When my girlfriend got her first apartment, I wish she had first-time renter home security tips for apartments. You see, one day some guy tried to break in through the door while she was home. At the time I was only about 2 minutes up the street. She called me and said I needed to get there as soon as possible.
I sped right over. Here the guy was trying to kick in the door. I got there and he had left. I’m sure he would have succeeded in about another 15 to 20 seconds. The lock was just about to break away from the door frame due to small screws being used to attach it.
So I immediately started to increase the security in her apartment myself. A little do it yourself bolstering.
Beware of what you post on social media
How did this guy know she was home alone? I’m not sure if he actually knew my girlfriend (who became my wife) was actually there by herself. He could have though.
Posting on facebook, twitter, instagram and other platforms about what you are doing and where is sometimes not a very good idea. Don’t say you are home alone watching tv in your pajamas ladies. That is giving a creepy guy an invitation to come and see you.
If you’re going to post something like this add-in that you are with your brother, boyfriend or some other people. Do not say you are alone.
Lock your apartment windows
Sounds simple right? But how often do people forget to do this?
It might be really nice out. Who doesn’t like to sleep with a nice chilly breeze coming in the window? There is no better way to sleep than to have the chili wind coming in while under a blanket to keep warm.
This is also like putting out a neon sign for an intruder that says enter here. You don’t want them entering.
Keep your windows locked, especially if you are on the first floor and live there alone.
Change the lock on your apartment door
You never know who had that apartment before you. They are supposed to turn in the keys when they leave. There is nothing to prevent them from keeping a copy of that key. This will allow them to enter your apartment without being noticed or even heard. If anyone sees them, 99 percent will just figure that person lives there.
Tenant after tenant could have the same key. How many people think about that? Will a 19 to 21-year-old getting their first apartment to think about this? Probably not.
Switching out a door lock is actually a pretty easy DIY since all the holes are there already.
Criminals can use a technique called bumping to open a keyed lock. You will want to get a bump proof lock when switching them out.
Give the appearance that someone is occupying the apartment
The last thing you want to do is let people know that you are not home. You don’t want your place dark every night. Give the appearance that your apartment is occupied.
Use timers on the lights inside your apartment. Put them on more than one light. Don’t set them to go on and off all at the same time. Stagger it. If they all go on and off at the same time, it kind of obvious they are on timers.
You can also put the outside light on a timer too. The big box stores like home depot and Lowes sell them. It’s an easy DIY install.
You may want to consider putting a radio on a timer too. Set it to a station that is broadcasting a tv channel. This way it will sound like someone is home watching television.
Peephole, a must have
When you are home, just opening the door for someone isn’t a good idea. It could be anybody. You will want a peephole. This way you can see who it is at the door. Don’t know them? Don’t let them in!
If your door doesn’t have a peephole, ask the apartment maintenance guy to install one. You can always install your own to. All that is needed is a drill and a drill bit of the right size. It will take about 2 minutes to do.
Camera instead of a peephole
If you don’t want to drill a hole in your apartment door, get a camera. You can mount it outside above the door. This will let you see who is there. There a plenty of cameras for this and most, if not all, come with apps that allow you to view it on a smartphone.
You won’t have to mess with a door you don’t own. However, a camera can be covered up or taken.
A security system for the inside of the apartment
There are so many DIY security systems out today. Finding one that will work for you shouldn’t be hard.
In an apartment, a system that is wireless is probably the best bet. It most likely will come with window sensors and motion detectors. These can be installed using double-sided tape. You won’t be putting holes in the walls and window frames.
Since it is wireless you can find the best places to mount the components. If you ever want to change the position of any of the components, it’s super easy.
You don’t even need to pay a company to monitor the camera system. You should be able to set up alerts to come to your phone if a movement is detected. Then you can see if there someone is actually in your apartment of if the cat set it off.
If discovering someone is actually in there that doesn’t belong, then call 911.
Fake security sign
You can put up stickers that say you have a security system and that it is monitored by a company. The only way someone is going to figure out that it’s a lie is by breaking in.
Sliding door considerations
A lot of apartments come with balconies or patios. There is a sliding door to get to them. These sliding doors are not very secure. Just lifting up on them of prying them up can be enough to get it off the lock and open.
The locks on a sliding door are pretty weak. Replacing the actual lock really won’t do that much if anything at all. You need to add a lock or another measure of security to it.
One of the best ways to secure a sliding glass door is to add some type of bar. This lays in the track of the door so it can’t be opened.
Don’t keep super valuable stuff in the apartment
Get yourself a safety deposit box. Don’t keep your really expensive jewelry in an apartment. You are just inviting someone to try and break in and steal that stuff. Keep it in a safety deposit box. You don’t have to use your own bank if it’s not close to where you live. Use one that is close so you can have quick access.
If you do keep that expensive stuff in there, get a safe. At least it can’t be taken in less than 20 seconds. The criminal will have to break open the safe or take it with them. That would look pretty suspicious, someone carrying a locked safe
Use good blinds on the windows
One of the best things you can do is not let people be able to see inside your apartment. If they don’t know whats in there, they won’t be tempted to rob you.
Don’t cheap out when buying blinds. Get ones that you can’t see through. Be sure to get ones that cover the whole window from top to bottom and side to side.
Always insure your stuff with renters insurance
Get yourself renters insurance. It’s dirt cheap. It protects you from loss if anyone were to break in and steel your stuff. It will also protect you if the person living upstairs leaves the water on or the roof leaks and damages anything.
By following some or all of the home security tips for apartments, a safer environment can be achieved. Parents want their kids to be safe.