Home Security: 8 Top Tips to Keep your Apartment Safe

Follow these 8 expert tips to feel confident and secure in your apartment, when you're home and when you're on the go.

Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety and security of your home, belongings and - most crucial of all - your family and loved ones. If you live in an apartment, there are unique pros, cons and things to be aware of when it comes to home security.

These 8 tips from Five Star Locksmiths will have you feeling safe and secure in your apartment 24/7.

1. Keep every external entry point locked as appropriate

When you are out, all doors and windows must be secured, preferably with a deadlock. Also, if you have a garage or car space on site, ensure that this is secure. If you are home alone or your family members are home without you it is important that your apartment is still secure. Make sure external doors are locked and that any internal deadlocks are not deadlocked in case any person needs to exit the apartment in an emergency.

2. Get to know your neighbours

The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, having good relationships with your neighbours helps a huge amount with security. It means they will keep an eye out for you – and vice versa. You can ask them to collect mail or do other check ups if you are away. They may also keep an eye out if any strangers come to your door in your absence.

Secondly, apartment living means that your neighbours’ guests will also be in close proximity to your home. So if you know a little bit about them, you will have a better sense of any unusual visitors to the building or if any of their guests cause trouble which may make you feel unsafe. You can then be in a better position to enquire politely if anything happens or – in the worst case scenario – if you need to report any suspicious activity.

3. If in any doubt – get your locks re-keyed

Apartments have usually had several occupants (if renting) or owners. If you have any doubts about the security of your apartment from this perspective, follow these guidelines:

  • If you are a tenant, you will need to ask permission of your landlord or real estate agent in order to re-key locks. Most will be happy for you to do this. You may need to pay for the cost yourself and possibly also pay to change the locks again when you leave.
  • If you are an owner/occupier, you may need to check with the Owners Corporation (also sometimes known as the Body Corporate) before you re-key any locks. There may be guidelines around the kinds of locks you can use and you will also need to take into account any shared locks (e.g. security doors, off street parking) – you may not be able to change these.

4. Have spare keys accessible somewhere safe

Spare keys are best left off site at a trusted family member or friend’s place. If you have children who sometimes arrive home alone and may forget or lose keys, ensure they have that person’s contact details and know where to find them.

5. Security system stickers

Many home owners place stickers on their front windows stating that the premises are secured with an alarm system. You can also consider this when living in an apartment. The sticker can either be placed on visible windows or on the front door, if appropriate. Visual signs like this do act as a deterrent as any intruder or thief will always target places that are easy and low security.

6. Common sense about visibility

Be aware of what people can see through your windows. If possible, don’t have valuable items visible through accessible windows even when you are home. Always shut curtains and blinds when you are not home and at night when light from inside the apartment can make you more visible to the outside world than you may realise.

7. Install sensor lights or timed lights if possible

This is another item you may need to check before installing (with your landlord, estate agent or body corporate). But sensor lights or timer lights can be a very effective way to increase security, make you feel safer when you leave or arrive at your premises, and also to put off any potential intruders.

8. Security audit

A good commercial locksmith will provide you with a security audit for a set fee. This can be very reassuring and also give you a concrete list of things to check, action items and things that you can refer to your landlord or estate agent.

Five Star Locksmiths provides 24-hour locksmith services in Melbourne’s CBD and its suburbs.

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