Burglary is a common problem associated with most individual houses. However, apartments, too, are at risk of theft, especially with poor security. The risk of a burglary at an apartment is more than a house because of a lack of use of security services. Most rental flats do not allow adding additional measures like new locks and deadbolt or wired surveillance systems. However, you can improve your apartment security without much hassle. Here are ten ways to do so.
1. Talk to your neighbours
The first step towards securing your apartment is to talk to your neighbours and form a united front. Together, you will need to reach out to your respective association to install appropriate security measures. For instance, get CCTV cameras installed in the hallways or at the gate. Alternatively, you can install a community door, where you will need to buzz in your visitor each time. Doing either of these requires you to consult your neighbours first. Moreover, your neighbours can also help you keep an eye (or an ear) on your apartment when you are not home.
2. Invest in stronger doors
One of the most common entry-ways for burglars is the front door. They either kick it in or pick the locks. As such, it is always better to buy stronger front doors. If you are moving into a new apartment, buy a new door of tough material before you move in. You can also strengthen the front door of your home by replacing the half-inch screws on the strike plate and hinges with three-inch ones.
3. Add new locks
If you take your apartment security seriously, chances are you already have a combination of locks for your front door. The most common is a deadbolt and a locking knob. However, it is always better to add additional locks to keep burglars at bay. It is also prudent to upgrade the existing ones. Use a swing or portable lock and turn your existing deadbolt into a smart lock. Moreover, you can also invest in biometric locks if you have some extra cash.
4. Set up an alarm system
Alarm systems are usually associated with individual homes. However, there is no rule that you should not get one for your apartment. You have two options when it comes to setting up alarms: wired and wireless. Your landlord may not be okay with the wired ones. So make sure to consult them first, if you are renting your apartment. Alternatively, you can also use wireless ones with sensors and Wi-Fi connectivity for better protection.
5. Hire a security guard
If you have followed the first step and have your neighbours on your side, hire security guard services. Guards can protect the entrance to your apartment complex and keep track of the visitors. As such, they can ensure an extra layer of security for your house and your neighbours’. Moreover, a security guard will come handy during an emergency, like calling an ambulance, security breach alerts, etc. Many security services also provide a surveillance team, who can monitor the CCTVs installed, if any.
6. Leave a few lights on
A burglar is more likely to barge into a house that is dark and unoccupied than one with people in it. As such, when you are going out, be sure to create an illusion of occupancy. You can achieve it by leaving a few lights on. Yes, this may reflect in your electricity bill, but it is also your best bet against thieves. You can use a remote control system to control the lights in your house to make things seem more natural.
7. Secure your windows
Unless your apartment is on the top floors, your windows pose a risk. If you live in the first few levels, burglars can easily break the window to get inside. Even if you are not living on the first floor, but have a window near your door, your apartment is still at risk. Therefore, secure them with aesthetic grills or window security film. Moreover, invest in thick drapes to cover your windows. Doing so will prevent burglars from casing your place before the theft because that is the first step for them.
8. Secure the sliding doors
After front doors, sliding doors are the most common entryway for burglars. They are easy to break in even when locked from inside. Therefore, you will need to secure the door to ensure no one can open them from outside when locked. You can achieve this by placing a bar or stick in the track of the door. Additionally, you can add extra locks on top to secure the door.
9. Keep your belongings safe
If you can’t stop them from entering your apartment, don’t make it easy for them to find your belongings. Statistics show that most burglars do not like spending more than ten minutes in a house. As such, they would not check everywhere. Therefore, keep your things safe in hidden storage compartments. If you have valuable items, invest in a safe (preferably built-in) to store them.
10. See your visitors first
If you can’t get a community door or a common visitor management system at the gates, install one for your apartment. Here, you have two options. If you are low on budget, go for an old fashioned peephole on your door. However, if you have extra cash, then take a more modern approach. Install intercoms or video phones at the entrance of your apartment. This will allow you to see your visitor before letting them in. In case you don’t have any of these, always make the extra effort of going down to receive your visitors to ensure if you are letting the right person in.
Keeping your apartment safe is not as hard as you might think, but certainly not the easiest of tasks either. With proper maintenance and help from a security agency and your neighbours, your residence can be safer. The key is to invest in the right things and use them effectively. Therefore, blindly following the ten tips given above won’t help. You need to tailor your application to your apartment to ensure maximum security.