The security concerns you have as an apartment renter are a lot different than the security concerns you have when you own a home. You live in close proximity to a lot of people, and there are always people walking in front of your apartment. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, apartments are 85 percent more likely to be burglarized than a single family home.
Things to Check before You Move in
Before you move in, there are a few home security for renters concerns you should take a look at. For example, are all of the appliances working properly? While this is not directly related to burglary, it is connected to your safety. Appliances that are malfunctioning could result in fire or gas leak. Take the time to check smoke detectors, thermostats, and carbon monoxide detectors.
Get New Locks
When you are moving into a new apartment, insist on having the locks changed. It’s not enough for your landlord to redistribute the locks by putting a lock on your door that was once used on someone else’s door.
You have no idea who has access to old keys, and this could pose a very dangerous situation. Landlords who are concerned about home security for renters may allow their tenants to install electronic locks as an added step in improving security.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
In a lot of apartment communities, it is not uncommon for people to live next door to the same person for many years and not even know their name. This is dangerous because your neighbors are a powerful line of defense in case of an emergency. Before moving in, talk to neighbors and talk to your landlord about the general demographic of the neighborhood, about apartment security concerns, and the lifestyle of nearby tenants.
Law enforcement agents can be an invaluable source of information when it comes to providing you with local crime statistics.
What Is the Lighting Situation?
Before moving in, it is a good idea to drive around the apartment complex at nighttime. Look at the lights and make sure that they work. Working lights and functioning motion detectors are key parts of apartment safety. Intruders love to lurk in the dark, so the more light you have around your apartment property and in the hallways, the safer you will be.
You may want to install motion sensor lights in your apartment. These will alert you in advance if someone is in your home and provide you the security of being able to walk into your home and have it illuminated.
Examine Window Locks
Good window locks prevent intruders from gaining access to your apartment. This is especially true if your apartment is on the ground level. But even if your apartment is on the 10th floor, make sure your locks are working well. It is surprising how determined burglars can be. All windows should be treated as potential points of entry.
Check Apartment Entrances
A good way to determine how secure your apartment building will be is by looking at the state of the apartment door security. If the door is broken, if the intercom seems like it is not functioning, or if it seems like people have been tampering with the door, this may be an indication of a safety concern. It could mean that you would want to look elsewhere for an apartment.
After You Move In
Once you’ve moved in, there are some additional steps you can take to keep your apartment secure. For example, if you’re not 100 percent sure that your landlord replaced the locks with the new ones, buy new apartment door locks yourself and install them. This would be a good time to talk with your landlord about installing keyless door locks.
The Benefit of Keyless Locks
One of the nice things about having a keyless door lock on your apartment is that you can provide your landlord with a temporary access code that allows him to enter your home when there is a scheduled repair or a scheduled inspection.
You will know every time your landlord enters your home because most keyless locks will send an alert to your smartphone or computer telling you that someone is in your home and telling you who has entered your home.
Installing a wireless security camera or two is also a good idea. These can be made to work in conjunction with your locks and with a motion detector.
Get a Security System
There are many security systems that you can install in your apartment. Most security systems for apartments are not wired because you do not have the authority to make structural changes to the apartment.
Most wireless systems are do-it-yourself systems and can be designed to monitor the windows, the doors, smoke detection, and carbon monoxide detection. Wireless security systems can be designed to alert you, alert your neighbors, and alert law enforcement if someone breaks into your apartment.
Get a Safe
Having a safe in your apartment makes it harder for intruders to walk off with your valuables. Since most apartments are small, it will not take a burglar long to search through all of your things. A heavy safe cannot easily be carted off without attracting a lot of attention, and so it serves as a good deterrent for burglars.
When it comes to protecting your apartment, you have to take the initiative. Never be afraid to ask a potential landlord questions about safety. Be prepared to quickly make safety adjustments to your apartment. Talk to law enforcement for any additional tips that you could use to keep your apartment as safe as possible.