Locksmith Adelaide Blog By Adelaide Home Security Locksmiths
3 Ways Door and Window Locks Affect Home Insurance
The locks that secure your home don't just protect your property from break-ins. They also sometimes affect your home insurance policy and any claims you might make in the future.
So, before you take out buildings and contents coverage, you should look at your locks from an insurer's perspective. What should you think about?
1. Meeting Minimum Lock Standards
Some insurance companies don't mention anything about the types of locks you have at home in their terms and conditions. Some just state that you must have locks on all external doors and windows.
However, some insurers link coverage to specific lock standards. This basically means that your policy only covers you if your locks meet the standards set by the insurer.
So, some companies require you to have insurance-rated locks. For example, your policy may state that your coverage is only valid if you have deadbolt or deadlatch locks on your doors and windows.
If you don't have rated locks and have to make a claim after a burglary, then the insurance company might not accept your claim. If your locks aren't up to standard, then they may invalidate your coverage.
Remember to read the policy's terms and conditions before you take out home insurance. Your basic documents may not mention lock requirements so make sure to look at the small print as well.
2. Using Locks to Get Discounts
The more secure you make your home, the happier your insurance company will be. After all, if a burglar has trouble getting in, then you are less likely to make a claim. This makes you less of a risk from an insurer's perspective.
If you take the time to boost your home's security, then some insurance companies give you discounted premium costs. So, for example, you could install insurance-rated door and window locks throughout your home. Insurers also like extra features, like burglar alarms, security systems and sensor lights.
Not all insurance companies advertise security discounts. If you have taken extra steps to secure your home, then take a punt and ask insurers if you qualify for a discount before you take out coverage.
3. Making Sure You Don't Invalidate Claims
Homeowners sometimes make simple mistakes that invalidate insurance claims after a break-in. Having secure locks isn’t enough; you have to use them sensibly and correctly.
If someone breaks into your home without having to use force, then an insurance company can refuse to pay out on a claim. Insurers view these incidents as your fault — you haven't taken reasonable care to secure your property.
So, for example, your claim may not work in the following circumstances:
A burglar gets into your home through an open or unlocked door or window.
You leave a spare key in an obvious place, like under a doormat, and a burglar uses this key to open a door and access your property.
To make sure that this doesn't happen, use your locks right. Don't leave windows or doors unlocked when you aren't at home and don't leave spare keys where a burglar could find them.
Consider this tip: if you need somewhere to stash a spare key, and you don't have a trusted neighbour or local friend to keep one for you, then ask your insurance company how it feels about key safes. Insurers may accept police-rated key safes as secure storage options.
If you have any doubts about your locks and how they might affect your home insurance, then Adelaide Home Security Locksmiths can help. We can assess your current door and window locks. If you need an upgrade, we can recommend and install more robust products. To find out more about our home security services, contact us.
Locked Out in the Middle of the Night? Steps to Take
Being locked out of your home in the middle of the night can be a frightening inconvenience.
Luckily, you can take some steps to fix the problem. These tips can help you get back into your house in a way that is timely, efficient and safe.
Hopefully, your home is in a safe neighbourhood where you don't feel uneasy about being out in the middle of the night. Even if it is safe, you still should take precautions and avoid problems.
Stay away from any bushes that could conceal a person, and stay in the light of any street lights, porch lights, garden bed lights and other lights that might be positioned around your property. Have your cell phone out and be prepared to call the police if you feel uncomfortable, threatened or just unsafe.
Check All the Doors and Windows
Walk around your house and check all entrances to your home one at a time to be sure each one is, in fact, locked. Even doors that you think are definitely locked may not be. While you walk around your house, look at all the accessible windows to see if any of them are open to gain easy access back into your home.
Call a Reputable Locksmith
If you're not able to gain entry into your home with one of the methods described above—or you do not want to damage your locks—contact a reputable emergency locksmith. Be sure that the locksmith has 24-hour service before calling to avoid wasting time.
Prevent This From Happening in the Future
Anyone can get locked out at any time. Some people prevent this from happening by storing a spare key on their property. Fake rocks and sprinkler heads that contain compartments for keys are common and are an acceptable option if they can be properly concealed.
If you do choose to use this method of hiding a key on your property, be sure to tell everyone in your household so they'll know what to do if they are ever locked out of the house.
While some relationships end amicably, some get messy. This can be a particularly tricky time if you've been living together in a property you own, and you've had to ask your partner to leave. A potentially violent partner may make you worry about your own safety at home. Or, if they can't accept that your relationship has ended, they may come around a lot and try to get in to talk to you.
Secure Your Home for a Holiday | Adelaide Home Security Locksmiths
Travelling away from home can be a lot of fun, but a nagging concern about the security of your home can spoil the experience. If you have ever had the experience of your home being burgled, it can be particularly difficult to overcome the fear of it happening again so you can travel freely. The following tips can help you secure your home so you can enjoy your trip without worry.
1. Invest in a Home Monitoring SystemHome monitoring systems allow you to see what is going on at home even when you are hundreds or thousands of miles away. Stream live video from your home to your mobile device or review data from the last few days to find out whether your home is safe or not.
