Our top 10 apartment safety tips for renters

September 14, 2021

Learn how to keep your apartment secure in your building or complex

When you live in an apartment building or complex, you’re living among many tenants in close quarters with high amounts of foot traffic. As a renter, you may think that your landlord has security measures in place, but that is not always the case. 

Luckily, there are many simple apartment safety measures you can take as a renter that will keep your home protected and give you peace of mind even when you are away. 

Continue reading to learn more about the security measures you can take for your apartment home. 

#1: Check for good lighting and security cameras.

Sometimes apartment buildings and complexes will have dark corners or areas without good lighting. 

Walk around your apartment complex with a friend and check for lighting in hallways, parking lots or garages, stairwells, laundry rooms, and anywhere else you think you’ll be at night. 

If you notice any areas you think are lacking adequate lighting, talk to your landlord about installing more lights. Criminals are less likely to hide and target well-lit areas. 

Another important feature to look for in common areas are security cameras. Walk around and see if you notice any security cameras. The entrances and exits of parking garages and parking lots are good places to put cameras to ward off potential intruders. 

#2: Meet your neighbors.

It’s important to be familiar with the people living next to you. When you and your neighbors know each other, they’re more likely to tell you if they noticed someone or something suspicious. Also, if you know you will be gone for a long time, you can ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your apartment.   

If you don’t want to talk to your neighbors face-to-face, you can see if your apartment complex has a resident portal with a forum for residents to ask questions and communicate with each other. There also may be a Facebook group you can join or connection opportunities on apps like Nextdoor. 

#3: Invest in a fire-proof safe.

If someone is able to break into your apartment, they should not have access to your valuables. Keep items such as passports, heirlooms, expensive jewelry, and insurance documents in a secure, fire-proof safe. 

A safe can benefit you in other situations as well. If you don’t know your roommate or their guests well, a safe will prevent them from snooping or stealing your belongings.  Also, in the case of a fire, your valuables will stay protected. 

Be sure to hide your safe in a hidden location, or talk to your landlord about bolting it to the wall for an extra level of protection and security.

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#4: Be sure to lock your door.

Sometimes even the smallest security measures can slip our minds, such as locking the door when we leave or enter our homes. 

Even if you’re in a rush or carrying a lot of items, take an extra second to double check that you’ve locked up. Be sure to lock your door behind you even when you are just going to the mailroom or taking out the trash. 

#5: Consider cameras.

A security camera is an affordable addition you can make to increase your apartment security measures. There are plenty of standalone security cameras and video doorbells that have motion detection, night vision, two-way talk, and send video feed directly to your smartphone. 

Outside your front door is a great place to put a security camera or video doorbell, so that you can see anyone who enters and exits your apartment and when your packages are being delivered. 

#6: Look into smart home security technology.

In addition to a security camera, look into smart home security systems if you feel it may be worth the investment for your apartment safety. 

There are many security systems and smart technology that are easy to install and don’t require any drilling holes, making them a great option for renters. Wireless security systems simply use an adhesive to stick sensors to doors and windows. Many of these systems will send alerts to your phone through an app where you can also arm and disarm your security system from anywhere. 

You may also want to look into a smart smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. These detectors can detect smoke and carbon monoxide just as well as traditional smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and they also send alerts to your phone which will give you extra peace of mind. 

#7: Close and lock windows.

It’s always nice to enjoy the breeze from an open window, but be mindful of closing and locking that window if you’re leaving or going to bed. 

Treat all windows as possible points of entry, especially if you live on the ground floor. 

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#8: Close blinds and curtains.

Potential intruders may look into your windows to see if there’s anything they want to steal. It’s a good idea to keep your blinds or curtains closed, unless you are in the room. 

Also, when you close horizontal blinds, be sure to angle them in a way where people cannot look through the small gaps between each slat. 

#9: Don’t use your balcony as storage.

Your balcony is the first thing people see from the outside. They are also easy to access from the outside, especially if you are on a lower floor. 

Don’t store valuables, such as bicycles, on your balcony. If you don’t have anywhere else to put your bicycle, use a bike lock, so that even if an intruder accesses your balcony, they cannot take it. Make sure to check with the HOA rules for items that are allowed to be stored on the balcony to avoid notices or fines. 

#10: Locate emergency exits.

It’s important to keep your apartment secure from theft and break-ins, but it’s also important to know how and where to exit in case of emergency. 

Walk around your apartment building to look for a posted fire escape plan and your closest emergency exit. Remember never to take the elevator in the case of a fire. 

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