitted. On UPVC windows this can be achieved by simply fitting locking handles if the current ones don't lock. If you have wood, aluminium, or steel windows then there is a wide range of locks to choose from to suit all different window styles. Patio doors which are not fitted with a multi point lock should have extra locks installed. Again, if in doubt contact us far all window locks.

Of course the best locks in the world are only effective if they are actually locked. So what happens if you forget to lock the door or a particularly skilful burglar manages to pick the lock open? The best option is to install an alarm system which will not only deter burglars who will usually look for an easier target. There are two main types of alarm — wired and wireless. Wired alarms are powered by mains electricity and all of the components are linked together with wires. This makes them expensive to install and quite messy if you want to hide all the wires. Wireless alarms are battery powered and all the components are linked together wirelessly, making them cheaper to install. Also you can take a wireless alarm with you if you move house. If you are unsure about fitting an alarm yourself then contact us for advice on wireless alarms.