Home security does not discriminate: you may not live in a ‘traditional’ stand-alone home but as an apartment resident, your security concerns are just as valid as any other. Living in a somewhat communal environment brings its own unique security challenges that require special attention and preparation so that residents and their properties can remain safe at all times. WonderBars have compiled a number of thoughtful tips for apartment residents to help them be more vigilant and avoid crime in their shared building.
First things first, if you are moving into a new apartment it is of utmost importance that you ensure your front door lock has been changed, or at the very least, the key mechanism changed. By changing the locking system, you are ensuring that any spares floating around in strangers’ pockets cannot give unauthorised access to your new home.
Usually, apartments on the lower floors of the building are more likely to be burglarised than those higher up. This is not meant to deter you, but rather arm you with the information you need to keep your apartment secure with improved home security. Make a point of installing good quality, powerful locks on your front door, and consider burglar guards or trellis fixtures on your windows for added home security.
There are a number of simple habits you can start incorporating into your daily routine to keep yourself and your apartment safer as you go about your day. An apartment building is, of course, communal, meaning that there will usually be a number of people out and about that you may not recognise. Our first tip is to acquaint yourself with your neighbours so that you can get to know who should – and who probably should not – be in the building, particularly at night.
Secondly, we warn apartment residents against deception crimes. Deception crimes are those whereby a burglar pretends to be a utility worker of sorts to gain access to your building (for example, they may pose as electricians or maintenance workers).
Lastly, keep your guard up when you are walking to or from your apartment. Try your best to avoid dark areas, particularly at night, and suspicious individuals that you don’t recognise.
Due to the nature of an apartment building, it can be uncomfortably noticeable when you are away on vacation and your apartment stands empty for days. In order to avoid crimes of opportunity, we have a number of tips for you.
Connect a few lamps and perhaps a radio to device timers – set these to slightly different times so that for a couple hours at a time, these lights cycle on and off to give the appearance that you are home.
We recommend that you resist the urge to post about your vacation on social media until you are safely back home. If your accounts are open to the public, you have no idea who may see that you are away and capitalise on your absence.
On a similar note, do not leave any notes to friends, family or utility workers on your front door, as this is a welcome mat for burglars to target your empty home. Better yet, consider having a close friend or family member stay in your apartment whilst you are away.
Do you think your spare key is safe under the welcome mat, on top of the door frame, or behind the pot plant? No, we all know those spots and they are the first place any burglar will check for quick and easy access. We suggest keeping a spare key somewhere else, perhaps in your car, with a nearby friend or trusted co-resident.