Apartment/Condo Security

By Ralph Winn

Today, over 30 million Americans choose to rent apartments or condos instead of buying a home. Renting is a convenient choice for people who travel a great deal, or people who don’t want the additional maintenance of owning a home. When you rent, you don’t need to worry about things like lawn care or fixing the roof or the plumbing. But there’s one thing you need to consider no matter where you live: security.

Before you rent

Unfortunately, apartments have some drawbacks when it comes to safety and security. It’s much easier for criminals to move around in an apartment complex, especially a larger one. New families move in all the time, and most residents are bound to have visitors – with so many strange faces, it’s difficult to tell who lives on the property and who doesn’t. It’s even harder to tell who’s up to no good.

When you’re looking for an apartment, it’s important to think about security. Good property management companies and landlords do everything they can to keep their tenants safe. Before you sign a lease, take a tour of the apartment and the property. Use this checklist to see if the complex makes safety a priority:

— Is there a security gate? While access gates don’t completely deter crime, they make it a little more difficult to enter the property without a key or remote.


— Are common areas well lit? Stairs, hallways, and parking areas should have adequate lighting. Since you’ll probably tour the complex during daylight, consider driving through at night to see if the buildings and grounds look safe and well lit. This is also a great way to see what the place is like after hours.

— Are the doors equipped with peepholes and deadbolts? Most newer apartment complexes feature these security measures, but it’s always a good idea to check.

— Does the landscaping promote safety? Trees and bushes are nice to look at, but make sure that they don’t create hiding places for potential burglars.

Home, safe home

Even though your apartment complex probably has some basic security measures like deadbolts and a security gate, you should take additional steps to ensure that your new home is a safe place. There are many things that you can do to avoid becoming the victim of crime at your apartment:

— Get to know your neighbors. Good neighbors are a great deterrent to crime – they can watch out for your apartment if you’re gone, and they may notice if something seems unusual. Make a point to introduce yourself and learn the names and faces of the people who live in your building.

— Install a safety chain on your door. Your door probably has a lock and a deadbolt. A chain is just one more precaution, and it doesn’t cost much. Just make sure you clear it with your landlord first.

— Always lock your doors and windows. This sounds like a no-brainer, but studies have suggested that in about 25% of burglaries, the home or apartment was entered through unlocked doors or windows.

— Report suspicious people or activities. Don’t worry about feeling silly or being wrong. If you see something that looks strange or out of place, call the management office or the police.

— Consider a wireless or portable alarm system. Apartments are usually temporary. You may not want to spend the money on a professionally installed security system, but there are alternatives that fit the apartment lifestyle.

— Get renter’s insurance. Accidents happen. All the precautions in the world can’t protect anyone 100%. For a few dollars a month, you can guard your possessions in case of a fire or a burglary. It’s worth it.

About the Author: Ralph Winn. 35 years in the

Security System


Home Security


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