Millions of Americans opt to lease their living spaces each month, rather than take on a mortgage. In doing so, they often overlook important opportunities to secure their apartments and their valuables in the same way as homeowners. Home security, according to many experts includes choosing not only the safest location possible, but also outfitting the domicile for safety.

“Many D.C. residents are transient – they relocate with their jobs or are college students who require housing that offers short-term leases. For this reason, security does not always take the priority it would were they purchasing a house,” banking agent Doris Garner-Gray, told The Informer. “There is no reason to compromise safety and security because you are renting.”

Here are a few helpful security measures for apartment leasers.

Choose a Secure Apartment Complex When selecting an apartment complex, be sure that it is one that takes the security of its tenants seriously. Both new and older communities utilize secure entry systems that keep outsiders from gaining access to apartments. These include fob keys, fingerprint locks, and keypad codes. Only consider buildings for best security – especially if you will live alone.

Lock Your Doors, Windows and Patios It sounds only logical to shutter an apartment for safety, but Americans routinely neglect to lock their doors, windows, or patios, leaving them vulnerable to home invasion. Pay close attention to sliding doors that jump the track or are easily unlatched. Doors should have deadbolt locks, peepholes, and for added protection, consider using a door security bar to deter intruders.

Set Up a Camera Inside Your Apartment Smart cams — stand-alone devices that stream and record movement in your apartment during your absence can offer peace of mind for apartment renters. Some switch on once you leave home using your mobile phone’s location to note your absence and record the space.

Install Wireless Alarm Systems Wireless alarms are the less expensive version of traditional home alarm systems and do not require wire installation or maintenance. Some systems sync with your smartphone and can ring you and law enforcement should there be a breach of your doors or windows.

Don’t Advertise Your Belongings A giveaway to burglars that an apartment has valuables are delivery boxes for items like televisions, computers, and exercise equipment left outside displaying your apartment number. Pick up or have hot ticket items delivered the same day as trash pickup to avoid being conspicuous about purchases. Barring that, tear or cut up oversized boxes and put them into sealed trash bags before taking to the dumpster. Also, be sure to keep curtains and blinds closed – especially on ground-level units where passersby can see directly into your unit.

Get and Use a Safe There are misgivings that owning a safe is only necessary if a person has high-end jewelry or cash money in their homes. Not true. A safe provides the best protection for any items you believe demand extra protection. This should include important documents, credit cards, banking information, passports, and birth certificates, in addition to any expensive jewelry or cash.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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