Don’t Hide a Key . . . Get a Key Safe

Have you ever forgotten your keys?

I have! . . . Sometimes its been as soon as I have closed the door.

Other times its when I have got home from a long day at work.

How do You Get In

Wait for your partner to come home/

Have a friendly neighbour who has a key?

I hope you don’t hide a key in the garden!

Most casual thieves will be looking for stones or garden ornaments that may chide a key

The Key Safe Alternative

Since I got one of these key safes everything has been a lot easier.

Typically they cost around $50 plus a couple of strong bolts to fix into the brickwork.

Just fasten it securely to the wall and then set the combination to a number you remember.

Since I got one three years back I reckon I have used it around 4 times . . . . but if I had only used it once it would have been worth the money!


Before You Move In

Once you get the keys for your new house you will probably want to move in straight away.

Here are a few reasons why it’s best to stage your move:

    • Time to get window fittings such as blinds and curtains installed without furniture in the way.
    • There may be things that have been missed that need attending to. It was only when I started putting up light fittings I realised one of the light was missing.
    • Making sure that fences and gates are in place and secure if you have pets. Its not just having the fences in place, but making sure the dog can’t squeeze or dig under them!
    • Have the television aerials fitted, and if you want cable TV arrange for that to be installed.
    • Get the phone line/internet connected.
    • Make sure the water, electricity and gas are connected.
    • Paint any feature walls.
    • Opportunity to get carpets fitted if they aren’t in the overall package, without furniture in the way.
    • Paint the garage floor . . .easy to do with an empty garage and you will be glad you have done it.
    • Install the washing hoist.
    • Lay gravel in any areas that you need to get to that haven’t got a path. This will stop you bringing mud into the house.
    • Get a post box and number installed and check mail is redirected before you move out of your existing home.

What I did was move in myself with a single bed and put curtains up.

This made the house look lived in while I did those jobs around the place.

After a week or so we were ready for the big move!


For similar posts see Settling In

Construction Locks

Have you ever thought about who has keys for the locks on the doors of your new house?

After all there are lot’s of tradies working on the house after ‘Lock Up’ stage.

Well these days most builders use Construction Locks, sometimes called Project, locks. These are a special type of lock which comes with two types of key:

The Construction Keys

Standard pattern ‘master’ keys which are given to all the tradies, who can with a single key enter any of the builders houses under construction

The Final Key 

These are the keys which is given to you at handover. Once you use this key it displaces some ball bearings in the lock which should mean the Construction key will no longer work.

Some of the things you should know about Construction Locks are:

  • Before the end of the handover you should make sure you use the Final Key in every door lock in the house. check each lock with all the keys you are given. This will ensure that:
  • Every lock will be changed to only open with the final key. (It’s worth borrowing the site supervisors key to make sure his key no longer works)
  • All the locks, and keys work properly.
  • The  locks the builder uses are unlikely to be expensive/high quality.
  • Although the construction key won’t work there will be a limited number of final key combinations for this type of lock. If you want in increased level of security it could be worth getting a locksmith to re-key the locks as soon as possible. The cost is going to be around $60-80/lock plus a call out fee.

Would you go for better locks?


The Settling In Section contains lots of advice on what to do after

you have moved in your new house


Emergency Planning – What Is Important To You?

Bush Fire Season is with us again . . . . so if you live in an area that is at risk its time to think about what would you do if a fire came through.

What would be the things would break your heart to lose?

  • Old Family photographs.
  • Mementos of your children’s early years.
  • Expensive paintings or artworks.
  • Important documents.
  • Jewelry from your partner.
  • The clothes you wore at a significant event.

After every bushfire the news programs show shots of people searching through piles of ash.

Why not think about protecting these keepsakes now.

Option 1 – Using a fire resistant safe

If you are going this route it might cost more than you expect.

You might need a large safe which is not only fireproof but water proof too.

You also need to check the fire rating. . . . the cheapest one at Bunnings may only give a short protection period at a low fire temperature.

Option 2 – Being ready to go

Have a box ready to go, preferably already in the car . . . it’s no good it being next to the door, if you aren’t home when the fire starts!

Option 3 – Off site storage

You could store the valuables with a family member or even in those self storage places.

For a suitcase, or similar sized box self storage costs are quite reasonable.


Perhaps the best solution is a combination of two or more of the options.

Disaster Planning for Your Home

Well summer is almost upon us and I am reminded of a poem by Dorothea McKeller

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The poem is called My Country

I also love Australia, but there are plenty of potential terrors

As well as the large disasters such as Floods, Bush Fires, Cyclones, there are many events that may be a disaster to you on a more personal level. . . . .  so are you prepared?

Have you thought

    • How you might react in an emergency?
    • What you might need?
    • How your pets would be protected?
    • What is valuable to you?

Well the Red Cross, who have had a lot of experience in disasters, have provided some very useful information.

