When most people think about home security, they picture locking their doors and installing a home alarm system.
But what if you don’t have a house? What if you’re renting an apartment? Don’t worry – you can still take steps to make your apartment more secure.
Storytime. The first time I moved into an apartment I lived completely alone. And I was a scaredy-cat.
So when the sun set, and it was time to go to bed, I, like a well-functioning adult, barricaded the front door with my shoes and a drying rack. (This would also be an appropriate time to plug my other post about clothes drying ideas)
What can I say, the fear of someone breaking into your space and invading your personal property is real.
Hence, comes this post. There are a lot of creative and efficient ways to secure your apartment from a potential break-in.
These security tips will be focusing on smart gadgets you can incorporate into your daily life. They’ll not only protect your space from potential break-ins but will also help you feel safe in your own home.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link like that, I’ll earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) to feed the bottomless pit that is my cat.
Portable door locks
There are a variety of reasons to invest in a good portable door lock.
For one, apartment buildings are vulnerable to break-ins, as they often lack the security features of a traditional home. Secondly, many people rent their apartment and may not have the option of installing an alarm system or changing the locks to something more secure.
A good portable door lock can help secure your apartment against potential break-ins in a non-destructive way.
Made of heavy-gauge steel, this door lock can stop your doors from opening, even if someone has a key to your apartment. It’s really easy to install too. Simply align it with the latch, close the doors, tighten the locking mechanism and press the button.
Doing this right before going to sleep will prevent the doors from opening inwards. And to make sure it fits, remember to measure your locks before ordering this gadget.
You can also check out this apartment door security gadget that works in a similar way.
Portable door jammer
Door jammers are also one of those easy security measures that can save you a lot of trouble if push comes to shove.
This handy device uses the displacement of force to barricade the door against an attempt at forced entry, making it a great way to add an extra layer of security to your home. Plus, it’s made of thick aluminum alloy for durability, and it takes just a few minutes to install. So if you’re looking for an easy and effective way to improve your home security, a portable door jammer is a great option for apartment renters.
You can also invest in this door jammer bar. And truth be told it is a hefty investment but the security of your home might be worth it. This powder-coated steel door jammer can withstand up to 2,560 lbs of force. And it works on carpet, wood, concrete, and tile which means you’ll be able to use it anywhere in your apartment.
Sliding doors security bar
If you live on the ground floor and would like to add a bit more security to your sliding glass doors, we’ve got a gadget just for you.
This handy security bar easily adjusts to fit the width of your sliding door and locks securely in place, giving you an extra layer of security against would-be intruders. In fact, it has been tested to withstand up to 450 pounds worth of pressure. Additionally, the bar’s rubber tips provide a sure grip without scratching your door frame.
Even better, the security door guard also acts as a child-proof lock, keeping mischievous children from opening the door and wandering out onto the patio.
SimpliSafe – an all-round apartment security system
When it comes to home security systems, SimpliSafe is right up there at the very top.
Apartment dwellers can’t always be there to keep an eye on their home, but SimpliSafe’s wireless alarm system can give you some peace of mind.
This apartment alarm system is DIY-installed and offers affordable professional monitoring plans. Plus, it’s equipped with multiple security cameras and sensors to detect a variety of dangers, like fires, floods, and carbon monoxide leaks. And you don’t need Wi-Fi to make it work–it is one of those wireless alarm systems that has a cellular connection.
If any security concerns are detected, with 24/7 monitoring, SimpliSafe can dispatch emergency services if needed. And it is quite affordable, with monthly-paid plans ranging from $9.99 to $27.99 a month.
Front door smart locks
This option is a no-go for renters unless you can convince your landlord to upgrade the security system in the apartment complex. Still, let’s take a look at smart locks that can up your apartment safety.
Sifely keyless smart lock
There are a lot of benefits to having a smart lock for apartment security.
For one, they make burglars hesitate. If they have to enter, they would need to hack into the intelligent system, which is difficult and time-consuming. Also with the smart lock’s remote alert feature, you can get instant notifications when someone enters your apartment, so you can react quickly.
Yale Wi-Fi smart lock
Another great benefit of having a smart lock is that you don’t have to worry about forgetting your key or getting locked out. Since smart locks have multiple entry options, you can easily enter your home without worry.
If you’re looking for an extra layer of security for your apartment, a smart doorbell is a great option. These devices are connected to the internet and can “ring” your smartphone or other devices when someone approaches your door. Most smart doorbells also include a video camera, so you can see who’s there in real-time.
eufy security doorbell
Having a smart doorbell can make you aware of the foot traffic in your apartment building, taking note of suspicious individuals scoping the place.
Some smart doorbells’ AI’s are more advanced than others. Some are not only capable of telling the difference between visitors and general motion — they can actually recognize faces and delivery personnel.
Arlo Essential video doorbell
But in the name of transparency, I suggest you also give this article a read that highlights some potential issues that can arise from using smart doorbells for apartment security.
If you live in an apartment building, you may be wondering what the best option is for keeping your belongings safe. A home security system is a great way to deter burglars, but what if they manage to get past your defenses? That’s where a safe comes in.
Amazon Basics programmable safe
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a safe for your apartment. First, make sure that the safe you choose has pre-drilled holes so that you can secure it in place. Many landlords don’t allow tenants to use the drill, so check with your property manager before you do anything.
BARSKA biometric mini-safe
Second, identify the area where you’ll place your safe if you are permitted to attach it to the wall. A corner is recommended so that you can bolt the safe between two walls.
