HELPFUL TIPS FROM OUR PARTNERS AT FOREMOST INSURANCE
I can only imagine a few things worse than waking up in the morning and discovering the unexpected – you’ve been robbed! You may feel violated, and then angry…and then confused. You might think, “Who would do this, and how did it slip right under my nose?”
If this has ever happened to you, don’t feel bad; it can happen to anyone –
at any time. According to the FBI’s most recent property crime report, nearly 8 million
homes reported property crime offenses in the U.S. in 2016 alone, and that
includes neighborhoods where the crime rate is very low.
I’ve rented since college and haven’t had an issue with my safety, or
experienced a burglary in any of my apartments. I am always careful to lock the
front and patio door before going to bed. But, I did slip up recently. I was so
exhausted I fell asleep on the couch and forgot to lock the door! Luckily, I
woke up in the middle of the night to get water and noticed the door was
unlocked. Since I’ve never lived alone before now, I felt scared and anxious –
and immediately locked the door. I couldn’t believe I had put myself at risk
like that, especially because I consider myself very cautious and aware of my
After my personal safety lapse, I began to wonder what additional security measures I am allowed to take at my apartment complex. I don’t technically own the place, so what can I do besides lock my door? I found out there are security measures I can implement in and outside of my apartment to help ensure my safety – and I wanted to share them with all the fellow renters!
Get to know your neighbors and landlord.
Being familiar with your surroundings is very important. By knowing who your
neighbors are and what they look like, you’ll be able to identify someone who
shouldn’t be near your property.
Add extra locks to your doors and windows.
Always secure all points of entry into your home when you arrive, and before
you leave. If you are not comfortable with the current locks on your door,
install additional hardware on your doors and windows after receiving permission
from your landlord. If you have a sliding door, keep a solid bar in place that
will prevent the door from opening.
Install an apartment-friendly security system.
When I think of a security system, I only consider those active in single
family homes, not apartments. But there are actually security systems made
specifically for apartments! These cameras and motion detectors do not require
drilling holes, so your security deposit will be safe. Like most security
systems, you can control them on your smart phone or computer to keep an eye out
for suspicious behavior.
Practice intercom security.
If your apartment has an intercom system, be cautious if you get a buzz, and
weren’t expecting company. Experts say it’s better to leave your name off the
intercom system because then, burglars won’t have as much information to work
with. Never buzz someone in without talking to them first. If you don’t know
them – don’t allow them to enter the building!
Use a security checklist before signing the lease.
Write up a checklist and go through the apartment to make sure it’s up to
your standards. Be sure all the locks and windows are functioning properly. If
you have a storage unit outside or connected to the unit, make sure it’s secure
and ask your landlord if they will provide a new lock for you. Also confirm that
the landlord has changed the locks since the previous tenants. For an official
checklist you can print off, use this one provided by the National Crime Prevention Council.
Don’t leave anything exposed on your property.
If you have a porch and a patio, do not leave any valuables outside. This
provides easy access to burglars, who can quickly take the valuable and run. I
suggest also shutting blinds on your windows while you’re away – you don’t want
to expose valuables you have inside your home, either!
Purchase renter’s insurance.
Help ensure your items are protected with renters insurance! If you do have
the misfortune of experiencing a burglary in your apartment, a renter’s
insurance policy can cover possessions that were stolen after paying a
I hope you feel a little more confident knowing there are extra precautions
you can take when it comes to your apartment and security. If you live in a
single family home, read our blog on how to keep your home safe from break-ins.
Jenean is a communications specialist at Foremost, and a veteran of the news industry. She has a Multi-Media Journalism degree and a passion for writing. Through her news career she’s learned to respect Mother Nature and has been through many weather-related adventures, including driving in heavy snow and extreme season changes. In her free time she enjoys bike riding, traveling, and trying out new restaurants. Be sure to check out her blog posts for the latest safety tips on anything and everything you might need to know on your own adventure!