Check it out at the following link: RED CROSS – DISASTER PREPARATION



If you find it useful you might like to make a donation!

A Secure, and Welcoming Front Door

Your entrance should provide a welcome to your guests, not look like a fortress!

Consider this as an opportunity to sweep guests off their feet.

For many, the house entrance and the front door can also be a conversation starter. Hence, you’ll want to make this impression a good one.

More than just the design aspect, don’t forget its functionality, too.

It should still tell potential thieves that your home would be a harder target than the average house. . . Sounds contradictory?

Well, here are front door and home entrance ideas that give you both the balance of functionality, security, and aesthetics.

Attractive but Solid Door

Even though this carved door is very attractive it can still be seen to be a very solid door, without looking like a fortress

Although you may not want to spend as much money on a carved door, you will still many good looking doors with a solid appearance.

The key here is in making your front door look thick, hard, and difficult to get through.

Plus, solid doors are also a classic.

They may be costly, but they’re going to last you through years, both to its lifespan and its design.

Plus, solid doors also go with just about whatever home designs you’d like to copy.

Good Lighting

That doesn’t mean  those movement activated integrated floodlights with a harsh glare.

This entrance demonstrates a soft but effective illumination of anyone at the door.

It provides a strong signal to any criminal that there is a high risk they will be seen if they are trying to break into your home.

Frame It With Plants

The plant and garden craze may seem like a new one, but there’s absolutely no reason for you not to join in the bandwagon.

If there’s any place in your home to add some green plants, it’s the front door; frame up your front door with plants.

This will instantly make your home feel more relaxing and inviting.

Can Be Seen From Street

The front door should be obvious to visitors as they approach your house, you don’t want them wondering where it is.

Similarly to lighting, criminals don’t want to be visible to a casual passer by.

Double Locks

Two locks are at least 300mm apart means two separate point of attack to get through the door.

I prefer a good quality handle with integrated lock around 1.20m from the ground with a matching deadlock at a height of around 1.50m.

Avoid Glass Panels

Even if you’re up for an airy or modern house design, you might want to skip glass panels on the front area of your home.

Glass panels in the door, or even alongside the door are an area of weakness.

Rather than inviting guests over, it invites thieves.

Glass panels in the door, or even alongside the  door are an area of weakness.

It’s quite easy for a criminal to break a small pane of glass to get get his hand to the back of the door to let themselves in.

A criminal may also be able to see into your house and check out the situation without appearing suspicious.

Go For A Bold Color

If you could paint your door another color, choose a bold one.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a screaming orange or pink (unless it’s what you want).

By bold, this means creating a stark contrast from the door to the wall that it’s set on so your front door stands out.

For instance, your house has walls in white or gray.

If you’re adventurous enough, you can go for a dark blue door.

If you’re up for something more classic, dark brown or black will do as well.


Of all the parts in your house, it pays to give special attention to your entryway.

After all, this is the very first part that your guests are going to notice.

For others who may never get inside your house, your front door is also the only glimpse that they may have, regarding the overall style of your home. 

At the very least, you’ll want your front door and the entire front entrance to feel homey and welcoming.

If your door could speak, it should be saying “Welcome, and come in.”



Sliding Doors/Windows Security

Does your new home have sliding doors and or windows?

Did you know they aren’t very secure? . . . as they can easily be lifted out, even if they are locked.

Here is a low cost fix that stops that happening.

Its just a thin piece of wood screwed to the top door/window track with a self tapping screw.

The door slides under the wood to close, but once closed can’t be lifted.

Total cost around 10 cents and about 5 minutes of your time!


The Forced Outdoors – 5 Tips For Avoiding Being Locked Outside Your House

Guest post by Hubert Dwight

There is nothing quite on the level of being locked out of your home.

Depending if you live alone or not, this could mean waiting outside your house for hours on end, waiting for another housemate or family member to come home, or worst of all – calling an expensive locksmith to come and remedy the problem.

So you’re not left out in the cold, we’ve put together 5 tips that you can adhere to to avoid being locked out of your house ever again.

Get a spare key cut

This may seem obvious to most, but the more surefire way to making sure that you don’t get locked out of your house is to get a spare key cut.

Some people keep this key in a pot plant outside your house or under the welcome mat home, but perhaps this might not be good idea as this could be the first place someone would look.

Brian much prefers to use a combination key safe, and keeps the combination in his phone so he doesn’t forget it

However, if you do get locked out of your house and you need to call some locksmiths in Melbourne, having had a spare key already cut will limit the amount of effort and stress you will have to endure after the event.

Keep a key at a trusted person’s house

Once you have got a spare key cut, if you don’t want to keep this key on the premises of your home, a good idea is to keep it at a trusted family or friend’s house.

That way, if you do get locked out of your house for any reason, you can promptly call up this trusted person and get them to deliver the key or you can go and get it from them.

This is a safer option than having a spare key on the grounds of your home.

Have a designated ‘key spot’

One of the best ways to not get locked out of your house is to employ some effective prevention methods!

