Have you ever obsessively checked whether your doors and windows are locked over and over again before going out? Well, we can’t blame you, one can never be too cautious! Home/apartment security is no laughing matter, especially when you move to a new place.
Well, there is no reason to worry or get paranoid. You simply have to take your security measures to the next level. Always be one step ahead of the burglars. There are many security products available that when used in combination with the measures you take, will ensure that your house is an impenetrable fortress! So read our guide on how to secure your new home or apartment to stay ahead of the curve.
Before Moving to a New Home/Apartment
Say you are buying a phone. Would you buy it without reading up on different models and different brands? Your answer is probably no. You want the best phone for yourself because of which you will try to research and gain more knowledge about the different models.
Similarly, whenever you purchase/rent out a new home or an apartment, you have to conduct your research to figure out whether moving into that place is the best option for you. Security is a major factor to consider, so you should do the following things before you move into a new home/apartment.
1. Reading Up on Crime Stats
Do you know what’s the best way to stay safe? You simply have to move into a house located in a safe neighborhood. The first thing you have to do before moving into a new house is to awaken your inner Sherlock and find out whether the place has a high crime rate. Even if your neighborhood seems to be safe, examine whether it is located next to a place that experiences a lot of crime.
Talk to your real estate agents about this and get their honest opinion. Visit your new house and talk to your to-be neighbors. They will mostly give you a realistic image of how safe the neighborhood really is. Know this, if safety is your priority, choose the safest neighborhoods while choosing a house/apartment to move into.
2. Light it Up:
If you are moving into an apartment, walk around the building and identify the dark spots. Although the building might be very well maintained, there might be some nooks and crannies that are in complete darkness. This could include places like parking lots, storage rooms, hallways, mailrooms, staircases, etc.
Don’t hesitate to speak up and get all this fixed. After all, you don’t want to give an undue advantage to the robbers, right? While you are at it, also try to find out under what circumstances and how often are the key codes and keys changed in your apartment complex.
3. No Room for ‘Hide and Seek’:
Before moving into a house, check the immediate surroundings of the house. For instance, if your fence is broken, you should get it fixed before moving into the house. Similarly, you will most probably have trees and bushes in your yard. Ensure that the bushes and the lower branches of the trees are trimmed and maintained properly. Burglars might conceal themselves using these plants and you don’t want that, do you?
4. Safety Over Convenience:
We know that climbing more than two floors in a building several times a day might sound like a pain. But, did you know that houses on the ground floor are the primary targets of the burglars simply because it’s easy to break into them?
Whenever you are moving into an apartment, always choose the one that is above the third floor. This will drastically reduce the chances of you getting robbed because your apartment isn’t easily accessible. Once you do this, you just have to secure all entry points to your house (windows and fire exit as well), and voila! Your house is safe and secure.
5. Changing Locks:
Whether you move into a home or an apartment, the first thing you should do before moving in is changing all the locks. What if the previous owner or the tenant still has spare keys or has distributed his keys amongst his friends or family members? You don’t want strangers to have access to your house. You and only you should have access to your house and that’s why you need to get all the locks changed.
Tools and Devices to use to Secure your New Home or Apartment
Who wanted to be the kid from Home Alone and single handedly bring burglars to their knees, raise your hands! This sounds fun, doesn’t it? Although the kid used pretty basic things while tackling the burglars, you can actually lay your hands over some fancy items that honestly don’t cost much. Securing your house doesn’t have to be something you do when you are paranoid, it can be a fun process as well.
What we mean is that there is a lot of scope to get creative here and you can truly enjoy the process. The best way to choose tools and devices for your house is to think like a burglar. Put yourself in his/her position and think about how you would break into your own house. Play the devil’s advocate! Purchase tools and devices to counter every way you come up with to break into your house. Here are some common things to install to safeguard your house.
1. Purchasing Insurance:
Before you even install any security devices, the first thing to do is to purchase insurance, be it renters or homeowner’s insurance. You might take several measures to prevent robberies and secure your house, but you can never predict unfortunate incidents. A thief might just find a way that you didn’t even think of and rob you of your belongings. However, you can always get coverage for your belongings if you purchase insurance. Remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry!
Also Read: Do I Need A Moving Insurance?
2. Security Systems are a Must:
There are several easy-to-install security and home automation systems that alert you when someone tries to break into your house. Advanced technology can be used to your advantage and you can easily up your home security game. These security systems can be synced in with your smartphones or tablets and send you regular real-time alerts via text messages or emails. The best part about them is that most of them work even if they are disabled.
3. Installing Surveillance Systems:
Most of you will install security cameras inside your homes that are in plain sight. This means that the burglars will break in and try to disable them first. Strategically place these cameras so that they are hard to spot. For instance, you could place them in stuffed toys, bookshelves, behind plants, clocks, TVs, etc. These secret cameras will record each and every movement of the burglars. Make sure that you place the cameras in a way that captures all of its surroundings and gets proper lighting at the same time to do so. This combined with a home security system will ensure that your new home is theft-proof.
4. Securing the Doors:
Burglars generally enter your house through the doors and that’s why you have to have strong doors in your house. Make sure that the hinges are protected and you have installed appropriate locks on your doors. You can use a sturdy deadbolt and a strike plate to make sure that the burglars don’t get through them easily. Additionally, you can also install smart locks on your doors. You can also install door braces that can sustain hundreds of pounds of force and are very hard to break down.
