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Keeping Your Apartment Safe With DIY Home Security

Posted October 9, 2017

Did you know that a home break-in happens once every 15 seconds? And renters are 85% more likely to be burglarized than homeowners. Yikes!

While the burglary statistics sound ominous, there are easy ways to make your apartment rental safe and secure. Please know – if needed, always seek professional assistance in the field of home security. Here are some DIY alternatives that could be recommended, if you have some basic understanding about security systems and IT tech:

Should You Get a Security System for Your Apartment?

When asking if you should add a security system to your rental, begin thinking about the valuables you have and their importance. For example, how important is your laptop and tech gear? Do you have pets and valuables in your home that you care about? Or maybe you rented a cheap apartment in a neighborhood that is up and coming but not quite there yet.

The Results of Adding Home Security to Your Apartment

A home security system can prevent crimes before they happen. Our research shows that 83% of burglars look for an alarm before breaking in. The mere presence of a system is enough to stop a break-in, as 60% of burglars are deterred by a security system.

Adding security to your apartment also means that you’re equipped to respond. Home security video footage is the best way to catch a thief, and real-time notifications enable you to be instantly alerted. And if a break-in does occur, your loss will likely be less than homes without security. Data shows that homes with a security system had 39% less financial loss from a break-in as compared to those without security systems.

New technology now lets us keep tabs on our homes via smartphone apps. Whether your apartment is a luxury, two-bedroom or a small studio, adding a DIY security system can help you enjoy the sweet, sweet peace of mind that comes with knowing your apartment is safe.

Securing Your Home Is Easier Than Ever Before

Traditional home security systems are outdated. They have contracts, hardwiring and sometimes need professional installation.

Newly developed DIY smart-home security systems take advantage of available technology to make it easy to keep your home safe while on a budget. 73% of millennials agree that smart-home technology makes their homes safer.

With these systems, you can remotely monitor your apartment with a mobile app. You’ll also get an immediate notification when there’s unexpected activity at home. You can easily do the installation yourself and adjust the system as your needs change. Also, they’re portable. With no permanent wiring, it’s no problem to relocate your system when you move.

DIY Home Security Systems Are Budget-Friendly

These DIY home security systems have lower monthly costs than a traditional home security system.

For example, the Ooma Home Security system has a three-year cost estimate of $469.60, which includes three door or window sensors and a motion detector. That’s 67% to 77% cheaper than a traditional system from ADT.

And the cost of home security is just 28% of the average burglary loss, which is $1,649.40. Plus Ooma Premier includes tons of additional features like cheap international calling and smart-home integration (Nest, Amazon Echo, etc.).

More Ways to Enhance Your Apartment’s Security

There are many high-tech solutions for safeguarding your apartment. One of the most popular is the smart lock. With 34% of break-ins coming through the front door, adding security there is a good investment. Before making any changes, ask your property manager if you can temporarily swap out your lock for something more high-tech. After your smart lock is installed, you can let people in remotely, so there’s no need to leave keys under the mat. Also, you can change the combination as often as you desire, like after a bad breakup.

A Wi-Fi-connected smart security camera is another great way to add security and keep tabs on your home. Products like the Nest Cam have 24-7 live streaming, or try using an old cell phone as a DIY security camera.

But there are also low-tech strategies you can use to add security to your apartment. Remember to coordinate any major changes with your property manager. Start by reinforcing your front door. It’s easy to add deadbolts. Also reinforce the door strike plate and door jambs. If your door hinges are on the outside, add set screws to prevent a burglar from gaining access by simply unscrewing the door.

Sliding glass doors have notoriously bad locking mechanisms, so take care to secure patio doors. To the door’s sliding track, add a security bar, metal rod or even a broom handle to prevent the door from being opened while you’re not there.

For windows, be sure to use sash locks along with your wireless motion sensors. And remember that in-window air conditioners are easy access points.

One of the most effective ways to secure your apartment is to think like a criminal. Assess your home objectively by asking questions like: Is the entryway dark or hidden to facilitate a break-in? Is there a fire escape that could provide easy access? Are there valuables in plain sight that give the appearance of a profitable target?

While you may have never looked at your rental in this way before, it can be a valuable exercise when considering your vulnerabilities. However, if you’re inexperienced at thinking like a criminal (hopefully!), call your local police department, which will usually send someone out to give you tips on securing your home and offer information about local crime activity.


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