Home Security: Apartments & Condos
Home security isn't just for people who own houses. Just
because you have a security guard at the entrance to your
building, don't assume your apartment or condominium is entirely
secure. Your safety is up to you. It's a good idea to make sure
the apartment and surrounding grounds look secure before you
sign a lease (since you're limited to the kind of improvements
you can make yourself).
Here are some home security tips for those who live in
apartments or condos:
Have the apartment's locks changed when you move in. (The
maintenance crew can simply swap lock cylinders with a random
vacant apartment, a project that is free and takes only a few
Depending on the neighborhood, you may also feel more secure if
you have a deadbolt lock. Apartment renters, make sure to get
Use your peephole, and don't open the door for strangers. Demand
identification from package delivery services, even if they're
in uniform (uniforms can be stolen).
Even if you're home, don't leave the door to your apartment
Make sure the building's public areas aren't threatening, i.e.
lights out in the parking lots, laundry room, or hallways.
Get to know your neighbors, and watch for suspicious people on
Home security alarms are available for apartment and condo
dwellers as well; look into portable door/window alarms or a
wireless home security system (things that can move with you
when it's time to find a new home).
Don't leave your windows open, and make sure they all have
secure locking mechanisms.
Likewise, don't leave a sliding glass balcony door open, even on
upper floors. (Balconies can make a handy ladder for burglars to
climb to upper stories.) These kind of doors should have not
only a lock but a Charley bar (or at least a wood board in the
runners to keep the door from being forced).
Just use your last name, or if necessary last name and first
initial, on your door or mailbox. This keeps strangers from
knowing your gender or how many people live in your apartment.