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11 Best Security Tips for Apartments and Condos

Your apartment is a place where you should feel the safest. After all, this is your home. However, an apartment being one of several inside a multi-unit residential building, you want a good amount of security in your unit and surrounding it. How you secure an apartment will keep you and your belongings safe, whether you are in the unit at the time or not.

Here are eleven key security tips for apartments:

Tip #1: Use the apartment peephole

As with many apartments, there’s a peephole on the door. Use it before opening your door. If you’ve never lived in an apartment before, this habit can take a few tries to lock in, but it’s an additional measure to take to avoid someone you don’t know from pushing past the door, entering into your unit without your permission.

Tip #2: Check the apartment door locks

Make sure your door locks work well. If there are multiple door locks, use all that is there. These will help protect you if someone tries to forcefully enter. If your door locks aren’t working, ask a locksmith to replace them.

Also, always lock your door when leaving, even if it’s just for a moment. While you’re checking your door locks, you also should make sure your windows are fully latched as well.

Tip #3: Cover your apartment windows

When you’re not home, cover your windows. An intruder shopping from unit to unit looking at where’s the best place to burglarize won’t know what’s inside yours. If you have instruments or really expensive items that would normally be out in the open, you don’t want to advertise these by the window. Ensure blinds are closed and curtains are pulled at night and when you’re not in the unit.

Tip #4: Get renters’ insurance

The #1 best security tip for an apartment is to get renters’ insurance. Landlords’ insurance strictly covers the building. A renter’s insurance policy covers your personal property, a la furniture, electronics, clothing, and possessions. If there’s a burglary or disaster of some kind that affects these assets, you’re covered.

In some cases, renters’ insurance also has liabilities and medical costs should a visitor be injured at your apartment. It’s a minimum cost you pay monthly, but it’s worth it knowing that the value of your items is protected in the case of an unexpected loss.

Tip #5: Install an apartment security camera

Although you can’t necessarily control what the apartment building owner does to maximize security, you can do so in the unit by installing a hidden security camera somewhere. This will ensure any break-ins are captured on video. If you are in an area with a crime above average, this may be a tactic you take to protect your belongings.

Tip #6: Check where there’s lighting

Where there’s darkness, there are hiding places. Older buildings might have some nooks and crannies where people can potentially hide. In the hallway, there should always be adequate lighting. Furthermore, the entranceway in front of and behind the building should be properly lit.

Tip #7: Have a working smoke detector

Your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector shouldn’t be all appearances. They should work. Make sure that your smoke detector’s batteries are routinely replaced. As you’re living somewhere with multiple dwellings and where each has a kitchen, you want to know your smoke detectors are working just in case there’s a fire.

Tip #8: Address apartment security issues

If there are major security issues – i.e. a broken door lock or window that isn’t latching – your landlord should be immediately aware of these things. Even in a safe area, it’s not appropriate to have a broken lock. Any major damage or security issues like these should be handled quickly to compromise your safety.

Tip #9: Install an apartment security system

Many smart home security systems can be set in apartments without drilling holes. Wireless alarm systems. Door sensors. Window sensors. Security cameras. These elements of apartment security can be set up where you like, often with adhesive. This can sometimes net you a better deal on your renter’s insurance as well.

Tip #10: Know your emergency exits

In an emergency, you act fast to get out of the building. Be aware of where the public exists are. Understand whether you can fit through a window and if it is easily opened in your unit. You probably won’t ever need to use an emergency exit plan, but it’s a good habit for every apartment-dweller to have.

Tip #11: Make conversation with apartment neighbours

If you see a neighbour in the hallway, say hello. Make conversation with others in your building if/when they’re receptive to conversation. Try to be friendly to others. Neighbours will look out for one another.

If they see suspicious activity happening around your unit or vice versa, there’s always help around the corner. If you just moved in, you can also ask them about any building crime and better understand what to expect living in a new apartment.