How To Improve Your Apartment Security

We all want to feel safe in our homes, whether we live in an apartment or a two-story house. It’s a basic human right and something that should not break the bank or be impossible to achieve!

And to help you gain a better level of safety and peace of mind in your home, read on for 20 of the best tips that will improve your apartment security.

1. Keep a Close Eye on Crime Rates

If you research the crime rates around you and what is happening in the news, it’s more likely that you will be prepared for anything life throws at you.

Even after you move into an apartment, keep an eye on local crime in the area with websites like SpotCrime to stay safe.

2. Install an Alarm & Security System

Apartments that have alarm systems will deter burglars from targeting them and give their inhabitants peace of mind. To protect yourself, you can install a full alarm system on doors, windows, and even fire or emergency escapes.

You may want to consider a smart home security system, as well. Some setups can be controlled from your smartphone, so you can monitor your home even when out and about to make sure everything is safe.

3. Install Outdoor Surveillance Cameras

Though some apartment buildings already have security systems and cameras, it might not be enough to cover your particular apartment. However, installing these cameras outside of your unit also might not be allowed by your apartment complex.

A good workaround to this problem is to invest in a high-quality system like a doorbell camera that is fairly concealed and records footage consistently. Devices like the Google Nest Cam or Arlo Pro 2 are great options.

4. Secure All Doors

Many apartments have sliding doors, particularly if they have balconies or patio access. And unfortunately, these doors are also notoriously bad for apartment security, as they are fairly simple to break into even when latched.

Instead of relying on the typically flimsy lock on your sliding doors, pop a wooden or metal security bar into the bottom track of the doors to prevent them from being opened from the outside.

Your apartment’s entry doors could likely do with some strengthening as well. Do this by replacing the commonly-used half-inch door hinge screws with three-inch ones to reinforce against a kick attack.

Additionally, upgrading your door lock to a high-security model is a great idea for improving your apartment’s security. For instance, heavy-duty deadbolts can resist a lot of inward force, and chain locks are impossible to pick or unscrew. 

5. Check Who Is at the Door

Always ascertain who is at your door before answering it. This is one of the best ways to keep your apartment secure from intruders! If you have a buzzer system at the building door, make sure to ask who it is and what they are there for.

Additionally, if you have a peephole in your apartment door, always ensure you use it to identify the person approaching. And if you don’t know them or they are not carrying mail, packages, or food delivery, be very wary of opening the door.

6. Close Windows & Doors

Keeping your windows and doors shut might seem like a hassle, especially in the spring when you want fresh air flowing in, but it’s also a big security risk for them to remain open.

An open window or door is an invitation for an intruder or burglar to enter, so make sure they are closed when you’re not home, and only open your windows a crack when you are present in the apartment.

7. Cover & Lock The Windows

Make sure you install blinds or curtains for every window in your apartment and keep them shut. By keeping your curtains closed, you can prevent both people and would-be burglars alike from peeking in and taking note of your belongings.

If you want to take your security to the next level, consider applying a security film to the windows. This allows you to look out but makes it impossible to see into your home from the outside—something perfect for ground-floor apartments.

Always, always lock your windows. For many burglars, a window is the first port of entry they will try, as many of us can forget to fasten them shut. By simply closing and locking each window, you can boost your entire apartment’s security.

And if you don’t open a particular window very often, just err on the side of caution and keep it locked up tightly. It’s better than forgetting to latch it up at all!

8. Have Your Car Keys Ready

It’s a good idea to keep your car keys at hand in your apartment so that you can hit the panic button and set off the automotive alarm if you hear suspicious noises or suspect a break-in. This is often more than enough to scare off an intruder!

9. Evaluate Who Has Access to Your Apartment Keys

Even if you have new locks and you know who has keys to your apartment, it’s worth thinking about again. Make sure only the people you trust implicitly can access your home to prevent intrusion, apart from a landlord or property agent with keys.

10. Get Insurance

One of the best ways to improve your apartment security and rest easy is to invest in a great renter’s insurance plan, so your belongings are covered in the event of an emergency. Insurance agents can create a personally tailored insurance plan for you that may offer protection for theft, natural disasters, damages, and more!

11. Adopt a Guard Dog

If your lifestyle and building regulations allow it, why not get a furry friend that can also double as a guard dog? Even if your dog is not particularly intimidating, a “Beware of Dog” sign and the sound of barking can scare away a potential intruder.

But before you adopt a pet, check with your apartment complex and insurance company to see if they have specific breeds they will not allow or cover.

12. Keep the Lights On

While this is not to say you should keep every light in the apartment on at all times, it’s advisable to make sure a couple of lamps are left on when you are not home. This gives the illusion that someone is inside and will help deter an intruder.

13. Lock-Up Immediately

Sometimes when our hands are full of groceries or baggage, it’s easier to enter the apartment and start putting things away immediately. However, you should make sure to avoid doing this—instead, put down your goods and lock the door immediately.

This will prevent someone from slipping inside as your back is turned or you’re in another room, bypassing your security entirely! 

14. Install Additional Lighting

Lighting is another one of the main tenets of apartment security. By keeping your property well-lit, you can deter would-be intruders.

Install porch or balcony lights if you are above the first floor and motion-activated lighting if your apartment is on the ground. Additionally, make sure your indoor and outdoor lights have working bulbs at all times.

15. Perform Regular Maintenance

Make sure to keep up with regular maintenance around your apartment. Natural wear and tear can cause problems to home security, including faulty locks, burnt-out lightbulbs, or sticky door hinges, so keeping on top of those tasks is key.

16. Report Apartment Vulnerabilities

If you find a particular issue or vulnerability within your apartment that you cannot easily fix, make sure you report it to the landlord or property agent. They can likely arrange for the proper contractor or maintenance personnel to get it fixed!

17. Park With Extra Caution

Another aspect of home security is keeping your vehicle protected while parking outside your apartment. It can be challenging to find parking if your building does not have enough spots for tenants and visitors, so you need to be extra cautious when parking.

Make sure you bring all your bags and belongings inside, instead of leaving anything in your car. Even if your building’s parking lot is fairly secure, it is better to be safe than sorry.

18. Talk To Your Neighbors

Meeting and making friends with your neighbors in the building is a great way to feel safe in your apartment. Neighbors can keep an eye out for you and watch your home while you’re away, and vice versa.

19. Use a Safe

Protect your most valuable belongings and important documents by investing in a good-quality safe. These water and fire-resistant units are great to prevent an intruder from making off with prized items or critical paperwork!

20. Make a Home Inventory 

It’s important to create a home inventory to prevent any possible losses in your apartment from going unnoticed or undocumented. Include furniture, electronics, expensive belongings, and personal items to keep track of everything.

Plus, this home inventory listing will be beneficial if you have to make a claim to your insurance company about a burglary or damage from a natural disaster.