When you're renting an apartment, a lot of normal residential security measures, like installing new windows with secure locks or paying for an alarm service, lie outside your control. However, this doesn't mean that you have to accept that you and your possessions will be less safe until you can move into a home of your own. There are some simple things apartment renters can do to beef up their residential security.
Install An Alarm
Even though you cannot pay for service, you can still install a portable, wireless alarm that will alert you when intruders enter the home. Some of these alarms can operate on batteries, so you don't have to open any walls to wire and mount them. Modern alarms can also have a wireless connection to your smartphone or laptop, notifying you even when you aren't at home. These alarms may not be as dependable or burglar-proof as professional grade security systems, but they provide an extra level of break-in deterrent that may send less-determined thieves scampering off when they are triggered.
Secure Weak Access Points
When you lock yourself out of your apartment, you probably know a way you can break back in with minimal effort. These entry points are just a easy for burglars or other criminals. Walk around apartment exteriors, especially if you enter your apartment from the outdoors instead of from interior hallways with a locked front entryway. Add weatherstripping to door cracks to make it harder to jimmy a deadbolt with a credit card. Place wooden dowels or lengths of PVC pipes in older window frame tracks to prevent access from outside. Never leave balcony doors or sliding screen doors unlocked, even if you are on a higher floor. Burglars can climb onto balconies from apartments above, below, or beside you.
Talk to your landlord about installing a chain lock on your door in addition to a handle lock and deadbolt for extra security when you are home. You can also prevent access to weak points by leaving a porch light on at night, if your apartment has one.
Store Valuables In Obscure Places
The old stand-by of hiding cash in a mattress or under couch cushions is well-known by thieves. You need to keep the things that are valuable in places where a burglar will not bother to look. This not only improves the chances of them being looked over during a break-in, but it also reduces the chances that you'll be targeted. When criminals "case" apartments for easy money, they look for things that can be taken without a hassle and things that are worth plenty when sold second hand. Don't leave expensive jewelry in display cases or jewelry boxes. Hide it in a drawer of cheap pots and pans, or even in a zip-top bag inside an old paint can in your utility closet.
If you keep cash on the premises, split it up into small amounts and keep it in places like books, DVD cases, or a kid's toy in the toy box. Sometimes, valuables can also be hidden behind a fake outlet in the wall.
Keep Gun Ownership Quiet
If you keep firearms in your apartment for personal safety or for collection purposes, don't advertise this fact with signs or stickers that announce your affiliation to gun clubs or associations. These will alert thieves to the fact that you store guns, which are a tempting asset. They will also make intruders more aware of the risks, but if the draw to your firearm collection is worth it, they will be more prepared or plan a time to enter when they know you will not be home.
For more ideas, you may want to contact a local security company like Tele-Plus.