Making Sure Your Apartment Home is Secure
Some people feel as though living in an apartment complex somehow means they are more secure than if they lived in a home. At Chino Fast Locksmith we are here to tell you that this isn’t necessarily true. Just like any living situation, you have to take certain measures to ensure that your home is safe and secure. Since we often handle a lot of the lock changes and rekeying of apartment complexes, we can tell you from experience that there are often other factors that a tenant should consider in order to keep safe.
What to Consider Prior to Moving In
- Replace Locks- It is the responsibility of the maintenance department to change every lock once someone has moved out. In some cases they will only rotate locks between apartments. This is not good enough and will not always prevent a home break-in. The person with the key can still use it on whichever door the lock has been moved to. Before you take up occupancy in an apartment, ask that the locks us completely replaced with a new lock, even if you have to purchase it on your own. You don’t want to take any unnecessary chances with your safety and security so insist on having the existing lock changed with a new lock not a redistributed lock.
- Evaluate the Locks on Windows- This isn’t always something that people think to do and this is why we feel that it is necessary to mention it in this article. Windows, especially if on the ground level, should be checked to see if the locks are durable enough to keep out an intruder. Windows are an effective entryway for a would-be burglar and should be given the same consideration as a door. The locks of your window can be compromised the same as the locks on your door. If you have existing locks on your window that do not appear to be durable enough to withstand a break-in, replace them before moving in.
- Ask & Research Crime in the Area- The crime information is not readily offered to potential tenants. This is something that a concerned person would have to inquire about before signing on the dotted line. If you do not feel as though the leasing office has been forthright, you can always go to the local police department and ask for a report of the crime in the area. There are also helpful websites that have this information posted, such as, CrimeMapping.com and CrimeReports.com.
- Evaluate the Maintenance of Property- If you take a look around the property, not just the apartment that you will occupy but the interior and exterior of the building, you may notice some things that indicate a lack of interest from the landlord. These things might include cracked drywall, broken windows or water stains. If they are not making sure that the basic maintenance needs of the property are being met, it is highly unlikely that they will be concerned about the safety and security of its tenants.
- Evaluate the Interior and Exterior Lighting- Since a burglar will often do their business in dark areas, it is important that there is sufficient lighting to divert a would-be burglar. You should check the walkways, parking lot, stairways, entrances, laundry facility, mail area and elevators to make sure the lighting is acceptable. This means that there are fewer places for an intruder to hideout.
- Make Sure Secure Entrance- It is a good idea to move into a building that gives tenants the capability of controlling who comes in and out. This means that the person coming in must first identify who they are before entry is allowed. The only way that this is possible is for the building to be equipped with a system that enables the visitor to enter a code; provided by tenant, or they must enter a code to call the tenant for approved entry. A callbox helps to minimize break-ins, solicitors and loitering.
- Is There a Peephole- This is a feature that enables you to see who is at your door. Opening your door without knowing exactly who it is can prove fatal. If you’re apartment doesn’t already have a peephole, ask management how you can go about having one installed. We would never suggest that you move into an apartment without a peephole.
What to Consider After Moving In
- Install deadbolt locks- Most homeowners know that a deadbolt lock is the most durable type of lock that you can have. This is why it is a good idea to have one installed alongside the locks that are already on your door.
- Secure Sliding Door- It is true that having a balcony or patio adds light into your apartment. It is also one of the methods used to gain entry into apartments. If you have a sliding glass door, secure it with a bar lock or by placing a pole on the track of the door to prevent intrusion.
- Invest in Good Window Coverings- You don’t want to advertise to everyone outside that you have a brand new 60” Smart tv. If this is true, it is necessary to invest in good blinds or curtains that you cannot see through. It also serves to protect you if you live alone. An intruder might be more prone to target someone who lives alone than if they do not know how many are living in the apartment.
- Get Renters Insurance- Having renters insurance gives you peace-of-mind. If your valuables are stolen or damaged by a natural disaster, you will receive monetary compensation for them. Even though your landlord will likely have insurance, this doesn’t protect your personal assets, such as jewelry. Renters insurance also protects you if another tenant’s property is damaged due to a burst pipe in your apartment.
It is up to each individual to do their part in making sure that they remain safe and protect their belongings. Heeding the advice outlined above will surely aid you in doing so.