When I moved out on my own for the first time, I was always a little weary whenever I got home. I would walk through my apartment and check all the rooms and closets before I could relax.Worrying about the security of your apartment is a normal fear that many people have; we want to feel safe in our homes and want to know that our belongings will be safe, too.
People who live in apartments have unique concerns when it comes to security. It’s very different compared to living in a house; you live close to other tenants, so there is a lot more foot traffic past your door and there are more strangers coming and going. All of these things might put you at a higher risk of burglary or trespassing.
There are a few things you can do to increase the security of your apartment though.
Most intruders won’t bother with an apartment that is well lit because they don’t want to get caught; they would much rather hang around in the shadows where they are less likely to be seen. So, one thing you can do to increase your apartment’s security is to keep it well lit both inside and out.
If you have a balcony or a sliding door on the ground level, make sure to have an outdoor light installed and working. It also helps if your building is well lit in the hallways, the parking lot, laundry room, stairways, and walkways, so if you’re looking for an apartment to rent, keep this in mind.
If the building you live in looks rundown, that’s a sure sign that your landlord doesn’t have a lot of concern for it’s upkeep. Things like broken windows, cracked walls, water stains, or even overgrown grass and shrubbery outside are good to take notice of because these things might also indicate that your landlord isn’t concerned about security, either.
One thing you can do though is keep your unit well maintained and lived in. Make sure to keep up with the outside appearance of your balcony and front door, clear away any mail that gets delivered to your door, and just do what you can. Most trespassers, burglars, and vandalizers won’t bother with an apartment that looked occupied and well-kept. They would rather break into an apartment that is empty, with less chance of getting caught.
Some apartment buildings have pretty good security features like controlled entry, security cameras, or even security guards. However, there are a lot of apartment buildings that people can just walk into (which is how my first apartment was).
While it’s always an added feature to have secured entrances into the building, you can still make sure your own front door and balcony doors are secure, too.
A lot of landlords claim to replace the locks on your front door, but don’t. When you first move into an apartment you might want to replace the locks yourself, or ask your landlord to do it with you there, just to be sure that no one else, like past tenants, have access to your home.
Also, make sure to check that the locks on your windows and balcony door work well. Even if you’re not on the ground level, there are people who will use ladders or even climb up. Scary, but true. Some burglars are very determined.
For added security, you can buy additional locks. A deadbolt is a lot more secure than a standard doorknob, so if there isn’t one already, get one. If you have a sliding door, you really should get an inside bar lock or pole to wedge the door shut; a lot of sliding doors aren’t very secure.
Peepholes are a great feature because they allow you and your family to see who’s at your door before you open it. If your apartment’s front door does not have one, inquire about having one installed. Make sure you can see through it clearly and that it isn’t dirty or covered by paint or anything.
It never hurts to have added security installed. Although your building may already have controlled entry and security cameras on the main entrance, people can still get buzzed in or sneak through when someone leaves. Adding a security system to your apartment will help ensure nobody breaks in through your front door, balcony, or windows.
A tight community is less likely to experience burglary. By getting to know your neighbors, you are more likely to notice if someone strange is lurking around. You can also look out for one another. If you are going out of town or even just out for the night, you can let your neighbors know. That way, if something suspicious happens they can either call you or the police.
Curtains and Blinds
Make sure to install curtains or blinds on all of your windows. This can help prevent burglars from peeping inside your home to see what valuables you have. It can also help you feel more relaxed in the privacy of your own home.
If someone does break into your home, having a safe might be the only thing keeping them from stealing your valuables. Safes are great if you like to keep cash at home, have expensive items like jewelry or electronics, or have documents that could be used for identity theft like birth certificates and your social identification number card.
There are a number of different safes available to purchase, so you should be able to find one that fits both your budget and your needs. You should talk to your landlord about having it bolted to the floor or wall, so burglars can’t take it. It also helps keep valuables out of sight, since most burglars are just looking to quickly grab a few valuables and get out quickly.
Finally, the last thing you might want to consider is getting renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance can protect the value of your belongings in case they are stolen or destroyed. It’s a lot cheaper than most people think it is, costing about $20 a month. Some insurance companies even have package deals, where adding renter’s insurance can actually save you money on your car insurance or life insurance.