Have you ever walked through a neighborhood and thought “that house always has their gate open” or “that apartment window seems to always be open even when there is nobody home?” If you notice these things as an innocent passerby- what would a criminal notice if they were looking for an easy target? It is important to take extra precautions to keep yourself safe. Even gated communities get broken into sometimes, you can never be too alert. Here are some tips to keep you feeling comfortable and secure in your space.
Check and Check Again
A quick walk through in your apartment will take five minutes and save you the headache of uncertainty. By taking this small moment to check all your doors and windows and make sure they are securely shut and locked, you’re guaranteed to sleep better. This costs nothing more than your time and can be a very valuable practice to instill as you acquire more responsibility. The property managers at Utopia Property Management, are well versed in security measures, and shared with us that all too frequently, victims of burglaries arise from a tenants own carelessness. Almost 30% off all burglaries in one year in the United States were non-forced entries, meaning the door or window that the perpetrator entered through did not have to be broken or tampered with, just simply opened.
Ask your landlord when they last changed the locks for the building, and for your apartment. If you are a new tenant or renewing your lease, you can always request for new locks on your personal door. We would not recommend purchasing your own locks because your landlord will likely require a master copy of your lock for emergency and safety purposes. If you have any concern for previous tenants or previous housemates, voice your concerns to the landlord and see what can be done to put your mind at peace.
Depersonalize your Items
Keeping house or apartment numbers off of keys or identification tags will not allow people to attach a face to a home. This is so important, especially for those that work as waiters or bartenders, that the customers cannot trace you to your sacred space. Apart from this, people who know where you live and also your daily schedule could plan a break-in when they know you will not be home. Try to keep your living quarters private, or at least on a need to know basis.
Do your Doors Have…
Check to make sure at least one of your entrances has a deadbolt lock. A deadbolt goes deep into the door frame, the most secure throw being an inch or longer, so that the door cannot be easily kicked in. If you have French doors or paneling which are predominantly glass, experts at ETO Doors suggest using a double-sided deadbolt at top and bottom of the door frame rather than a twist lock. This makes the door harder to break into and criminals could not enter without shattering glass, causing a lot of noise and potentially injuring themselves. To reduce hazard even further, consider making wooden panel cutouts of your glass doors to place in overnight or while on vacation.
When you are going to a friend or the movies and will not be home for an extended period of time, it is smart to leave a light on or the radio playing while you are gone. This gives the illusion that someone is home and would deter a burglar into finding someplace less risky. When leaving the house, also make sure you secure your valuable items by placing them in unconventional places, such as the top shelf of the cupboard, or in nondescript containers such as empty baby wipe boxes or pringles cans.
Smart Phone Smart Home
The rise in modern technology has made it easier and more affordable than ever to stay safe. Simple home security systems involving mini cameras set up around your home and looking onto points of entry can be accessed from anywhere at the touch of a button. Some systems can even alert you when movement is detected on the camera, making it fast and efficient to notice when something isn’t quite right. These systems give you more control and ease knowing that you don’t need to have eyes on the back of your head to see everything.