Renting poses a very unique situation for residential security. As a renter, you have extremely specific needs when it comes to the safety of you and your home. Living in a building, no matter the size, that often has high foot traffic of unknown people, a myriad of tenants, and is often dog-free raises many seemingly answered questions pertaining about the safety of you, your family, and your belongings.
As a renter, you are in a very unique situation and are at a significantly higher risk of burglary, theft, and intrusion. Don’t be a burglar’s next victim - gain peace of mind with these tips.
There are many things that you need to consider as renter when it comes to your safety. We hope that this guide is helps you secure peace of mind:
Research Before You Move In
Make Observations About the Lighting
- Is the neighborhood well-lit? This will play a much bigger factor than you think - when you have visitors come over, they shouldn’t have to worry about their car getting broken into in the dark. And, if you have street parking in your building, you shouldn’t have to worry about your car constantly, either.
Make Observations About the General Upkeep of the Neighborhood
- Is the neighborhood well-kept? This not only affects property value, but it also is indicative of the overall safety of the area.
Research Local Crime
- There are some great resources out there that you can use to assess the safety of your neighborhood. If you have a family -you should always do this, but even you are single, it’s important information to know.
Talk to Tenants
- Do you have friends who live in the neighborhood? Or in the building? If so, be sure to talk to them about any possible safety issues that they’ve had. Getting insider information is the most valuable part of the research process.
Note the Fire Escapes
- Know what’s required by law that should be in your building. Note where the fire escapes are, and ask to check them on your visit.
Research or Add Renter’s Insurance to Your Current Insurance Plan
- Renter’s Insurance! Get it - it can be easily added to your existing plan, and is very affordable.
While You’re Moving In
Be Sure to Make Observations About the Tenants
- Who are the tenants? Try to make observations about your neighbors and trust your intuition - don’t ignore it.
Don’t Let Tenants Help You Move In
- You probably don’t even know these people yet - so don’t let them into your apartment when you’re moving in. They could see your valuables or get to know you better- which could be bad for you in the future.
Use Solid, Opaque Boxes
- Don’t use clear containers as boxes - movers and other tenants could see valuables or your everyday belongings. You don’t want people whom you don’t know to get a glimpse inside of your life.
Don’t Talk About Your Schedule with Your Neighbors
- Shiny new job? Great, but don’t tell them your schedule. Being unpredictable and mysterious is another layer of protection against burglaries. If your neighbors don’t know your schedule, they’ll be less inclined to try to break in as a crime of opportunity.
After you Move In
Buy Door Bars
- For the porch or other sliding doors - these are great for really bolstering your basic home security. An overwhelming majority of burglars enter through sliding doors as they are surprisingly easy to open, even when locked.
Get New Locks
- Get. New. Locks. This one is obvious, but we can’t emphasize this enough.
Examine the Window Locks
- Test the window locks - if they are shaky or feel weak when you try to push or pull them, you need to replace them.
Make an Exit Strategy
- This should be done before you’re officially moved in. Make an exit strategy so you can quickly, and safely, get out in any situation. Hopefully you will never have to use this, but it’s great to have.
Invest in Good Blinds
- Good for sleeping in, and for preventing unwanted gazes into your home. Home invasions do not happen by accident - most of them were planned based on past information that the burglar(s) has gathered, whether it be from social media or simply from peering into an open window.
Get a Safe
- Store your valuables in a safe - this adds another layer of security to your apartment. After a burglar has invaded, they are extremely eager to get out as fast as possible - they do not want to deal with a heavy safe. They’ll pass it up and go for an easier target.
Get a Home Security System
- There are so many amazing home security systems out there that fit all budgets - so there is not an excuse not to get one. Many of them are extremely user friendly - so much so that even young children can easily be taught to use them. Also, home security systems can provide you with peace of mind when you are not home - know that your belongings are untouched in all situations. Do your research. Many home security systems can also be seamlessly integrated into your smart home system.
- We recommend staying away from home security companies that do not have their own monitoring center, as they can be difficult to work with. Also, go local! That may not sound like the safest option, but it can be easy and affordable. Also, local companies genuinely care about your safety, you’re not just another customer to them.