Protect Your Apartment from Break-Ins
No one ever wants to get robbed, but it can happen. According to the FBI's most recent property crime report, nearly 8 million homes reported property crime offenses in the U.S. in 2016 alone, and that includes neighborhoods where the crime rate is very low.
Here are some security measures that you can implement in and outside of your apartment to help ensure your safety:
1. Get to know your neighbors and landlord.
Being familiar with your surroundings is very important. By knowing who your neighbors are and what they look like, you'll be able to identify someone who shouldn't be near your property.
2. Lock your doors and windows.
Always secure all points of entry into your home when you arrive, and before you leave. If you are not comfortable with the current locks on your door, install additional hardware on your doors and windows after receiving permission from your landlord. If you have a sliding door, keep a solid bar in place that will prevent the door from opening.
3. Install an apartment-friendly security system.
These cameras and motion detectors do not require drilling holes, so your security deposit will be safe. Like most security systems, you can control them on your smart phone or computer to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.
4. Practice intercom security.
If your apartment has an intercom system, be cautious if you get a buzz, and weren't expecting company. Experts say it's better to leave your name off the intercom system because then, burglars won't have as much information to work with. Never buzz someone in without talking to them first. If you don't know them – don't allow them to enter the building!
5. Use a security checklist before signing the lease.
Write up a checklist and go through the apartment to make sure it's up to your standards. Be sure all the locks and windows are functioning properly. If you have a storage unit outside or connected to the unit, make sure it's secure and ask your landlord if they will provide a new lock for you. Also confirm that the landlord has changed the locks since the previous tenants. For an official checklist you can print off, use this one provided by the National Crime Prevention Council.
6. Don't leave anything exposed on your property.
If you have a porch and a patio, do not leave any valuables outside. This provides easy access to burglars, who can quickly take the valuable and run. And also shut blinds on your windows while you're away – you don't want to expose valuables you have inside your home, either.
7. Purchase renter's insurance.
Help ensure your items are protected with renters insurance! If you do have the misfortune of experiencing a burglary in your apartment, a renter's insurance policy can cover possessions that were stolen after paying a deductible.
We hope you feel a little more confident knowing there are extra precautions you can take when it comes to your apartment and security. If you live in a single family home, read our blog on How to Protect your Home from Break-ins.
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