Living in an apartment doesn’t mean that you will not experience a break-in or that it can’t happen to you. You can experience a break-in anywhere, regardless of where you live. We see it every day at Atlanta Fast Locksmith in Atlanta, GA. This is why we are often called on to rekey locks or replace locks. If you wish to avoid a break-in, there are things that you can do before moving in and even after you’ve already moved into your new apartment. We’ve outlined some of these things for you below.
Things You Can Do ‘Before’ Moving In
Have New Locks Installed
This is important because despite what some management offices will say, they don’t actually change the locks; they simply swap them for locks from another apartment. This isn’t safe because someone still has a key that can open that lock. Make sure that you have the locks of your apartment changed before you move in. This might require that you buy the lock yourself but it is well worth knowing that the locks are not old locks that have been placed on your door from another apartment.
Really Get to Know Your Neighborhood
You should find out all that you can about the crime in the area that you are moving into before moving. Unfortunately, the leasing agents are not always forthcoming in offering this information. Remember, their job is to occupy apartments. They aren’t going to do anything that could possibly prevent this from occurring. That is why you’ll have to take matters into your own hands. Go to the local police department and ask for a report on the crime in the neighborhood. You can also go online to websites, such as, CrimeReports.com and CrimeMapping.com, to find this information.
Check Your Window Locks
This is another area of the home that is often overlooked. Since the window is another way that an intruder can gain entry inside your home, it is a good idea to take a close look at the locks on all of the windows in your apartment. You should especially consider doing this if your apartment is on the ground level of the building. Window locks can be compromised if a would-be burglar were to try to break-in. Since they can be compromised just like a door, it is a good idea to make sure your window locks are of good quality. If they are not, have them replaced. You can never be too safe.
Evaluate the Property Upkeep
Before moving into an apartment, walk around the interior and exterior of the building. Most apartments will make sure that the apartment you are interested in renting is in good condition and that the front of the property is well maintained. However, if you walk around you might notice some alarming things, such as, broken windows, trash in the parking area, lights out, water stains and cracked drywall. This is a sign that the landlord isn’t as concerned with the property as they should be. This in turn means that they are likely not as concerned with the safety and security of their tenants than they should be. Keeping up the basic maintenance of a building is important but not as important as the safety of those who life on the property.
Peephole for Protection
A peephole is a way to see who is at your door before opening it. Someone might identify who they are but it is most helpful to see if they are who they say they are. It is very dangerous to open up your door to someone whom you do not know or are not expecting. If your apartment doesn’t have a peephole, ask the management office if and how one can be installed. This isn’t something that should be ignored and should be discussed prior to moving in.
What Type of Entrance
If you are safety conscience, you might consider moving into a building with access control. Access control means that no one can gain entry into the building without someone allowing them access inside. They might have to enter a code that will then notify a specific tenant. The tenant can allow them inside or not. In some apartments, the tenant is allowed to give their code to their visitors. If the code is entered incorrectly, they will not be able to get inside. This is an added feature that offers greater security to the building.
Things You Can Do ‘After’ Moving In
Purchase Good Blinds/Curtains
The people on the outside should never know what you have inside your apartment. This is advertising what you own. If you have something that a burglar wants, you may be making your apartment the target of a would-be burglar. This is why you should make sure you have good blinds and curtains that you cannot see through from outside. Test them by closing them at night and having someone walking in front of them to make sure that you can’t see through them. This should be done before you being moving in all of your valuables.
Secure Your Patio Door
Most patio doors are sliding doors. The locks that are on a sliding door are generally there to keep the door shut, not to secure the home. You’ll need to purchase a bar lock or put a pole on the inside track to prevent anyone from getting inside. This is the one door that is overlooked most often. Remember to do this if your new apartment has a patio or balcony.
Obtain Renters Insurance
While getting renters insurance doesn’t serve as safety it does give you the security in knowing that if ever your valuables are damaged, that you will be able to get something in return, money. You file a claim on what was lost or stolen and the insurance company will compensate you. Renters insurance protects other tenants against damages they may incur as a result of something in your apartment.