Home Security Tips

When it comes to Home Security, we've been there, done that, now serving 207 tips in 28 categories ranging from Additional Home Security Products to Your valuables.

Do you have a strong lock on your door?

Strong Door Locks

Your average apartment complex, especially older buildings, generally do not use the best door locks right off the bat. Adding a newer and stronger lock is a great way to compliment your home security system, but it is never a substitute for an alarm.

If the door to your apartment is splintered, damaged or just not up to snuff, talk to your landlord about getting it repaired or replaced. The idea is to place as many barriers (locks, doors, alarm systems, etc.) as possible between your home and would-be burglars.

A steel-reinforced door lock will not do much good if the door itself falls apart like Mr. Potato Head at the sight of a bag of Lays. There are many different options when shopping for a new lock, including deadbolts that require a key to lock and unlock on both sides of the door.

If you are not sure what the best option is for you, ask your alarm company what they recommend to compliment your alarm and increase renter's security. And always make sure to let your landlord know what you plan to install just so there are no problems later on.

Have you priced an alarm system for your apartment?

Apartment Security Can Save Money In Different Ways

Apartment security is not only essential but it is very affordable as well. Home alarm packages vary based on the size of the property and the equipment needed to secure your home.

Unless you are wealthy enough to live in a suite in a Las Vegas hotel and casino, your apartment is most likely a little smaller than your average house. This means fewer access points like windows and doors. You do not need outdoor security lighting and motion detectors. It also means that you most likely do not need to secure access to a garage.

Because apartments have less area and points of entry to secure the home alarms needed tend to be less expensive than those used in houses. A system that is monitored 24 hours per day by a monitoring company can also get you a reduced rate on your renters' insurance as well.

Contact your insurance provider once your system is installed and see what kind of discount you may be eligible for. Home security systems can save money on insurance and in possible property losses incurred without one.

Is your alarm loud enough to alert neighbors and scare off burglars?

Sound The Alarm!

If a burglar tries to break into your apartment you want everyone to know it. You want a siren so loud the thief cannot think straight; one that gets the attention of everyone in the area so they know someone is committing a crime.

Protect America offers alarm sirens that will make a burglar turn on his or her heels and run like the wind. Devices like the X10 Powerhorn Siren can reach 105 db. They can be plugged in anywhere in your apartment and work through your existing home wiring.

The siren responds to an alert signal sent from your home alarm system Command Station and makes a sound no burglar is going to stick around and listen to.

The point of home security alarms is to make criminals uncomfortable. If they are uncomfortable when they come to your door they will not stay. In your home you want an alarm that does not just notify the alarm company, but one that notifies everyone within earshot and scares the intruder into leaving before they get the chance to take anything.

The noise won't bother your neighbors when they realize that burglar won't be coming back to the building again. Protecting your own home improves the apartment building security across the board.

Do you leave a spare key hidden outside your door?

Dangerous Spare Keys

You see it all the time on television and in the movies. People hide a spare key to their apartment in a light fixture above the door or a potted plant in the hallway. The idea is if you lose yours or need a friend to get something at your apartment, there's the key.

What this does is leave you completely at the mercy of anyone who takes a minute to look in these areas. Burglars are the exact type of people that will take the minute to look. Doing this is no different than leaving your door unlocked.

If you want to keep a spare key somewhere, leave one at a friend's house. If you have a safety deposit box you can even put one in there, but never leave it outside your door.

If a burglar manages to pick or break the lock on your door and get in the apartment, an alarm system will often scare them away. They won't know the code to enter in the control panel and they won't know your password to give the monitoring company.

The easiest thing you can do is make it hard on criminals.

Can your windows be accessed by fire escape or other means?

Securing Apartment Windows & Doors

A common mistake among people living in apartment buildings is failing to secure windows. You may think that you are safe because you are on the twelfth floor, but thinking like that can get you into trouble.

Windows can be accessed by fire escape ladders, patios, a window from the building next door if close enough, and more. Patios with sliding glass doors are particularly vulnerable and often targeted by burglars. Protect America home alarm systems come with sensors for your windows that can detect if they are opened or if the glass breaks.

Some apartments are joined by a door that has been sealed shut and is no longer in use. These can still be used by burglars to gain access to your home. Security packages come with sensors for your doors as well as windows. Place one on these types of doors as well as all the “working” entry points.

Any potential access points should be secured. In apartments people often overlook these things because they do not recognize the vulnerability that they present.

Do you have call forwarding?

Call Forwarding

It has become a common and equally dangerous practice for people to change their messages on answering machines, voice-mail or e-mail letting others know they are out of town and will be away for a while. This severely weakens your security at home.

If a burglar suspects that you may not be home and tries to find out by looking up your number and calling, that message can cause a lot of trouble. Now they know that no one is home and the house is ripe for the picking.

Only tell the people that you trust and feel you need to notify when you are leaving your home for longer than a day. This could include family and neighborhood watch members. Let everyone else assume that you are still home. A great way to do this is call-forwarding.

If your telephone service provider offers this option, you can have any calls made to your home phone forwarded directly to your cellular phone. When you answer it will give the impression that your are at home, even when you are hundreds or thousands of miles away.

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Carma Spence-Pothitt