Although CPI primarily works with homeowners and businesses, we do want to make sure you’re safe and secure in your temporary rental. Consider the following simple, yet effective apartment security tips to ensure you and your family’s safety while living in an apartment.
Here are 14 of our best tips for apartment security and safety:
- Research crime in the area before deciding to move into an apartment.
- Make sure your apartment complex is well-lit and well-maintained.
- Make note of the apartment’s security features (or lack thereof).
- Meet your neighbors.
- Store valuables in a fire-proof safe, or hide them well.
- Install a security system or security cameras.
- Always appear to be home.
- Make sure your apartment door has a deadbolt.
- Secure your apartment’s sliding glass door.
- Always lock your door.
- Install blinds or curtains.
- Always lock your windows.
- Pay extra close attention to doors and windows if you live in a first-floor apartment.
- Don’t use your balcony or porch as storage.
Choosing a Secure Apartment
Research crime in the area before deciding to move into an apartment
The fact is location matters. Before putting down a deposit on an apartment, take some time to look at the area’s crime statistics or talk to residents and business owners nearby to get a feel for how safe the area is.
Make sure your apartment complex is well-lit and well-maintained
Any common areas should have good lighting and, if possible, security cameras. Pay attention to the lighting in parking lots, hallways, stairwells, mailrooms, laundry rooms, trashcan or dumpster areas, and any other common areas. Good lighting at night goes a long way in keeping an apartment safe. Additionally, it’s a good sign if common areas can only be accessed by key, key card, fob, or a code.
An apartment complex’s overall appearance can also be a good indicator of how safe it is. Overgrown landscaping, potholes in the parking lot, and dirty common areas may be indicative of a landlord or property management team who won’t quickly respond to any apartment safety concerns or security issues, such as broken locks or burnt-out light bulbs.
Make note of the apartment’s security features (or lack thereof).
When you tour an apartment, pay special attention to the doors’ locks, whether or not there are other security mechanisms like a peephole or chain lock, whether the windows lock well, if there are working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, if there are posted fire escape plans and emergency exits, and other key safety features. Additionally, be sure to ask if they change the locks or door codes between tenants.
General Apartment Safety Tips
Meet your neighbors
If you’re wondering what to do when moving into a new apartment, one of the first steps to take to increase your apartment’s security is to meet your neighbors. When you know your neighbors, you can look out for each other and notify each other if you notice anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. Plus, it’s always nice to have someone to say hello to as you come and go!
Store valuables in a fire-proof safe, or hide them well
Safes can keep your belongings safe from not only thieves and burglars, but also maintenance workers or even guests. Invest in a high-quality safe to hold your important documents, jewelry, and anything else of high value, and ask your property manager if you can bolt it to the apartment’s walls or floor. This safe will also protect your valuables in the case of an apartment fire or other disaster. If a safe isn’t an option, hide your valuables well so they won’t be easily found by a burglar.
Install a security system or security cameras
If possible, consider installing a security system in your apartment. Even if a whole-home apartment security system isn’t an option for you, there are many security cameras that send a feed directly to your smartphone. With these, you can monitor your home when you’re away, and also reference the camera footage in the unfortunate event that someone breaks in.
Always appear to be home
Unless it’s late at night, a completely dark apartment makes it look like no one is home. Lights with timers or a smart home system that controls your lights make it easy to keep lights on all the time, whether you’re home or not.
Apartment Door Security
Make sure your apartment door has a deadbolt
Your apartment likely already has a deadbolt installed, but if not, ask your landlord or property manager about adding one. You can also add additional safety mechanisms to use when you’re inside, such as chain locks or door guards.
Secure your apartment’s sliding glass door
Apartments often have sliding glass doors, which can be harder to keep securely locked than a more traditional door. If your apartment has a sliding door to access a balcony or porch, add a rod to the track to keep it secure and make it harder to pry open.
Always lock your door
Regardless of whether you’re at home, out and about, or away for several days, it’s important to always keep your door locked. This is a quick and easy way to ensure your home’s security and keep out intruders.
Apartment Window Security
Install blinds or curtains
While it may be tempting to let as much sunlight as possible stream in through your windows, blinds or curtains can make a big difference in how secure your apartment is. Thieves sometimes “shop” through windows before breaking in, so keeping your windows covered at night and when you aren’t home is an easy way to secure an apartment.
Always lock your windows
When you first move into your apartment, confirm that all windows are locked. If you open your windows to enjoy a fresh breeze, pay special attention to locking them once you are done. You can also consider adding a rod to the windows’ tracks to make it harder to pry it open.
First Floor Apartment Safety
Pay extra close attention to doors and windows if you live in a first-floor apartment
While it’s important for anyone looking to secure an apartment to keep their doors and windows locked at all times, it’s especially critical for first-floor apartment residents, as their apartments’ have more easy-to-access entry points than apartments higher up. Always use security bars or rods for windows and sliding glass doors, and lock your deadbolt whenever your door is closed.
Don’t use your balcony or porch as storage
Your first-floor apartment’s outdoor space may be an easy place to store things such as bicycles and outdoor gear, but it’s also an easy place for thieves to grab something and take off. Avoid storing items outside whenever possible, but if you must, use a high-quality bike lock to keep your things secure.
Whenever you’re ready to buy your next home, know that CPI Security is your best option for smart home security. Contact us when you’re ready to move into your new home, and for more safety tips to protect your home and family, visit the CPI Security blog.