5. Peep Holes and Smart Doorbells:
You will be surprised when you find out that so many burglars have rung the doorbell and robbed the house after they were let inside the house by the owner. Peep Holes are the cheapest tools to install if you want to find out who has rung your bell. Before you open the door, always check through the peephole.
A smart doorbell is a technologically advanced cousin of peepholes. They basically give you a video update about the person who is standing outside your home. It will often notify your phone or any other electronic device whenever your house has a visitor.
6. Safety Door:
Safety Doors give you one more layer of protection when the intruders are trying to break into your house. Safety Doors also allow you to open your main door safely whenever your doorbell rings. This is so because you will be able to see who has come and the person won’t be able to come into your house unless you open the safety door.
7. Securing the Windows:
Windows are another way for a burglar to enter your house. A lot of times, the existing window latches are quite weak. Some of you may also have sliding windows which are the easiest to break. All you have to do is install stronger locks on the window. If you have a sliding window, you can use window bars so that the burglar can’t reach them. You can also place a bar in the track of the sliding window or a door so that no one can open it forcibly from outside.
Additionally, you can start using a window film. This ensures that people from outside your house cannot see inside your house. Lastly, you could install glass break sensors that pick up on the sound of breaking glass and alert you whenever someone is trying to break open your windows.
8. Garage Doors:
Keeping your garage doors open is the biggest mistake you can make. The burglar often takes advantage of your carelessness and enters your house through your garage. Even if they can’t get into your house, a lot of your valuable stuff might be stored in the garage, and breaking into it is still a win for the burglar.
The simplest thing to do here is to keep your garage locked at all points in time. Purchase some sturdy locks and that will do it! You could also install electronic doors that have coded access. Installing smart garage doors is the most convenient option for you because you can control your doors with your electronic devices.
9. Motion Sensors for Lighting:
The one thing that all burglars hate is getting spotted and you can make their fears come true. You can always keep them away by installing outdoor and indoor lighting with motion sensors. If the area outside your house is well lit, the burglar will most probably avoid striking your house.
How to Stay Safe Inside your New Home/Apartment
Apart from using certain devices and tools for your home security, you yourself can always do some things that will foil the burglars’ plans. You have to get into their shoes and reverse psychology the workings of their mind. If you were a burglar, what wouldn’t you want your victims to do? Here are a few things to get you started!
1. Lock Everything up:
If you don’t lock your windows and doors securely, you are practically inviting the burglars to your house. It is like giving them the key and allowing them to rob you. They always want easy access to your homes or apartments and they will rob the houses which do not lock their windows, doors, and garage doors.
2. Outsmart the Perps:
What do thieves want? They simply want to pick up all the valuables from your house and get the job done quickly and smoothly. They are always in a hurry and you can use this to your benefit. Store your valuables in unpredictable and unexpected places. For instance, keep your money in a container that is placed in the back of your refrigerator, store your jewelry in empty Pringles cans, keep your important documents inside some books, and so on.
If you are feeling particularly mischievous, keep fake jewelry in your safe. The thieves won’t even realize what they have stolen until they are a considerable distance away from your house. Know this, the burglars won’t strike the same house twice. Once you trick them, your house is most probably out of danger.
3. Block their View:
Many people forget to close their blinds and give burglars the opportunity to stare inside your house. Blinds should be kept closed especially when it is dark or when you aren’t at home. This is something very easy to do so don’t forget to do it!
4. Pretend you are at Home:
Burglars tend to break into your house when you aren’t home to avoid confrontations and the resulting violence. How can you pretend to be at home even when you aren’t at home? Well, it is rather simple. You can install automated lights, TVs, and music systems. Generally, you can set them on a timer. If you keep these things on, it will create an illusion of someone being at home and the burglars will think twice before hitting your house.
5. Get Friendly with your Neighbors:
Cultivate a great relationship with your neighbors because they will notice things that your security systems won’t. Your neighbors will tell you if anyone suspicious-looking has been hovering around your house recently and help you out in the time of need. However, make sure that you return the favor!
6. Get a Dog:
If you are a dog lover, we don’t need to give you any reasons why you should get a dog. There is a high chance that you already have a four-pawed buddy at your place. If you don’t have one, consider getting one as soon as possible. Not only will they shower you with love but they also create a racket when anyone unfamiliar comes into their territory. The thieves might disable your home security system but how would they shut the natural alarm i.e., your dog?
Always remember that the burglars want the job to get done as quietly as possible and you can rest assured that a dog will foil their plans. At some level, they also fear getting bitten by the dog and then bleeding. This is because they don’t want to leave their DNA traces behind. All in all, just get a dog!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are apartments safer than houses?
Although you might think that living in apartments might be safer than living in homes because of the limited entry points, extensive security measures, and your neighbors living in close premises; there is actually no evidence that suggests that living in an apartment is safer than living in houses.
Where do burglars look first?
The master bedroom is the main target for burglars. This is so because your valuables are generally stored in drawers, safes, closets, etc., of your bedroom. Burglars want to get away with the most valuable stuff from your house because of which they will target bedrooms first.
What attracts burglars to homes?
Burglars are always on the lookout for houses that they can get in and out of quickly and smoothly. So, if a house has flimsy locks, valuables on display, open garage doors, and big pet doors, you can rest assured that a burglar will target that house.