Renting an apartment can have more security risks because you are living close to other tenants and there are a larger number of unknown people entering the complex daily. While property managers and landlords can do everything possible to provide the maximum apartment security, there are tips renters can take to help protect themselves and their apartments.
Regardless of where you go on the property, inside or out, be consciously aware of your surroundings at all times. Remain alert and pay attention to specific areas of the building you live in such as hallways, stairwells, storage rooms and laundry rooms. When outside, be alert in the parking lot and common areas that include pools and sports and recreational facilities.
As much as possible, use only well-lit sidewalks, doorways, hallways and stairways. Get to know your neighbors and know where they live. When you know who the rightful residents are, you can more easily spot a real intruder. Call 911 and/or your property manager immediately to report suspicious behavior or activity.
There are some safety measures you can implement inside of your apartment. Before moving in, make sure the locks to your unit have been changed. Your main door should have a deadbolt lock and peephole so you can see who is outside your unit. If your apartment does not already have a built-in security system, purchase a small security unit you can place on a door and set it to go off when there is an unauthorized entry.
Fit sliding glass doors and windows with appropriate auxiliary locking devices. First-floor and lower units should have additional security on the windows that prevent a burglar from raising the window and entering. A simple dowel placed vertically at one edge of the window does not allow the window to be opened. Just make sure you can easily remove the dowel yourself if you need to use the window as an escape route in the event of an emergency.
When parking your car in the building’s parking lot, follow these safety tips. Park in a well-lit area and as close to your unit as possible. Lighting in the parking lot should be bright. If lighting is deficient or faulty, report it to the property manager. Parking spaces should not be identified with the same unit number or letter as the apartment. This makes it hard for burglars to target units where they believe no one is home. If your parking space number matches your unit number or letter, discuss your concerns with your landlord or property manager.
Do not leave any items visible on the seats of your car or elsewhere. A burglar might think your $15 sunglasses are actually worth $200 and break in a window to steal them. Take advantage of all available car alarm devices and anti-theft technology. Whether your car is parked at your own apartment complex or elsewhere, always lock it and keep your keys in your possession.
Before leaving home for the day or evening, take these precautions. Always lock all doors and windows to your apartment. At night have televisions and lamps on a variety of timers set to go on and off at different times. Do not hide your spare key in what you think is your secret hiding place somewhere outside your unit. Burglars are experts at finding people’s secret hiding places. Let a trusted neighbor keep your spare key for you. Don’t tempt burglars by leaving expensive or valuable items visible through windows or doors.
Property managers can provide these tips to renters as part of their ongoing security measures and as new renters move into a property. To learn more about our security services for residential communities, call us at 717-686-9588.
Signal 88 Security of Lancaster and York is a world-class, industry-leading security services company for residential, commercial, retail and institutional customers. We provide customized security solutions including roving vehicle patrols, door checks, pool lockups, event security and emergency response.
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