Worried about someone breaking into your apartment and looking for ways to protect the apartment? Before you rush out and purchase an expensive security system, remember that apartment burglary usually occurs when inhabitants fail to take simple precautions and use common sense. You can protect your apartment from burglary by taking some simple and free preventative measures.
1. Keep Your Windows and Doors Locked
This is the single most important precaution you can take. Thieves are looking for easy targets. Don’t be one! Leaving your windows and doors unlocked is practically inviting burglars inside. This is especially true when you’re not at home. Never leave doors and windows unlocked when you’re gone. You can be a little more relaxed when you’re actually home, but make it a habit to always lock the door behind you, whether you’re entering or exiting the place. When you’re hanging out at home and decide to open your windows, be mindful of the rooms and areas you’re opening up. Only open windows in areas or rooms of the apartment you’re using at the time, especially if your apartment is two levels. It may feel silly to be so cautious, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Also, just because you live in a secured access apartment building doesn’t mean it’s safe to leave the actual door to your unit unlocked. Numerous thefts occur under such pretenses. Always lock the door behind you!
2. Keep Your Blinds Drawn
For the vast majority of people, work and school keep an apartment empty for five or more hours during the day. If you know you’re not going to be in your place for hours on end, pull the shades. Don’t tempt potential thieves by allowing them to see all the great things you keep inside. In general, keep sight of your valuables away from windows.
3. Get to Know Your Neighbors
Becoming acquainted with your neighbors is beneficial for both your personal safety and for your apartment’s safety. When you move in, make an effort to introduce yourself to those nearby. Not only is it good to be on friendly terms, knowing your neighbors and their habits will make it much easier to spot any suspicious activity or questionable characters in the area.
4. Never Let Your Apartment Appear Unoccupied
If you know you’re going to be away from your place for more than a day, be sure to set timers on lights (or simply leave a lamp on in one or two rooms). Have a friend or trustworthy neighbor pick up your mail. Most burglaries occur when an apartment is unoccupied. Don’t advertise your apartment as being vacant while you’re away.
5. Consider Living on the Second Floor
Many apartment seekers choose to live in a second story apartment for personal safety reasons and to prevent break-ins. While second-story units are certainly more difficult to access by window, you’re never guaranteed a burglar won’t find his or her way in. Best to implement all of the preventative strategies listed above no matter which floor you choose to reside.
Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.