A third of Brits are risking stranger-danger by not changing their locks when they move home, latest research reveals.
A survey by insurer Policy Expert found that one-in-three (32%) UK adults admit they don’t replace locks and keys at a new property.
Keys could be in strangers’ hands
As almost three-quarters (74%) say they’ve given keys to friends and neighbours while living somewhere, there’s a strong chance a stranger could have easy access to a property after moving in day.
Many don’t think it’s important
Of those that didn’t fit new locks, one-in-six (16%) thought it wasn’t important enough to do so, while one-in-seven (15%) said it simply didn’t cross their minds.
Decent security doesn’t come cheap, so another one-in-twenty decided it was too expensive to arrange. And a small minority (1%) are pretty blasé about it, indicating they couldn’t be bothered.
Many take months to improve security
Of those that sensibly opted to improve security at their new home, many still left themselves open to trouble.
Almost one-in-eight (13%) admitted it took them months to get around to it, while for one-in-ten (10%) it took weeks.
Keys given away
The problem is that people hand out keys to friends and relatives when living somewhere so they don’t get locked out. But a friend of a previous resident probably won’t be a friend of a new resident, leaving the new occupants facing potential danger.
Policy Expert’s figures back this up: almost two-in-five (39%) say they have given a spare set of keys to one other person, just under a quarter (27%) have handed a set to two people and over one-in-twelve (8%) have done so to three people.
Keys left in easy-to-find places, or no spares at all!
It looks like plenty are also taking risks in terms of where they leave keys as well.
Keys should be kept in safe places which are hard to access, and one-in-eight (12%) say they sensibly keep them in a draw.
However, one-in-fourteen (7%) hang them on hooks, which are potential targets for thieves fishing through letterboxes or windows.
One-in-twenty (5%) keep them somewhere in the kitchen and one-in-twenty five (4%) in a bag.
Another one-in-ten (11%) may have real difficulty getting into their home as they don’t have a spare key at all!
Who has access?
When it comes to who has access to Brits’ homes, it’s largely as you’d expect.
Children and parents make up two-in-three (64%) of those with keys to a home, while one-in-three other family members also have sets.
Almost one-in-seven (16%) neighbours have access and one-in-fourteen (7%) friends also do.
Cleaners, dog walkers and cat sitters make up another one-in-twenty five (4%) who are also trusted enough to be given keys.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 14th August 2018