updated 24 June 2021
Living in an apartment presents a unique set of challenges for renters when it comes to home security. There are specific items that you need to consider, which a stand-alone home does not. This includes security access into the building, security risks in common areas and taking into account strata by-laws, which are often outside of your control.
So let’s take a look at what security measures you can put in place for your home apartment.
1. Install a motion detector.
This is a great option if you’re not sold on the idea of having a wireless security camera record activity inside the entrance of your apartment. A motion detector doesn’t record conversations and doesn’t have any cameras. These devices are built for privacy. Our favourite motion detector is Minut. It keeps track of motion activities, noise levels and temperature. So it comes in handy if your neighbour complains about loud noise in your apartment when it’s been quiet. But the best feature as a security device that Minut has is turning it into a security alarm. It’s great to use when you’re not at home. Activate the feature from the app as you leave the front door. Read more about it in this Blog on Minut.
2. Lock all your doors and windows
Always lock your doors and windows. Living in an apartment above the ground floor won’t mean thieves will give it a miss. An Apple MacBook was stolen from a first-floor apartment via the balcony and another theft occurred in a third-floor apartment. So although you can’t stop a burglar from climbing your complex, you can make entering your place difficult. If you forget to lock the door every time, consider a deadlatch. A deadlatch will lock as soon as the door closes. A key on the outside will unlock the door. Otherwise, use the thumb turn to unlock from the inside. In regards to the windows, if you decide to open them, choose a window restrictor. This allows the window to open a fraction. Once it's in place, lock it and remove the key.
Secondly, replace all the screws in your strike plate and hinges with ones at least 75mm long, which bore deeper into the wood. This will make it difficult for intruders to use brute force to get in. Let’s make it harder for intruders and, in turn, secure for your home! Burglars are always on the lookout for a quick and easy entry point.
3. Install a security camera on your balcony
Even though your apartment may be some way off the ground, thefts can still occur. This could be when someone climbs up or down from another apartment balcony. While you don't need a high-quality security system in place, a security camera at the very least, is a must. They record any activity that is happening on your balcony at any hour of the day or night. If you don’t want it to record or notify you when you’re home, many cameras allow you to schedule timeslots instead. If you’re looking for a quick and simple solution, check out the Reolink range. These cameras are completely DIY friendly. Install the Reolink cameras wire-free or add solar panels to avoid low battery. Lastly, the simple to use Reolink app provides step-by-step instructions for installation.
4. Check before answering the door
Even though you may have a secure entry to your apartment complex, there are still many ways an intruder can get in. This ranges from the building door left open to sneaking in behind someone else. So how can you protect your apartment from uninvited guests/intruders without opening the door? Install a door viewer. This way, you can safely see who is outside without unlocking your door.
5. Report any damage
Keeping on top of any damage or hazards is another great way to protect your apartment and that of others. So if the lighting has gone out or the main security door/gate has broken, report this immediately. It’s also worth getting a time frame for how long this will take to fix. Depending on how good your body corporate is in fixing it, it might even be worth following up if it’s not done in the time specified. Because keeping the main door/gate locked, reduces the chance of unwanted guests entering.
6. Protect your mailbox
Did you know that mail theft also occurs in apartment buildings? Most of us now get most of our bills, correspondence and notifications via email. However, there are still items that can't be delivered digitally, such as your bank cards and driver's licence. So it is vitally important that we protect our mailboxes too. We know this can be tricky to deal with, so the solutions here may not be available to everyone in apartment complexes. Depending on how your body corporate wishes to deal with this, there are several solutions. One, get yourself a sturdy cam lock or padlock to secure your mailbox and lock it every time. Two, suggest to your body corporate to make the area accessible to those residing in the complex, so not anyone off the street can make their way in and steal what's there. Three, (again) suggest to your body corporate about installing a surveillance camera. This way, it can make identifying the thief quicker, if not easier.
7. Make your storage space private
Many apartment complexes offer each residence with their own storage space. This is usually a fenced cage located in the basement or in the residents' parking area. With these storage spaces, most often than not, you will need to provide your own lock too. Either way, it's still a great place to store Christmas decorations, bikes, tents and other items that are too big to fit in the apartment. However, any items left here are also quite often preyed upon by thieves. That's because the contents of the cage are often visible to any passer-by, whether they are residents or guests of the building. So what should you do to minimise the chances of having your storage broken into? The first step is to cover it up. You can use plastic, thick fabric, tarpaulin (etc) and attach it to the inside of your space. Next, install a motion-activated camera in a corner of your space and have it pointed towards the gate. Don't forget to activate the alerts and notifications on your smartphone too. Finally, get yourself a heavy-duty padlock such as the ABUS High-Security Steel Closed Shackle Padlock or ABUS Granit Padlock or even the Igloohome Smart Bluetooth Padlock. These precautions to protect your storage space are not entirely foolproof, but it may be enough for thieves to move onto easier targets instead.
Now that you have all the information you need to improve the security for your apartment, the next step is to check out what we have to offer for you, here at Secure Your World.