Security is a common concern amongst homeowners. Here are two simple ways to keep your home safe and secure.
Change the locks on external doors after any major changes in your living situation
If your housemate or live-in romantic partner decides to move out, you should have the locks changed as soon as possible. This is particularly important if your friendship or relationship has ended on a sour note, as it is possible that they could attempt to use their existing keys (or copies they have made) to enter the house without your permission after they have left.
If the housemate or ex-partner in question is not trustworthy or has the potential to be violent, their ability to gain access to your home could result in a serious incident, such as them stealing your belongings or threatening you.
As such, in this situation, you should pay a locksmith to change the locks on all of your property's external doors the moment the other person leaves your home.
Check door fixtures and locks for signs of deterioration on a regular basis
Door locks and fixtures (such as pull handles and knobs) are usually made from robust materials. However, they can still deteriorate over the course of several years. This deterioration process may be sped up by regular exposure to moisture (this can cause corrosion) or if people routinely use an unnecessary amount of physical force to open and close the door.
Door locks and fixtures which have weakened as a result of wear and tear will be a lot easier for potential thieves to break through.
As such, it's a good idea to regularly check the condition of your door fixtures and locks; ideally, you should do this at least once every couple of months.
If you have lever or pull handles which are attached to the door with screws, you should closely inspect these screws for signs that they have loosened or succumb to corrosion; in the event of the former, all you need to do is tightened the affected screws with a screwdriver. However, if you notice any indications of corrosion, you should replace the entire handle.
To check the locks on your doors, simply lock and unlock them. If you find yourself having to twist the key several times to open and close the locking mechanism, or if the key gets stuck, this might mean that the locks need to be replaced.