Finally, make sure to choose a safe that’s big enough to fit all of your belongings. You don’t want to have to leave anything valuable unprotected because you don’t have enough space in your safe.
One of the easiest and surefire ways to up your apartment safety is to change the locks to something more secure.
Double cylinder deadbolts are some of the most secure locks on the market. They require keys to open from both the inside and outside, which makes them difficult for intruders to get into. A good double cylinder deadbolt lock is also immune to lock bumping.
If you are a renter, you should bring up this idea with your property manager as this kind of lock can be a worthy investment for them.
There are some caveats that you need to be aware of but changing the locks can give you peace of mind during your apartment living days.
Now, in case you don’t want to get a safe or the property owner is categorically against you securing the safe to the wall, what do you do?
The burglars usually go for the tried and true places people hide their valuables — under the mattress, drawers, cabinets, and even the mirror cabinet in the bathroom.
With these diversion items, you hide your valuables in plain sight. These look like regular items, a can of Pepsi or a hairbrush, but they are hollowed out in order to store cash, small jewelry, and what-not.
There are so many dummy items like this on the market that it probably warrants its own separate post.
Door and window sensors & alarms
Now let’s talk about how you can add another layer to your apartment safety.
Instead of locks, we’ll focus on deterrents that can scare off a potential intruder.
First, let’s start with windows. This ultra-slim alarm sticks right to your window and can detect and react to vibrations.
In case someone tries to break or open the window that has the disc on it, it will emit a high-pitched 130db noise. That’s enough to wake up you, your whole apartment complex, and, most importantly, make the intruder think you have one of those fancy security systems installed.
And what makes these window alarms stand out is that they have an on/off switch. So when you want to open your window or don’t want the alarm to freak out in the middle of the day, just flip the switch to “off”.
You can secure your front door in a similar way. However, this low-cost door alarm doesn’t react to vibrations. Instead, it reacts to the door being opened using two metal prongs inserted into the gap between the door and its frame.
If vibration-detecting window sensors are not your style, you can go for a proven classic — window locks.
These locks can secure windows, both horizontal and vertical. You attach it to the frame, therefore, preventing the windows from sliding open. Also, if you have an indoor AC with an exhaust hose, this lock will also help keep it in place.
So remember to secure your windows if you live on the ground floor. And if you’re off the ground level, secure the window that leads off to a fire escape.
Indoor security cameras
You could go for a professionally monitored plan with a security company in your area. But the best security systems can rack up a hefty price.
So instead you can get a couple of these security cameras for your new apartment. This smart security camera can be paired with an app on your phone and other smart devices in your apartment.
In patrol mode, it can send notifications to your phone when motion or sound is detected. The security camera is also equipped with night vision, so it doesn’t need good lighting to be able to notice suspicious activity in your apartment.
The one feature that sets it apart from other security cameras on the market is that it works with a regular SD card. No need for subscription fees for a cloud service.
Dummy security cameras
Making intruders believe that your home is a high-risk target to break into is another excellent method of deterring them. If they think that there’s a chance of getting caught, they might go and look for a target elsewhere. Leading them to believe you have a security system or camera may usually suffice.
This set of dummy security cameras is extremely life-like, down to the built-in photoelectric sensor and a red LED light.
Maybe you can even talk to your property manager about installing these in the apartment building. If they don’t want to install a security system, this might be a good compromise.
How to secure your apartment: additional tips
Do your research beforehand
It’s important to take some extra precautions before moving into a new place, especially if you don’t know the area too well.
Start by checking the local crime statistics and the area’s crime rates. This will give you a better idea of what you’re getting yourself into. If the numbers are high, it might be worth reconsidering your decision to move there.
Once you’ve done that, take some time to scout the area personally and find out as much as you can about it. Talk to people who live there, and get a feel for the neighborhood. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and look elsewhere.
Get a renters insurance
If you’re renting an apartment, you might think that your landlord’s insurance will protect you in case of theft or damage. But that’s not always the case. Renters insurance can help fill the gaps and give you peace of mind.
In most cases, a proper renters insurance policy will cover the loss of belongings due to theft. So if someone breaks into your apartment and makes off with your TV, laptop, or game console, you won’t have to worry about paying for replacements out of pocket.
Communicate with your landlord
If you’re like many people, you might not feel comfortable discussing your security concerns with your landlord. But it’s important to speak up and let them know if you feel unsafe in certain areas. This is especially true for hallways, parking lots, storage rooms, stairwells, and mailrooms.
You should also ask the landlord to replace your door lock or arrange to have it done. There’s no reason to risk having a past tenant barge into your apartment by using a key that hasn’t been returned. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep yourself and your belongings safe and secure.
Introducing yourself to your new neighbors is a great way to create a sense of community and security in your apartment building.
It can also be helpful to have someone to turn to in case of an emergency.
You can ask your neighbors to keep an eye out for any suspicious stuff going on while you’re away, which can help to make you feel safer in your home.
Find weak spots
When it comes to apartment security, you need to think like a criminal.
Visualize how someone could break in and identify any potential weak spots. Is your front door easy to pick? Are there any windows that could be broken or pried open?
Once you’ve identified the risks, you can take steps to mitigate them. For example, using any of the gadgets and tips listed in this post.
Burglars are opportunists, and if they see an easy way in – whether it’s a window left open or an unsecured door – they will take advantage.
That’s why it’s important to make your home as difficult as possible for them to enter. By using some of the tips we shared today, you can deter burglars from targeting your apartment.
Have you taken any steps to secure your space? Let us know in the comments below!