Buying a new home can be both daunting and exciting. On one hand, it is a fresh start in an environment full of new faces and a lot of great potential. On the other hand, it entails being in an unfamiliar place full of challenges and possible security risks. But starting anew doesn’t have to mean living in fear, so long as you know how to keep yourself and home protected.

Anyone can be a victim of natural and man-made hazards, but new homeowners can be a special case. Not used to their surroundings, they are susceptible to natural, unfamiliar risks, such as dangerous animals and plants, as well as unfriendly weather phenomena. They can also be an easy target for crooks. By following these tips, new homeowners can keep their property, their family members, and their own well-being protected and safe:

1. Install new locks. Nothing beats putting up sturdy locks when it comes to protecting your home, so this should be one of your top priorities. If you are in a tight budget, you may opt to “re-key” your existing locks instead so they can’t be opened by their old keys. But if you have the money, be sure to buy brand new and don’t cut corners either. Durable, high-quality locks can be pricier than normal, but they make up for the cost with the extra security they offer.

2. Use security screens. Something as basic as a window screen can protect you and your home from harmful fauna and even robbers. Take note that not all screens are made equal though. Choose those that are made from top-of-the-line materials that are not easy to destroy by gnawing or cutting with a knife.

3. Install a home security system. Aside from security windows and doors, you may also install closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras which let you monitor what happens on your environment. You may install several cameras around your home to maximize your vision. You can also install other components, such as burglar and smoke alarms which detect trespassers and fire hazards even while you sleep.

4. Pay attention to your garage. Even after installing security sliding doors, burglar alarms and other necessary measures to protect your front and back doors, you may still end up getting burgled through your garage. In fact, a lot of robberies in the US start out this way. As such, it pays to make sure that your garage door is made from sturdy materials and is sealed with top-grade locks.

5. Solicit the assistance of professionals. Even when you can do the installations yourself, it would be a good idea to get professional opinion. Home security specialists are trained in the many ways to protect your home, so getting their say means avoiding mistakes that could cost you your well-being.

6. Get a dog. With their remarkable intelligence and unwavering loyalty, dogs make great companions. But their sharp senses, amazing agility, loud bark and mean bite also make them awesome guards. In fact, some dog breeds were created specifically to develop traits that would make them effective at guarding everything from your baby to your home. Burglars know this and as such, often think twice about getting into a house with a dog. You may even put up a “Beware of the Dog” sign even when you don’t have one just to discourage crooks, but having a real canine is infinitely better.

Buying a new home can be stressful enough as it is, especially as you worry about moving your things and saying goodbye to the familiarity and comfort of your old home. Ensuring that you have all the important security measures installed will help ease your anxiety and make you feel better about transferring to another residence. It will even help you focus on the more exciting aspects of your new journey and on keeping the move as productive as possible.

How do you maximise your own home’s protection? Tell us in the comments.

John Kings is a blogger and infopreneur who writes on various topics mainly home security. At present he works on behalf of rockinghamhomesecurity.com.au