Home security checklist

Rent an apartment

The majority of security features are built-in to your home - so when you rent an apartment your security could be compromised because you are limited to the kind of improvements you are allowed to make. Before renting an apartment, it is therefore important to check how secure it is before committing to it. This checklist will help you check for important security features before you commit, and also help you do things right once you have moved into your new apartment:

Before moving in…

1. Check visibility of public areas

Your new apartment's security starts outside. Make sure all the hallways, entrance, sidewalks, stairs and parking lots are well lit 24/7, and don’t feel threatening.

2. Check the landlord’s sense of responsibility

Ask around to see if the landlord has a good reputation. Will they fix things like burned out lights and damaged door entrances quickly? Remember shadows provide places for intruders to hide, and broken door locks always attract opportunist burglars.

3. Arrange insurance

As a renter it is even more important to have insurance to protect your belongings, because you may not be allowed to improve the apartment security on your own.

As you move into an apartment…

4. Change all the apartment locks

Because you don’t know who has been given keys to your new apartment in the past, it is important to change all the apartment locks for your security.

Add a latch lock with a deadbolt on the entrance door, and use keyed door locks on for internal doors - and remember to make sure nobody you don't know or trust has spare keys.

5. Make sure the windows all have secure locking mechanisms

Security isn’t always as good as it should be in a rented apartment, and windows are no exception. Make sure all the windows have functional locking mechanisms.

6. Install a home alarm system

An alarm is the best way to secure your new apartment. They are easy to set up - and with Yale wireless alarms they are a one-time investment that can be taken with you if you move to another apartment.

Home alarm system products

7. Keep your assets in a safe

Safes offer excellent protection for your valuables, and like alarms can be reused when moving to a new apartment.

Digital safe products

8. Always lock your sliding glass balcony door with a Charley bar

A balcony is always good opportunity for burglars, even on upper floors. It provides a convenient platform that gives them time to attack your door. Always keep your balcony door closed with a Charley bar or a wood slat in the runner to keep the door from being forced open.

9. Get to know your neighbors

Get to know your neighbors and together you can watch out for any suspicious people in or around the building. This is particularly important in apartments where the turnover of tenants may be higher - making suspicious strangers harder to spot.

10. Use your last name on your door or mailbox

It prevents others from knowing your personal details like name, gender or how many people live the apartment.

11. Have a door viewer to identify visitors

By using a door viewer you can identify everyone visiting you before you open the door. Remember to ask for identification from strangers - even if they are in uniform - before opening your door to them.

Door viewer products