I have seen posts on my local Facebook community regarding break-ins at apartment complexes in the area. Thieves tend to break-in during the daytime between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm when they know most people are not home. Since renters don’t typically own their unit or complex, it got me thinking……. Besides the lock on their door, what additional security measures can a renter take at any apartment complex? I did some research and found there are things you can implement both inside and outside your apartment to help ensure your safety.
- Get to know your landlord and neighbors. It’s a simple way of being familiar with your surroundings and is very important. Knowing your neighbors, what they look like, and their routines will help you identify quickly someone who shouldn’t be near your property.
- Add extra locks to your doors and windows. Securing all points of entry into your home can reduce your chances of a break in. Seek approval from your landlord to install additional hardware on your doors and windows or simply place a solid bar in the window or sliding door tracks to help prevent it from opening.
- Install an apartment-friendly security system. There are actually security systems made specifically for apartments! These cameras and motion detectors do not require drilling holes so you don’t have to worry about your security deposit. Like most security systems, you can control them on your smart phone or computer. Nest and Reolink are two of many that have wireless systems perfect for apartments.
- Practice intercom security. If your apartment has an intercom system, it’s better to leave your name off the intercom because than burglars won’t have as much information to work with. Never buzz someone in without talking to them first and if you don’t know them, don’t allow them to enter the building.
- Use a security checklist before signing the lease. Write up a checklist or use this one provided by the National Crime Prevention Council. While going through the apartment, make sure it’s up to your standards. Be sure all the locks and windows are functioning properly. If you have a storage unit outside with a lock or a garage unit with a keypad, confirm with the landlord that lock or code has been changed after the previous tenants left.
- Don’t leave anything exposed on your property. If you have a porch or patio, do not leave valuables outside. Doing so provides easy access to burglars. Also, closing your blinds while you are away is a simple way of NOT exposing the valuables inside your home to burglars.
- Purchase renter’s insurance. Protect your items! If you do have the misfortune of experiencing a burglary or fire, a renter’s insurance policy can cover the loss of your possessions that were stolen or damaged. For about the price of three latte’s a month you can make sure every item you own is covered. Plus you get liability coverage which covers you for things that happen in your apartment. For example, a fire started while you were cooking dinner or a person falls and breaks a bone. Medical bills and lawsuits can get expensive. You also have Loss of Use coverage. It provides money for temporary housing if a catastrophic event, such as a fire, were to happen.