Moving into your first apartment is a moment when you get to experience an uninhibited sense of freedom for the first time. This place is where you will learn how to properly set up Christmas decorations, learn how to manage energy bills and learn the approximate level of noise you can make without disturbing your neighbors.
Your first apartment is also your first lesson in home security. In order to protect yourself, your roommates, and all the belongings stored within the apartment, it is essential for every first-time renter to know a few simple tricks on securing their first place.
No longer does one need to spend thousands of dollars installing in-home alarm systems and for first-time renters, this is probably the last thing on our minds anyway. Thankfully, home security technology is evolving and in the process providing homeowners and renters alike a piece of mind without the hefty price tag. There are products such as Canary, which is inexpensive, compact and even comes with a smart device app that connects with your smartphone. Canary notifies you if there is movement within your home, has a built in siren you can control from your phone, and even alerts you if the temperature is not prime.
For the bargain-hunters, there are also free apps for your old iPhone, iPad and iMac that can convert the device into a video surveillance camera and be viewed on new devices.
Advertising that you have an alarm system on the outside of your apartment (even if you don’t) is always a quick and easy deterrent for burglary. No intelligent thief would try to steal from an apartment that has an alarm system. You can easily order alarm system brand stickers from eBay.
Get creative with hiding spots
Investing in a fireproof safe to store important documents, money and valuables is always a good idea. Not only do they shield personal items from potential thieves, but also protect items in the event of a fire.
One of the best home security tips for apartment dwellers is to hide your safe and other valuables in the kitchen – when looking to protect your stuff you need to think like a thief, and a thief would think (logically) that the bedroom is where most valuables are stored. The kitchen, on the other hand, is probably the last place a burglar would look.
Another good idea, especially if you don’t have a safe, is to hide items you don’t want stolen in old food boxes and containers in the pantry, because come on, who in their right mind would look in there?
Don’t advertise your absence
If you have seen the movie The Bling Ring you know the thieves took to the internet to find each “victim” including Paris Hilton. They looked in the news to find out the location of each celebrity and then would break into their home and steal millions of dollars’ worth of belongings.
The lesson here is, be careful about what you post on the internet. If you are leaving your apartment all alone for a long weekend or for vacation, don’t advertise the fact you will be gone. Social media outlets are not private and you don’t want your pictures of you in Bora Bora winding up in the wrong hands and leading to your precious first apartment home being burglarized.
Keeping your apartment secure is, in essence, most important for one’s peace of mind. Your home contains all of your personal belongings and often your human and nonhuman loved ones, and can be a target for burglary, theft and arson, so taking security seriously is crucial for your day-to-day wellbeing. Feeling secure and safe while inside and away from your first apartment will be one less thing to worry about so you can focus on decorating your place to the nines.
Our guest blogger, Kate Voss, is a writer and blogger from Chicago who loves baking, Sudoku and decorating her cozy apartment in the Windy City. You can find her @KateEVoss on Twitter.