Apartment Security Tips

Many apartment residents do not think much about home security believing that it is only homeowner’s task. Whether it’s your first time living in a large apartment building or you’re quite accustomed to the practice, there are definitely different sorts of home security concerns to address when you’re living in a larger building with lots of other people. First of all, even if you protect everything inside your apartment with a security system you must rely on others to secure the building exterior, grounds and parking areas. Get to know your landlord or building manager and be sure to bring security issues to their attention. The chance of your apartment being burglarized is much greater than living in a house.

The reason why apartments are a common target is that there are so many people are in and out of apartment buildings all the time and it is harder to keep non-residents out. After all, you would notice a stranger but you will not know who should and shouldn’t be walking down a hallway of an apartment building. So what can be done to tackle crime in apartment blocks? Fortunately there are several measures that can be taken to ensure security in your apartment. This article describes the most appropriate action that can be taken to secure apartment.

If burglars do gain entry they are most likely to grab smaller items that they can quickly escape with. Cash is obvious but jewelry, laptop computers, and small electronic appliances or devices are also targeted items that can be quickly sold or pawned. The smartest thing to do is prevent being burglarized in the first place, but you can save yourself a lot of aggravation in the event you are burglarized, by following these steps:

1. Have your driver’s license number etched or engraved on all valuable items
2. Photograph valuable items, make a video of your apartment, and keep a record of items including descriptions, makes, models and serial numbers
3. Make a copy of everything important in your wallet, as well as other important documents, each year
Once you’ve got your photos and records up to date, keep them in a safe deposit box or other safe place off site. Do not keep them in your apartment.
4. If you’re walking up to your building late at night, it’s considerably safer for you if you make sure that your keys are in hand, and that you aren’t busy chatting away on your cell phone. A considerable amount of robberies take place when residents aren’t aware of their surroundings, so be sure to stay alert until you are comfortable in your actual apartment, it is a great strategy to keeping your apartment safe and secure.

Lock your windows. If you’re stepping out for whole night or just for a couple of hours, be sure to lock your windows. After all, an open window is practically an open invitation to a criminal mind. It is more difficult to break in window if you keep them closed.

Apartments Vs Houses

The comparison between house and apartments started with growing families and shortage of parking area. An apartment provides basic amenities making it more preferable over a house.

Advantages of Apartments:

Low maintenance: Renting a house means maintaining garden, mowing and shoveling, depending upon the rules mentioned in your lease agreement. Renting an apartment means all other maintenance except your apartment will be taken care by the association of apartment and not you.

Professional Management: Owners maintain homes and of course, if you are not rich enough, you cannot afford to hire a supervisor for your garden maintenance. In apartments, there are supervisors, who are well-versed with all the tenancy laws.

Location: Houses are mostly located away from downtown, generally in outer city region, whereas apartments are preferably located in the middle of a downtown.

Tax: You can also avail tax deductions against apartment rentals.

Change: You can just move to another apartment whenever you feel. This excludes the renovation cost as with house. You get a great flexibility with apartments.

Security: Apartments are more secure than houses, as they provide security services too.

Disadvantages of Houses:

Landlords: Rented houses have individual owners and you may be aware of the tenant laws. However, what if landlords are not aware of certain laws, this might create huge dilemma.

Maintenance: Not only the outer area needs care for cleaning, interiors also need extra manpower for maintaining clean environment, as the number of staircases, windows are more than you will find in apartments. As the space is wide, you need extra effort for cleaning them.

Finally, houses often make you introvert, as you will have no immediate neighbors for gossiping or having any type of discussion, so that you can take a break and increase your social circle. In case of emergency, you may find no help from other tenants.

A Dummy’s Guide to Apartment Security

So, you think your apartment is safe. Do you feel secure when you are at home? Most single women will admit their apprehension about living alone in an apartment complex. But if you follow some common sense practices, you can make your apartment home a safe and secure refuge to come home to after a busy day. These are some tips to increase your safety and help improve your comfort level.

