It is fall in New England so the days are getting shorter and the nights a little bit longer. While this may evoke pleasant memories of pumpkin spice lattes, hot apple cider, and a crackling fireplace, it’s also a good time to double- check the security measures you have in your apartment.
According to the FBI’s most recent property crime report, nearly 8 million homes reported property crime offenses in the U.S. in 2018 alone, and that includes neighborhoods where the crime rate is very low. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson and results in losses estimated at $16.4 billion per year.
If you live in an apartment, you may wonder what additional security measures you’re allowed to take since you technically don’t own the place. Locking the door is the first obvious step, but here are some other safety measures to consider:
- Check the current locks on your doors and windows. If you are not comfortable with them, get permission from your landlord to install additional hardware on your doors and windows. If you have a sliding door, keep a solid bar in place that will prevent the door from opening. Get into the habit of checking all points of entry into your home when you leave and when you arrive.
- Become familiar with your surroundings. Get to know your neighbors and landlord so you’ll notice someone who should not be on or near your property.
- Install a security system. If you are worried about your security deposit, look for a security system made specifically for apartments. These systems have cameras and motion detectors that do not have to be drilled into the walls and can be controlled from your smart phone or computer.
- Follow safe intercom etiquette. In other words, never buzz someone in without talking to them first and if you don’t know them, don’t let them enter. Also, leave your name off the intercom system so strangers have less information to work with.
- Use a security checklist before signing the lease. Confirm that the landlord has changed the locks since the previous tenants and be sure all of the locks and windows are working properly. For an official checklist you can print off, use this one provided by the National Crime Prevention Council.
- Do not leave your valuables exposed. Burglars can easily access your porch or patio and run away with any valuables left outside. They can also peer into your home through windows and glass sliders to see what valuables you have inside, so consider closing the curtains or shutting the blinds before you leave.
- Purchase renter’s insurance. Remember, your landlord’s insurance does not cover the contents of your apartment; it just covers damage to the physical structure. So, if someone breaks in and steals some of your valuable possessions, you’ll have to pay to replace them unless you have renter’s insurance. Here at A-Affordable we can help you protect your stuff with a renter’s insurance policy that covers damage to or theft of your property and also provides liability coverage in the event a guest is injured in your apartment.
Learn more about renter’s insurance and how we can help you save money on all your insurance needs by visiting one of our 15 conveniently located offices or calling 1-800-897-2837. Our phone support hours are Monday – Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm, Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. At A-Affordable, we open early and stay late for you!