Despite all the safety precautions you might take, unfortunate events still happen. So it’s a good idea to hedge your bets with renters insurance.
Unlike your landlord’s insurance, which covers only the building you live in, your renters insurance policy covers personal property like furniture, electronics, clothing, possessions, and damages affected by a burglary or disaster. It also helps cover liabilities and medical costs if a visitor injures themselves in your apartment.
Expect to pay around $20 a month—it's worth it—to protect your stuff and your bank account from an unexpected loss.
Mr. Rogers was really on to something when he spent so much time getting to know his neighbors. Knowing your neighbors is like having intelligent security cameras all around your building.
When neighbors know each other, they’re more likely to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and warn others if they see anything fishy. Watch for people in your apartment complex who you think you might like to get to know. Strike up conversations with them in common areas.
If you're too shy for face-to-face contact, you can also join social media groups on Facebook and Nextdoor in most complexes and neighborhoods to break the ice.
It’s creepy to think about, but many intruders “shop around” for good pickings before deciding on a place to burglarize.
The best way to keep your place off the top of their list is to hide the goods by covering those windows with blinds and curtains. Keep them shut when you aren’t home and anytime after dark. Always angle closed horizontal blinds so folks can't see through the small gap between slats.
Remember, when your lights are on at night and your blinds are open, it’s like you’re performing on a brightly lit stage in a dark auditorium: your outdoor audience can see everything!
4. Upgrade your door locks
Hopefully, your apartment already has a deadbolt, but if not, be sure to install one when you move in (with the landlord's permission). Ask your landlord to change the regular locks on your door as well.
You never know how many duplicate keys are out there, and you want to be sure you’re the only one with access to your apartment (and your landlord should give warning before using their keys to enter an apartment).
Installing additional door locks, like chain locks or a door reinforcement lock, are another way to make sure your apartment stays secure while you’re in it.
5. Get a door security bar
A door jammer is a great security measure for apartment dwellers. Most are easy to install and remove, with zero damage to doors. Plus, it's not vulnerable to lock bumping, picking, or duplicate keys floating around.
For sliding doors on your balcony or patio, sliding door locks are perfect for adding extra protection, and you can also get a jammer for your front door that acts as a heavy-duty doorstop. Most door jammers are portable as well, so you can take them with you when you travel.
Just because someone might get into your apartment doesn’t mean they should be able to cart off all your stuff. A tough home safe is a good deterrent not only for burglars but also for snooping roommates and less-than-trustworthy guests.
Store cash, jewelry, firearms, heirlooms, important documents, and other valuables inside, and talk to your landlord about bolting it to a wall or floor for maximum security.
A security camera can be a surprisingly affordable addition to your apartment security monitoring. You might think that cameras need a full security system. Still, there are plenty of standalone cameras that send a feed directly to your smartphone, so you can monitor your apartment from anywhere.
Most security cameras and smart video doorbells usually have motion detection, night vision, and two-way talk. We highly recommend smart doorbells because you can safely chat with people at the door without ever having to open it. There are even models that attach to your door.
8. Install a security system
Drilling holes in apartments is usually a big no-no (and can affect getting your whole security deposit back), so many renters think their apartment security system can’t extend beyond a pyramid of cans stacked in front of their door.
Fortunately, that’s not the case. Wireless alarm systems use adhesive to fix door and window sensors in place, and you can use your smartphone for monitoring.
Many security systems for apartments also come with freestanding sirens (no clunky keypad and siren that mounts on the wall) to alert you to any problems and scare off intruders. A bonus: having an apartment alarm system can score you lower rates on your renters insurance.