Home Security for Renters

When you search for an apartment, you are looking for a place that you can turn into a home. You unpack your belongings, meticulously pick out decorations and begin to settle in. You think you’ve gotten everything you need, but surprisingly many renters forget a crucial part of apartment living –security.

Your landlord may take care of broken appliances and landscaping, but you are in charge of securing your belongings and your safety. Here are a few security measures to protect yourself in your new apartment.

1. Get renter’s insurance as soon as possible.

Nearly 50% of Americans do not take out an insurance policy while living in a rented home.  Unfortunately, burglars favor apartment complexes to houses because it’s easy to break into several at one time. Renter’s insurance covers the cost of replacing your belongings due to burglary, fire or other disasters. Quotes for coverage range from $250-$300 per year but vary based on individual factors. You may be eligible for discounts if your apartment is equipped with smoke alarms, fire sprinklers, deadbolt locks or a security system. Contact an insurance provider to get a free quote. This brings us to the next point…

2. Install a security system.

There are several great security options for apartments such as a basic monitored alarm system with door and window sensors; electronic door locks that can be unlocked and locked via a smartphone or the internet; video surveillance; motion sensor lights; and more. Always refer to your lease and management before installing security devices in your apartment. Once you get the green light, contact a trusted security company to set up a home consultation and get security recommendations for your apartment.

3. Get to know your neighbors.

Building relationships—even just as acquaintances—is a source of security. Neighbors who know you and see you often are more likely to report suspicious activity near your apartment. Be sure to return the favor and keep an eye on your neighbors’ apartments too.

4. Don’t grant access to strangers.
When you move into a new apartment, it’s common to want to make a good impression on people in your community. You may do this by holding the door or elevator for a stranger, buzzing up a person who says they are locked out of the building, or allowing someone to drive into your community after you open the gate. However, burglars prey on vulnerable, nice people. While these gestures have good intentions, they are well-known ways burglars enter secure premises.  Only grant access for yourself at the door and do not let anyone enter behind you. If a stranger tries to walk in with you, simply say “This entry is for residents and their guests only. I can’t let you in.” When you drive into your gated community, wait until the gate closes to be sure no one else follows after you. Never give your gate or door code to anyone. These habits may seem overly cautious, but it’s better than being responsible for letting a burglar in community.

5. Remember your safety.
Burglars prefer apartments that are unoccupied, but you being home may not stop them from entering your apartment. Keep your doors locked at all times, whether you are home or away. Three out of ten burglars enter homes via an unlocked door. Take extra precautions to protect your safety by upgrading the locks on your front door and in your bedroom; purchasing equipment to secure your windows; and if your apartment doesn’t have one, talking to your apartment managers about installing a peephole in your front door. Also take caution when coming home or leaving your apartment building. Be sure to always park in well-lit areas, have your keys ready to unlock the door, and pay attention to your surroundings especially at night.

Don’t forget these necessary safety tips when you are settling into your new home. By following this advice, you can easily protect yourself, your belongings and your community every day.  
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