A home security system may seem like it’s designed for a large house but apartment dwellers can benefit from a security system, too. Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t secure it like you would a home.
Why Home Security for Your Apartment?
Apartment dwellers have valuable property in their homes, just like anyone else. Everyone should safeguard valuables against theft and loss regardless of what type of dwelling they live in.
Many apartments are in areas of high residential turnover. As a result, you don’t know your neighbors as much as a long-term homeowner might. You can’t rely on your neighbors to look out for you as much.
Apartments are less likely to have built-in home security systems and thieves know this. Luckily the best home security systems today are wireless and easy to install without causing damage to a rental.
Many people believe that they don’t have home security options available as a renter, but there are plenty of options that shouldn’t violate your lease. Between standalone devices, do-it-yourself security systems and other accessories, you have several options for professional monitoring or self-monitoring.
There are also ways to secure your belongings or deter thieves. An apartment safe, locking closet or cabinet or hidden drawer are some ideas. Robert Siciliano of IDTheftSecurity.com and home security expert for Porch.com suggests, “signs on the exterior, on the door or in the windows will provide a layer of deterrence to a burglar thinking an alarm system is installed to make his job harder.”
Apartment Security Tips
- Before you move in, ask your landlord when the last time was that the lock was changed. Ask them to update it if possible for your security and peace of mind. Otherwise, you won’t know for sure how many copies of your keys are floating around. If you’re purchasing your apartment, change the locks when you move in.
- Keep your doors and windows locked whenever you’re not using them, even when you’re home. Many burglars enter through unlocked doors or windows. 93% of burglars entered through a door or window, with 34% entering through the front door.
- If you rent, review your lease or ask your landlord about what kind of installations you’re allowed to make. It could be that the landlord is willing to collaborate with you to make the property safer.
Apartment-Friendly Home Security Tools
Even if installations are not allowed in your apartment, there are plenty of home safety devices and security systems that are wireless and easy to mount and remove without causing any damage or alteration to the apartment.
A turn-key security system is possible, even in an apartment rental. There are different ways they can monitor your apartment against intruders:
- As a burglar alarm that alerts neighbors through a high-decibel alarm sound.
- Through smartphone notifications that alert you when the system was triggered.
- Through 24/7 monitoring that can call the police or send for help.
It used to be true that home security systems required professional installation, hardwiring and landline telephones, but that’s no longer the case. Self-installed DIY home security systems are especially apartment-friendly because they don’t require any hardwiring and they have cellular or wifi connections. Look for one that has month-to-month monitoring plans to make it easy to take with you if you move.
SimpliSafe is a leading provider in this area right now. It’s an easy-to-set-up DIY smart security system that monitors your home safe for intruders and threats like fires and floods. The Foundation pack for $229.96 is designed for small homes or apartments and includes a base station, wireless keypad, one motion sensor, one entry sensor and decals. You can add as many as four security cameras for $99 each.
If you don’t want to set up an entire system, a standalone wireless security camera is a good choice. Today’s cameras have accompanying apps, so you’ll get a notification to your smartphone if any activity is detected. Recommended:
- Ring Stick-Up Cam Easy to install and you can add a Ring security system later on if you’d like.
- Zmodo and Wyze make very affordable indoor cameras with similar features as more expensive ones, such as two-way communication, motion detection and night vision.
- Video doorbells are high-impact security devices for anyone concerned about porch pirates, though they aren't an option for renters who aren’t allowed to alter their exterior doors.
The use of smart lights, programmable lights that can turn on and off according to your schedule, is another cost effective safety tactic. Home security expert Siciliano suggests, “Give your home that lived-in look. Whether using a timer to turn lights on and off or using the components of an alarm system with built-in home automation to turn on lights, music, TVs, etc. at all times of the day will create that effect.”
Motion detection lights turn on when they detect movement. These give the appearance that someone’s home and prevent thieves from working under the cover of darkness. Since they screw into your existing sockets, little installation is involved.
Apartment Safe Options
An apartment safe is a good place to store important documents, money and small valuables. It’s best to anchor a safe to the wall or floor so a burglar can’t run off with it. If this isn’t allowed in your apartment, choose a low-profile but heavy safe that can be hidden.