Five Home Security Musts for Apartment Renters | National Apartment Association

Five Home Security Musts for Apartment Renters

Here at SimpliSafe Home Security, we think apartments are a great living choice - they’re space-and cost-efficient, they boost community, and they tend to be in awesome locations.  Sadly, there’s another group of people who love apartments, too: burglars. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, apartments are 85% more likely to be targeted for burglaries than single-family homes. You can make sure your home stays off the statistics list by following a few simple tips.
1. Don’t make it easy.
Burglars are always on the lookout for an easy mark - an apartment with no people, lots of valuables, and a way to get in and out quickly. If yours doesn’t visibly fit these criteria, he’ll probably skip it. Switch a low-energy light on when you go out so it looks like someone’s home. If you live alone, consider adding a fake name or two to your mailbox or door plate - burglars target solo nesters. Keep valuables like TVs, sound systems and computers away from windows, and ALWAYS lock your door when you go out, even if it’s “just for a minute.”  In the time it takes you to buy that bag of chips and chat with your friend from across the street, a burglar can clean your whole place out (that would really give you something to talk about).
2. Keep a lookout.
That peephole is on your door for a reason! Never let someone into your apartment, or even into the building, if you don’t know who they are and why they’re there. If you’ve called a repair professional, ask for ID and a work order before you let him in. Use a site like Neighborhood Scout to become familiar with your neighborhood’s crime patterns, and stay a step ahead.
3. Use your neighbors.
You all have the same goal - to stay safe - so help each other out! Get to know the people in your apartment, so you’ll recognize it if there’s someone hanging around who doesn’t belong. Make an agreement to tip each other off about suspicious activity (make sure you tell the police and your landlord, too). If there’s a neighbor you really trust, and you’re going out of town for a while, ask her to collect your mail, babysit your most valuable possessions, and check up on your place occasionally. You can return the favor when she goes away.
4. Run a tight ship.
Keeping up with apartment maintenance not only makes your place look spiffy, it makes it safer, too. Trim overgrown shrubbery around the building so that burglars have no place to hide, and replace burnt-out bulbs and outdoor lights quickly. Ask your landlord to rekey all the apartments between tenants. Most importantly, make sure all of your doors, strike plates, and locks are quality, heavy-duty, and professionally installed. Seventy percent of apartment break-ins involve the perpetrator forcing his way in at a weak point: strengthen those weak points, and you can prevent a breach.

5. Invest in safety.
A security alarm is a burglar’s worst nightmare - it attracts witnesses and authorities, and destroys the chance of a clean getaway. That explains why most burglars don’t bother with alarmed apartments. A wireless security system is perfect for people who want top notch apartment security without permanent installation, a landline, or a monthly contract. They’re also customizable, so you can choose the sensors, detectors and features that best fit your space, whatever floor you’re on.