2. Leave a Key With a Trusted Friend
Before you set off on your trip, give a key to someone you can trust and ask them to go around and check on your home. They can pick up mail, water plants and investigate anything suspicious. This activity helps make the home look occupied, which will deter potential thieves from trying to break in.
3. Cancel or Postpone Deliveries
Packages left outside your home are not only at risk of being stolen; they also advertise the fact that the home is empty. Put regular subscriptions on hold and ask companies to postpone deliveries of items until you return. If you are not able to rearrange deliveries, ask your friend to deal with them until you get back.
4. Don't Leave a Key Under the Mat
Home thieves know all the places homeowners hide keys, including classics such as under a flowerpot, beneath the welcome mat or behind a bushy plant. They are sure to find any key that you have left on your property and use it to ransack your home. The only key you should leave behind is the one you leave with a trusted friend or neighbour.
5. Upgrade Your Locks
If you have been thinking of upgrading the locks that secure your home, before you set off on a long trip is the ideal time to do it. Contact a local locksmith to ask about the most secure options for securing your home against thieves. Don't forget that your windows need secure locks as well as your doors.
6. Install Security Lighting
Thieves like to operate in the dark. Install a security light that uses a motion sensor to detect when someone is approaching the property at night. The prospect of suddenly being flooded with light is likely to deter a lot of people who may think of targeting your home.
7. Lock Up Valuables
The tips given here can reduce the risk of thieves targeting your home while you are away, but cannot guarantee that a break-in will not occur. Therefore it is a sensible precaution to lock valuable items, such as credit cards, important documents, cash, jewellery and technological devices in a safe.
8. Remember to Lock Everything
Locking up your home before you leave might seem like an obvious tip, but in fact it is very easy to forget to check that all entry points are secure. Before you leave, go around the home so you can be sure that all windows are closed and locked, and that you lock and deadbolt all doors where if possible.
If you want advice on home security or upgrading your locks, get in touch with Adelaide Home Security Locksmiths today. Our experienced locksmith service has a long history of keeping homes in the western and southern Adelaide area secure.
4 Steps You Need to Take to Secure Your New Home
While moving to a new home is an exciting event in your life, it also comes with a slew of items that you need to add to your to-do list. With so many things on your list, you may forget to properly secure your new home. Here are a few things you should do to ensure your new home is safe from intruders.
Having your home broken into is probably one of the most stressful life experiences you can have. As well as dealing with the feeling of violation that comes from having a stranger enter your home without permission, you also have to deal with the hassle of securing your home and reporting the crime.
Here are five steps you can follow to be sure you have done everything you need to after someone breaks into your home.
1. Call the Police Right Away
The first thing you should do when you experience a break-in is to call the police. You need to file a police report so they can investigate the
crime. Your home insurance provider will require this report when you file a claim for your stolen possessions.
Out of the 225,900 burglaries that occurred in Australia in 2017, only 75% of victims reported the incident to the police. The other 25% did not want to bother the police with a trivial issue or thought that the police could not do anything. These people put themselves of risk of not being able to claim on their home insurance because they did not report.
2. Try Not to Touch Anything
Your instinct might be to tidy your home right away, but remember that it is the scene of a crime. Do not clear up broken glass or touch any of your possessions until the police have visited to investigate the break-in. If you can leave the crime scene untouched, the police will be better able to collect forensic evidence, such as stray hairs or fingerprints.
3. Consider Who Could Be to Blame
Think back over the few days before the break-in. Do you remember seeing or hearing anything suspicious? Perhaps you gave a key to a
contractor or a friend. Or maybe you lost a set of keys that a thief could have found and used to access your home. Any information you can give to the police will help them to investigate the break-in.
4. Find Your Belongings
After a burglary, you might think that your belongings are gone for good. However, you might still be able to trace some of your items. If you have tracking services on your electronic devices, use them to find out whether your devices have been switched on since they were taken. If possible, remotely disable the devices to protect your personal information. If the thief stole distinctive items of furniture or jewellery, you might be able to find them for sale in local pawnshops, antique stores or secondhand shops. You could even look online to see if you can locate your lost items.
5.Secure Your Home
One of the most important things you need to do after your home is broken into is to take steps to secure the property. Burglars often return to the same property a second time to steal replaced items. If you suspect the burglar might have a key to your home, get a locksmith to change the locks. After any break-in, you might want to consider upgrading your locks or adding an extra deadbolt to provide extra security for your home.
Adelaide Home Security Locksmiths have many years of experience of securing homes in Metropolitan and southern Adelaide. We can draw on this experience to recommend suitable locks to all our residential customers. We are available 24/7, so be sure to get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you prevent another break-in. We are also always happy to answer any and all of your questions or concerns about your home security needs.
4 Important Reasons to Change the Locks on Your New Home
Have you recently moved into a new home? If so, one of the first things you should do is change the locks on your new home's doors.
Surprisingly, many new, Australian homeowners don't bother to change the locks on their new properties. Since you can't possibly know everything about a house's history, keeping the same locks could be a big mistake.If you have just purchased a new home, you should consider changing its locks for the following reasons.
