Creative Ways to Lock Down Your Apartment For Less Than Twenty Bucks
If you think living in an apartment protects you from burglary any more than living in a home, you may be sadly mistaken. Here we offer some suggestions on how to improve the security of your apartment or creative ways to lock down your apartment for less than twenty bucks.
How Many Folks Live in Apartments?
The National Multi-Family Housing Council or NMHC is a professional organization “where the industry’s most prominent and creative leaders of the apartment industry come together to guide their future success.” Their statistics show that of the 122,502,000 dwellings in the U.S., 43,108,000 or 35% are renters of apartments. They also show that 104,194,000 Americans live in a rented apartment and that over half of them or 54,516,000 are under 30. These statistics are from 2013 so they are up-to-date.
Additionally, since so many apartment complexes cater to a younger, more economically disadvantaged demographic burglary may be actually more common in those areas because of the need for quick cash that is readily available from a quick hit of an apartment.
Chris E. McGoey is an internationally known author, trainer, speaker, private investigator, and security consultant. He is also known as The Crime Doctor. “He is an expert in the fields of security management, crime and loss prevention, investigations, and premises liability with over 7,000 security investigations/consultations to his credit.
He tells us that “protecting your apartment and family from criminal intrusion should be high on your list of priorities.” Burglary is at the top of the list of crimes committed in apartment complexes. Most burglars in apartments are young males looking for things that are small, expensive and can easily be converted into cash at a pawn shop. Items like cash, jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, and other small electronic devices are high on the list. Quick cash is needed for living expenses and drugs. Sound familiar?
Statistics show that more than 30% of all apartment burglars gained access through an open door or window. Ordinary household tools like screwdrivers, channel-lock pliers, small pry bars, and small hammers are most often used by burglars. Although apartment burglaries may seem random in occurrence, they actually involve a selection process that includes choosing an unoccupied apartment with the easiest access, the greatest amount of cover and with the best escape routes.
Suggestions To Minimize Your Risk
Harden the target. By this, we mean that you should make it as difficult to enter the apartment as possible. Use a grade 1 or grade 2 deadbolt lock with a beveled casing to inhibit the use of channel lock pliers to force entry. A quality doorknob in-lock set will have a dead latch mechanism, a.k.a. a deadbolt, to prevent slipping the lock with a shim or credit card. This Keyless Deadbolt Lock is an adjustable deadbolt for any standard door that works on both right and left-handed doors. It cannot be picked, bumped or hacksawed plus it eliminates the lost key problem.
Bolster your back door. Without a doubt, the back door is the easiest way to get into an apartment. Back doors are usually sliding glass doors that are good candidates for entry by a burglar. In warm climates, an experienced burglar knows that sliding glass doors are often left standing open for ventilation or for pet access. Since they slide horizontally, it is important to have a secondary blocking device in place to prevent sliding the door fully open from the outside.
Use a wide-angle 160° peephole mounted no higher than 58 inches.
Mark Your Property. Many police departments recommend that you engrave your driver’s license number on televisions, stereos, computers and small electronic appliances so in the event that they are stolen they can easily be identified. And many insurance companies strongly suggest that you photograph or video your home furnishings including jewelry, valuables, and electronics.
For more information about apartment security, see our article about Simple Steps To Stop The Bad Guys At Your Front Door.
How To Lock Down Your Apartment For Less Than Twenty Bucks.
We know you are saying it can’t be done, so here is how to bolster the security of your apartment for less than 20 bucks.
Start by placing this Super Door Stop Wedge underneath your front door. It acts as a wedge to block the door from opening. When someone tries to force the door open a 125 dB alarm sounds. That is loud enough to scare away any burglar. This wedge alarm sells for $8.95 and operates on one 9 V battery. It is great for home or on the road in motels and hotels. It is also a great tool for students who live in a dorm.
And get this set of four mini magnetic Window/Door Alarms that sells for $9.99 and installs in seconds on any window or door. When the window or door is opened a 90 dB alarm sounds. It is battery-operated and has an alarm off and chime switch.
So there you have it; for $18.84 you can lock down your apartment and bolster your security for less than 20 bucks.
This article entitled The Ultimate Home Security Guide gives you some more ideas on how to secure a home and make it more difficult for burglars. It also explains why burglary is so popular.
What is your experience living in an apartment as far as security goes? We want to hear your thoughts.