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Living in an apartment comes with its own set of unique security challenges. The National Crime Prevention Council report (NCPC) estimates that apartment renters are 85% more likely to be broken into than single-family units. Being your home, you should do everything possible to keep yourself, your family, and your property safe.
Your options may be limited as a renter since the property manager controls how the apartment complex looks and feels. You can still secure the apartment without making any permanent changes and in an affordable way. Here are seven apartment security tips:
1-Move to a secure apartment
Before moving in, research the local crime rates to ensure you move to a safe neighborhood. You also need to check the lighting – some apartments have dark crannies and nooks, which are perfect for thieves who want to sneak around. A good apartment should have a great security system and an ID scanning device to ensure only authorized people are allowed into the apartment.
2-Have a security system
The complex may already have its security cameras and controlled entry security measures, but still, it wouldn’t hurt securing your own apartment. Some burglars can still manage to sneak in after a tenant gets buzzed in. Secure your doors, windows, and balcony areas that are potential entry points for burglars and keep your home safe.
3-Have good locks on the doors
This is a straightforward way of increasing the security of your apartment. The landlord is likely to have a doorknob installed, which is hardly changed when tenants move out. This means the previous tenants might still access the apartment with their old keys. If your apartment doesn’t have a deadbolt, install one or ask your landlord to install one for you. In short, have a combination of locks for your doors. You can also install a door security bar and a peephole on the front door for extra protection.
4-Have proper lighting
Lighting offers security to your apartment by providing exposure. Good exterior lighting illuminates your building well, making any suspicious activity around clearly visible to you and other residents or pedestrians. Criminals love shadows and darkness, don’t give them that space in your home.
Interior lighting is equally important, as when they are on, they create the illusion that someone is home, discouraging thieves. There are smart devices that can help you control your apartment’s light remotely. Alternatively, set lighting timers that shut lighting on and off at given intervals, keeping your apartment secure.
5-Secure the windows
Most burglars gain access through windows since they know most people hardly remember to secure them well. If you have sliding windows in your apartment, lay a wooden dowel or rod in the track after locking it so no one can slide it open from the outside. You can also add some reliable locks to reinforce the windows.
Keep your curtain and blinds closed when not at home and at night, so thieves don’t get tempted to break in when they see your valuables through the windows. There is an option of investing in window security films too that come with different strength differentials.
6-Install an alarm system
Security alarms have become popular in residential buildings, installed to alert relevant authorities in case of a break-in, thwarting the criminals. When the alarm is triggered, it sends a notification to your smart device, police, or a private security company. The louder the alarm, the better it is for you since it will prompt anyone around your apartment to respond.
7-Know your neighbors
Get to know your neighbors in person or via social groups for the complex, so you can quickly notice when a stranger is lurking around. When you relate well with your neighbors, you can alert them when going away for an extended period so they can keep an eye on your home.
Before moving into an apartment complex, do your homework and find out just how secure it is. Even as you work on making your apartment a fortress, it is important to go for a complex where the owner has some measures in place to minimize the tenants’ security risks.