Just because you live in a small space like an apartment, townhome, condo, or cottage does not mean you don’t have the same security concerns as the owner of a larger home. In fact, you may face security concerns they do not. The question becomes how to handle those concerns.
With minimal space for extra technology and in some cases the issue of neighbors in close proximity, making sure your home, where you keep your most prized possessions, is secure, is an extremely high priority.
So how do you protect your apartment, condo, or tiny home? Here are some important security tips for apartment renters and others who live in small spaces.
Outdoor lighting is essential for security. A lot of theft happens at night, and if a thief can be seen, they are much less likely to commit burglary. Of course, what that outdoor lighting looks like varies depending on the space where you live.
In an apartment complex, make sure that the lights in your hallways and outside your patio are in good working order. If not, submit a maintenance ticket of the highest priority to get them fixed. One thing thieves will often do is “case” apartments to see which ones are the most vulnerable and have the most valuable things worth stealing. Then they will deliberately sabotage outside lighting, making the apartment more vulnerable.
This is why it is vital to make sure this lighting is in good repair, and if it is not, get it fixed or fix it immediately.
The same is true for condos and townhomes. If your homeowners’ association handles parking lot and other outside lighting, report when something is broken or not working properly especially if there are sudden changes. If you are responsible for your own outdoor lighting, be sure to have extra bulbs on hand, and make fixing it a priority if anything should go wrong.
Outside lighting is one of the biggest keys to security. Motion sensors and timers can make sure that the area is well lit, yet you are not wasting energy at the same time.
Technology has made security cameras affordable for everyone, and installing them is easy. You can even monitor most of them from your smartphone, and they connect to your Wifi so you can access motion sensors and cameras on the go. Many record to an external hard drive or a thumb drive, so images and videos can be saved for as long as you would like.
These cameras can be hidden, mounted nearly anywhere, and even set on shelves as part of your décor. This helps keep all of your possessions safe, and gives you information to share with the authorities should something go wrong.
When living in places like apartments, condos, and townhomes, remember your homeowners’ association or management company may limit what kind of cameras you can mount outside, how they have to appear, and may have other rules in place. Be sure to check all applicable neighborhood regulations, and follow them closely.
Windows and Doors
Lock all of your windows and doors even when you are home. Be sure that all of the locks are functional, and you may even want to put door and window sensors that will emit a sound and alert your phone if someone who is not authorized enters your home.
This sounds like a simple thing, but it is often ignored when people think they are just running to the store or to the mailbox, and it doesn’t matter. Robberies often occur during these short periods, or there is the potential for other risks to your personal safety.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
This is important for two reasons: first of all an awareness of who your neighbors are can alert you if someone new or strange is in the area, and you can investigate why they are there or report suspicious activity through the proper channels.
Also, if you trust your neighbors, you can look out for each other when you are not home. Although neighborhood watch programs are not as popular in many communities, you can still informally keep an eye on things while knowing your neighbors are doing the same for you.
Don’t Hide Keys Outside and Other Common Mistakes
The deadbolt on your door won’t do you any good if someone has a key. In a tiny space and the area around an apartment or condo, there are very few good places to hide a key, and burglars are on to the under the mat, in a fake rock, and other common key hiding techniques.
Suspend mail delivery when you are not home, or have someone collect it for you. Don’t let flyers, newspapers, or other material accumulate while you are gone.
Think about interior lighting as well. Leave lights on strategically and randomly, and if you can invest in smart lights for your home. You can turn these on and off remotely, even dim them, and can set them to turn on and off in random patterns that make it seem like you are home.
Lastly, be careful about public posts on social media that reveal your location, and let thieves know you are not home. This can provide them with the time window they need. Make those kinds of posts private, and check your privacy settings often.
Small spaces come with their own security concerns, but you can prevent theft and keep your belongings secure by following these tips, and using modern technology to defend your home.