You might think this is rather silly, but LOCK YOUR DOOR! Most burglars are looking for the easiest opportunity to invade someone’s home, and apartment dwellers are the worst offenders when it comes to leaving their doors unlocked. Just think about how many times have you left your apartment door unlocked because you were just going out to your car for a moment, or to visit a neighbor? It only takes a second for someone to sneak into your apartment while you are preoccupied, especially if your apartment entrance is not visible from outside. And remember, it is better to have to carry your keys with you than to re-enter your apartment while an intruder is there.

When you leave for an extended period of time, leave a light on. Even though it may be daylight when you leave, chances are likely it will be dark when you arrive home. Burglars don’t like lighted areas. A 60 watt light bulb uses only cents per day. If this still seems a bit much, invest in a compact fluorescent bulb. They use only about 1/6 the electricity of a standard incandescent bulb. The really good thing about leaving a light on is that it will be a lot more welcoming when you walk into your apartment.

One of the best security devices you can get for your apartment while you are away is a friendly, observant neighbor. Burglars don’t take afternoons off. Get to know your neighbors, and when you find one with whom you feel a good degree of trust, let them know your activity schedule. They can keep an “eye” on things while you are at work, on vacation, or just out “playing”. Try to play the “I’ll watch your back and you watch my back” game. That way you both will feel more secure.

Most apartment entrances are not very well lit and the entrance doors usually don’t have windows. How do you know who is outside your door when the bell rings? Peepholes are usually provided in entry doors for the protection of the tenant. USE THEM! Have you ever just popped open the door without even asking “Who’s there?”. That is not very smart from a security standpoint. An even better solution to peepholes is a surveillance camera with inside monitor. These devices have become relatively inexpensive lately and can offer a wide area view of your entryway. This makes it more difficult for someone to “hide” from the view of your peephole.

Do you like pets? If your apartment complex allows them, dogs make especially good security devices. Burglars just love having their presence announced by a barking dog. Any animal, even some birds, that make a lot of noise when disturbed, will usually alert you to the presence of a stranger. Even if the noise is not such that it scares them off, at least you will be prepared for their arrival.

Being away on vacation presents a few additional problems when it comes to securing your home. Since your apartment will be left empty for an extended period of time, it becomes more vulnerable. Tell tale signs will alert prospective thieves that your castle in undefended. I have listed here some of the most important steps to take prior to leaving your home unguarded:

  • The best protection for your apartment during your absence is to have a house sitter. A friend you trust staying at your house can take care of your pets and/or plants in addition to making sure the house is inhabited.
  • If you don’t have a house sitter, have a neighbor watch your apartment while you’re away. Give them a key so the can make sure things are secure inside also. If you have a security alarm, make sure they know your alarm code and how to use it.
  • Have your mail and newspaper deliveries stopped until your return. Nothing announces an empty apartment better than a stack of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox. If this isn’t possible, have a neighbor collect any newspapers, mail, or packages that might accumulate.
  • If you have a garden or plants on your balcony, make sure someone is watering the plants regularly or put the plants where they can’t be seen. Plants slowly dying due to lack of water could indicate no one is home to take care of them.
  • Check your lease. Many landlords require that you notify them if your apartment is going to be left empty for any period of time so they can enter your apartment in case of emergency.
  • Darkened windows advertise your absence to a potential burglar. Only partially close window shades. Close them fully only if it is possible to see directly into your apartment from outside. It is better to use a programmable timer for turning lights on and off at varying times. This will give your apartment a “lived in” appearance. You don’t want to appear as though you’re hiding something, like your absence.

Finally, there are many devices available to assist you in achieving a greater degree of security in your home. These include wireless security systems, motion detectors, door alarms, glass breakage alarms, “Barking Dog” alarms, and surveillance devices. In addition, personal defense products such as personal alarms, pepper spray, and stun guns are also available to suit almost anyone’s comfort level. All of these products are designed for ease of use and to provide you with an advantage against criminals.