As temperatures begin to rise and you’re excited for the warmer seasons ahead, it’s still a good idea to remain vigilant with your apartment security. Spring and summer might be a tempting time to leave the windows in your apartment cracked open while you’re away at work or to document your every spring break activity via photos posted on social media. But, neither of these actions are good ideas because you’re opening yourself up to potential theft.
Here are seven security tips to consider to help protect your apartment and valuables this spring and summer.
1. Use Outdoor Lighting and Timers
Does your apartment come with an outdoor light? If so, you may want to consider turning it on each night. This lighting may help deter potential burglars from your place, says Apartment Therapy. Some apartment buildings also try to keep walkways, parking areas and courtyards well lit. If you notice a light is out, or there’s an area that may benefit from some additional lighting, notify your landlord right away, says the Insurance Information Institute (III).
And, when you’re away from your apartment — particularly if you’re heading out of town for some time — consider installing timers to power a light or two, or a TV, to help give the appearance that someone is home, says the III.
2. Install a Security System
If your apartment doesn’t already come with a security system, you may want to talk to your landlord about having one installed, says Apartment Therapy. There are many kits you and your landlord can look into purchasing that do not require an invasive installation. You may be able to simply hang the devices in your place without much hassle. Some of these systems may also be able to be controlled by a smartphone. So, you can have the extra peace of mind of checking in on your home while you’re away.
3. Store Important Valuables in a Safety Deposit Box
To help protect important documents like a Social Security card or precious jewelry like your grandmother’s pearl earrings, you may want to consider getting a safety deposit box at a local bank to give yourself another level of security in case of a potential burglary in your apartment, adds Loyola University Chicago.
If there are some items you still want to keep in your apartment but you want to restrict access to, it may be a good idea to look into getting a safe, says Apartment Therapy.
4. Keep Spring Break Plans Off Social Media
When you’re on vacation, it can be tempting to share those memories and experiences on social media. However, you may want to hold off on posting until you’re back. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, these postings may be a sign to potential burglars that no one is home.
5. Get to Know Your Neighbors
To help report any suspicious activity around your apartment complex, it may help to get to know your neighbors a little bit, says the the III. You may be able to watch out for one another and notice when someone or something is out of the ordinary.
6. Always Lock Doors and Windows
According to the Baltimore County Police Department, most burglaries are likely the result of unlocked doors and windows. If you’re running down to get the mail or up to the rooftop deck to enjoy a fresh breeze, the last thing you want is to return to your apartment to find your valuables have been stolen. Keep all doors and windows locked, and make sure there’s a security bar in sliding patio doors or windows, says the III. Work with your landlord or the apartment complex’s management company to make sure exterior doors and those to common areas, laundry rooms, etc., are also kept secure, says Zillow.
7. Be Aware of ‘Deception Crimes’
Deception burglars are criminals who masquerade as contractors, utility workers, or some other type of professional repairman to take advantage of unsuspecting residents, says the Baltimore County Police Department. Be cautious of anyone coming to your door asking to make repairs, or requesting for access to your apartment for any reason. Request identification and call the company to get authorization before you ever consider allowing someone in, the Baltimore County Police Department advises. They also suggest keeping an eye out for similarly suspicious activity in the neighborhood, such as:
- Unmarked trucks with out-of-state license plates.
- Workers with no identification cards.
- Workers offering special deals and bargains.
A bit of caution may go a long way in helping protect your place and all your stuff. But if you feel like you need additional advice, or some tips that are specific to your unit, considering speaking with your landlord or your apartment complex’s management company for more help.
Originally published on April 9, 2013.
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