Home Safety and Security Tips for Apartment Dwellers

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Home safety security is important wherever you live, especially if you’re an apartment dweller. Apartments are easy for burglars to access if residents aren’t security conscious.

A Deadbolt Increases Your Safety

Make sure you have a deadbolt lock with a solid chain on your door. Replace any spring-latch type locks as they are easy for burglars to unlock. Many thieves have perfected the art of “loiding.” Loiding is a technique they use where they simply slip a plastic card, such as a credit card, against the latch tongue in order to depress it. Therefore, having a good deadbolt lock can offset this type of activity. However, if there is enough space between the door and frame, a burglar can still gain access with a hacksaw or power tools. Nevertheless, this type of activity takes a little bit of time, which isn’t exactly beneficial to an intruder.

Don’t Announce It to the World if You Live Alone or When You’re Away

If you are a woman or live alone, you don’t need to announce the fact to strangers. Therefore, don’t put your initial or first name on your mailbox. Label your mailbox so that only your last name appears. If you live in a building where you buzz people in, don’t allow anyone you don’t know to pass through the door. Instead, refer them to the manager. Also, if you plan to be on vacation, put a hold on your mail until you return. Never leave any notes to friends, workmen or family members on your door. You’re basically spreading out the welcome mat for anyone to come walking through your door.

Install a Solid Core Wood Door

If the entrance door to your apartment has a hollow core, have a solid core wood door installed instead. If there is too much room between an existing door and its frame, reinforce it by using a panel of 3/4-inch plywood and attach it to the door. Make sure if you have a door with hinges on the outside that you remove the door and reset the hinges so they are set on the inside. Any door hinges on the outside make it easy for a burglar to simply remove the hinge pins and gain entry into your apartment.

Secure Your Sliding Door and Windows

Protect your windows by installing one or more solid locks and burglar-resistant glass. Install a portable door and window alarms or a removable wireless system. Add a locking sliding window bolt on any sliding windows. It will deter a burglar’s efforts even if he breaks the glass. You can also make it harder for a thief to gain access if you set a metal bar on the inside bottom track and any sliding doors or windows.

Make Certain Areas Are Well-lighted and Smoke Detectors Work

Make certain areas, such as stairwells, entryways and parking lots have sufficient light. If they don’t, report the problem to the management. Also, check out the smoke detectors in the common areas and make sure they’re in working order. Do the same for the smoke detectors in your apartment as well. Make sure you have enough light in each room, especially the hallway and entryway.

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