10 Tips for More Secure Apartment Living

You may not own your home. But, you still want to feel safe in it.

So, what can you as a renter do to make your place more secure? Quite a bit actually. With little more investment than a few minutes of your time, these tips may help you reduce the risk of an apartment burglary:

1. Meet your neighbors: One of the most efficient — and potentially enjoyable — ways to protect yourself: Meet your neighbors in your building or neighborhood. Get to know them so that you — and they — can recognize when strangers are lurking about. When you trust them, let neighbors know if you are going out of town; they can watch for unexpected activity. If there’s interest, you could also organize a neighborhood or apartment building watch group. You might even make new friends!

2. Lock doors and windows: Easy, right? Also effective. Even if you’re just stepping out for a moment, or down the hall to a neighboring apartment, always lock your door when you leave. Lock the door that leads out to your balcony, too. Secure windows, especially on the ground floor, and even those you think are out of reach. Block sliding windows and back doors with a bar or broomstick. And, if you live on the ground floor, don’t tempt burglars by leaving your windows or blinds open during the day.

3. Test hardware: Do all the locks, latches and lights that are supposed to work actually work? This applies to the doors and windows in your unit, as well as the ones in the building as a whole. Do motion-sensitive lights work when you walk by? Are basement or entry light bulbs burned out? Does every door have a functioning deadbolt? Notify your landlord or property manager promptly if not.

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