Living in an apartment can present unique security concerns. From the servicemen who enter an apartment, but that a renter may never have direct contact with, to the unknown number of apartment community employees with access to door keys– renters must be aware of all possible security risks and create a plan that will keep them at a minimum. While many home security tips are targeted toward homeowners, there are a number of do-it-yourself solutions that can work just as well for renters, too.
In most jurisdictions, the law prohibits landlords and apartment managers from volunteering or answering questions about a neighborhood’s safety. It is, therefore, recommended that prospective tenants contact a local police department to inquire about crime statistics in a particular area. Asking direct questions about the kinds of calls that originate within an apartment community may offer some insight about the building’s overall environment. While low crime statistics do not guarantee the safety of an apartment community, high crime statistics can help a prospective renter assess the risk of living at a certain location.
The very first security defense that all apartment renters should engage in is changing all door locks. Not only might a previous tenant still have keys to an apartment, but there is a good chance that other people in that tenant’s personal circle of friends and family members also have a key. Unless a tenant is absolutely certain that the landlord has already changed the locks, this should be done immediately in order to keep an apartment as secure as possible. A lock that cannot be bumped should be used and installing an additional deadbolt lock should be considered. For added security, a portable device such as the Keypout Lock Bumping/Dead Bolt Protector can be purchased to stop lock bumping thieves from entering.
Sliding glass doors and windows should also be secured with pin locks or some other mechanism that prohibits them from being opened or removed from their respective tracks. Often, people who live in upstairs units think that they are safe from burglary and may feel comfortable leaving a patio door or window open for ventilation while they are away from home. This should never be done, however, as it is not uncommon for apartment burglaries to take place in the broad daylight as bold burglars enter through one of these access points.
Apartment Alarm Solutions
With a landlord’s permission an alarm system may be installed in an individual apartment unit. In these instances, a wireless system is best since there is no need to drill into the apartment’s walls in order to install special wiring. Economical solutions such as the STI Burglar Stopper Wire-Free Home Protection System are not only affordable, but are easy to install and can easily be transported to another location whenever a tenant moves.
Though most landlords and maintenance workers are completely trustworthy, every now and then there are news reports of some who are not. In order to assure that no unauthorized entry occurs while a tenant is at work, an indoor video surveillance system is recommended. These cost-effective, easy to install cameras can monitor the inside of a home to record everyone who goes in and out, and can help keep things like expensive home electronic devices, jewelry and other items under close watch whenever a tenant is away. Cameras can be set up to conspicuously record activity inside of an apartment or can be placed in plain view and thus serve as a deterrent to anyone considering committing a crime.
Portable Security Solutions
Understanding that some landlords may severely restrict or even prohibit the minor installation changes necessary for a wireless alarm system; or that some landlords may not be too keen on a tenant changing or installing additional deadbolt locks, there are completely non-invasive solutions to apartment security. We’ve already discussed the Keypout Lock Bumping/Dead Bolt Protector to prevent lock bumping, but tenants may also use the Guard Dog portable door guard alarm or the Techko Safety Entry Alarm to help secure an apartment.
Just as we advise homeowners to consider multiple layers of security, apartment renters should do the same. Deterrents, such as security decals or the Rex Plus Electronic Watchdog Alarm will often make a burglar think twice about entering an apartment. Other deterrents that can be used to thwart an apartment burglary include the Global Link Laser Scanner Burglar Deterrent with Transformer or the Fake TV Burglar Deterrent Device.
Security For Everyone
We live in a time when home security simply cannot be ignored. Fortunately, those specializing in manufacturing home security devices realize that renters and others who may not permanently dwell at a property still need home protection as much as homeowners do. With DIY solutions that are affordable for most budgets, everyone can feel empowered to create multiple layers of protection wherever they may live.