1. Your Home May Have Had Multiple Owners
Homeowners in Australia own their homes for around 10.5 years before selling them. As a result, your home may have had more than one previous owner. If the previous homeowners have not changed the locks in all that time, potentially, someone else could have at least one key or set of keys to your home.
And more importantly, you have no way of knowing what occurred in the house before you purchased it. For instance, did a disgruntled ex keep a key to the house so that they could come back later? To be safe, you would be wise to change the locks on your doors.
2. Anybody Could Have a Set of Keys
You can ensure that the previous owners hand overall original keys upon the sale of the home. But what if someone has already copied those keys? You would have no way of finding out no matter how much of a detective you are.
Maintenance people, carers and dog walkers who have worked for the previous owners may also still be carrying keys. Unless you change your home's locks then, you face the risk of somebody entering your home when you are not there or when you are sleeping.
3. Your Home May Have Been Targeted Previously
If your home was previously targeted by burglars, those burglars may one day come back to attempt another burglary. This means that they will likely know the layout of your home and may already have a favourite entrance into your home, such as through your front door.
From 2016 to 2017 just 44% of homeowners whose home was the target of an attempted break-in by burglars reported the incident to the police. As a result, burglars could have been targeting your home for years, but you might never realize it – until they come back with the spare key!
4. You Might not Qualify for Insurance
Whatever home insurance package you decide to opt for, you need to make sure that you will qualify should anything happen to your home, such as an attempted break-in.
If the home you just bought only has a single-cylinder deadbolt, you'll need to upgrade the lock. If you don't change your locks and something happens to your home in the future, you might be in for a nasty shock.
A Locksmith Can Also Re-key Your Locks
If you are short on time or cash, an alternative option to replacing your locks would be to re-key your locks. This measure would still prevent anyone with a copy of your key from using it to gain access to your home and can be a much more affordable option.
Are you thinking of changing the locks on your new property? Look for an experienced and inexpensive locksmith, such as Adelaide Home Security Locksmiths, to ensure that your new home is safe and sound.
3 Ways to Deter Criminals From Targeting Your Home
Prevent Home Burglary | Adelaide Home Security Locksmiths
Home burglaries are all too common in Australia, with about a quarter of a million occurring each year around the country. Defend your home with these tips.
Home security is a high priority for most Australian home owners. It's important to feel that you and your family are safe and secure while you're at home and that your home and belongings are well-protected while you're out.
Unfortunately, home burglaries are all too common in Australia, with about a quarter of a million occurring each year around the country. While it's easy to imagine that there are higher burglary rates in suburbs that are known for generally high crime rates and drug use, it's actually regular or affluent suburbs that are targeted by criminals for burglary. Homes in these areas provide more valuable goods to steal, and because residents have a false sense of security, houses are often easier to break into.
The key to preventing your home from being broken into and robbed by criminals is to make it an unappealing target. Burglars look for homes with lax security measures and fast and easy access. Here are three simple ways that you can visibly and physically deter criminals from targeting your home.
1. Add a Deadbolt to External Doors
You may think that because the external doors of your home are locked that they'll keep the bad guys out. Unfortunately, standard door locks offer little in the way of resistance when confronted with an experienced and motivated criminal.
Many door locks can be opened swiftly using a crow bar or simple brute force.Adding a dead bolt to all of your external doors will make them much more difficult to force open. Deadbolts have a thick, strong bolt that penetrates deep into the door frame.
Couple that bolt with a sturdy strike plate that's attached with long screws, and you'll have a door that's virtually impenetrable.
2. Add Screens and Locks to Your Windows
Due to the nature of the material windows are made from, windows are a very vulnerable entry point in a home. Around 30% of burglaries involve criminals entering through an unlocked window,and a large percentage involve breaking windows to gain entry.
Increasing the security of your home's windows is a highly effective way to deter would-be criminals.For the best protection, your windows should be protected by both a security screen and a high-quality window lock.
Choose screens that have been proven to withstand both prising and impactentry attempts. Locks should be high-quality locks with keys that are retro fitted. Too often, the locks that are fitted as standard on windows are flimsy and provide little resistance.
3. Add Attention to detail, keep an eye out for your families safety and remember to always lockup your home or business
Criminals also look for and target homes and businesses that look unsecure or maybe doors and windows are left unlocked or partly open by mistake. The opportunistic criminal once inside your home or business can access a bountiful selection of goods to steal.
As well as tools and sporting goods, thieves often target cars. Around half of all cars stolen in Australia are taken from the owner's home.
Adding extra awareness, attention to detail and discussing locking up and safety with all family members regularly can help to keep your home or business more secure.
Of course adding a deadbolt to all doors in your home will help, however if you forget and they are left unsecured or partly open, this can be an open invitation to any potential opportunist thief.
You can also prevent your car from being stolen by keeping it locked at all times,and making sure that the keys are not left in the ignition or somewhere easy to find.
If you'd like to increase the security level of your home and install extra locks to deter criminals, contact the team at Adelaide Home Security Locksmiths. We specialise in supplying and installing locks for residential locksmith customers and we'd love to help make you feel safer in your home.