Make sure you have a designated ‘key spot’, for example on a hook right by the door, or in a dish that is on your bedside table.

Each and every time you come home, be sure to place your house key in this spot, and this will dramatically decrease your chance of losing the key or leaving home without it.

Become an organised person

Becoming an organised person is another great preventative measure that you can engage in to mitigate the chance of you becoming locked outside your house.

Each time, before you leave the house, do a mental check: keys, wallet, phone, diary, and any other belongings you may need to have on you that day.

Once you start these sorts of organised behaviours, it will only seem natural to continue them.

Don’t let one of the most annoying afflictions ever affect you again!

Make sure that each time you leave the house you do a mental check of everything you need for the day ahead.

What’s more, ensure you get a spare key cut, and leave it in a smart and safe place – whether this be on the premises of our home or at trusted family or friend’s residence.

Lastly, it’s always a great idea to have a designated ‘key spot’, as this will mean your key has a home, mitigating the chance of ever losing it.

The Priceless Benefits of Investing in a Home Security System

Guest post by Hubert Dwight

Sourse: Shutterstock

With the installation, the bills and the upkeep, it can be easy to fall into thinking that a home security system is too much hassle.

However, that’s simply not the case.

The peace of mind as well as the safety that comes along with a security system is unparalleled.

Furthermore, in the case of a burglary or an attack, having a security system in place will vastly help police after the event.

The benefits of a home security system can outweigh the costs, and we’ve outlined why below.

Protect what matters most

Naturally, your home is where you store your most valuable things.

Where you house sentiments, memories, heirlooms and the like.

It would be absolutely counterproductive not to protect your most precious items.

You’ve worked hard to get where you are and to purchase what you own, so do yourself the favour of protecting these items.

Remember that not everything that is stolen is replaceable.

There is a wide range of home security systems on the market these days that are able to be customised to suit your every protective need.

Deter criminals

A home security system also doesn’t just have to act as a reactive measure, either.

An alarm, for instance, will deter a potential burglar from entering your home in the first place.

These measures, such as motion sensor lights, a dog barking and a security alarm, will save you a huge amount of time, stress and money down the track if it deters a criminal before they attack.

The more home security systems that exist in your neighborhood, the more likely it is for crime to drop overall.

Help your neighbors; help yourself.

Lower homeowner’s insurance

As well as the physical safety that you and your belongings will now experience, you may actually save some money even if a burglary doesn’t occur.

Yes, you are paying out-of-pocket to increase your home security.

However, depending on your homeowner’s agreement, having a home security system may lower your homeowner’s insurance by up to 20 percent.

Increase peace of mind

There is most definitely no price that can be put on peace of mind.

When you install a home security system, you will sleep easier at night knowing that you, your family and your valuables are safe in your sanctuary.

This extra layer of defense is perhaps the greatest benefit of all.

Improves electricity management

Many security systems offer energy efficient thermostats and outlets.

That means, if you’ve forgotten to change your thermostat before leaving for a holiday, these systems will allow you to control the thermostat on any device with internet.

Moreover, this works as a great tool to turn lights on and off while you’re on vacation to help give the home the appearance that someone is there.

There are many things to think about when it comes to home security systems – it can seem overwhelming.

However, there is no doubt about it: a well-installed security system has so many benefits for you and your household.

Of course, each and every security system will be different, and it’s up to you to decide just what processes you need in place to protect your valuables and your loved ones.

Emergency Planning – Scenarios

I heard on today’s news that there have been bush fires in NSW, in the first week of November!. . . . so I thought it was worthwhile reminding people about making an Emergency Plan.

If you have  just moved into your new house make sure you spend time thinking about what you would do in an emergency.

Even if you house is still being being built its not too soon to start thinking about emergency planning.

Don’t think this doesn’t apply to Houses on new urban estates. Your house can still be affected by things like grass fires and flooding.

I and many others have said “If you don’t plan, you are planning to fail!” . . . and the consequences of failing can be fatal.

Emergency Planning Guides

If you look on the websites for your States Emergency Services or Fire Brigade you should find sample plans.

The Australian Red Cross also have a great downloadable planning guide at this link  Red Cross Emergency Planning.

Emergency Planning Guides

If you look on the websites for your states Emergency Services or Fire Brigade you should find sample plans.

The Australian Red Cross also have a great downloadable planning guide at this link  Red Cross Emergency Planning

Potential Emergency Scenarios

Having seen a lot of emergency plans one thing that they often miss is planning for different scenarios.

Remember emergencies can happen without warning. . . . so check you have a plan for

  • Everyone at home with vehicle/s and time to leave safely.
  • Everyone at home with vehicles BUT no time to leave.
  • One parent away from home with vehicle.
  • Both parents away from home, but children home.
  • Adult/s home but children away from home.

If you don’t have a plan for any of these scenarios . . . . then don’t let that scenario happen.