Keep your flat and apartment secure with these handy home security tips!
Even though you are less likely to be burgled living in flats or in an apartment compared to a detached house it’s still important to stay on top of your home security. We’ve put together a list of flat and apartment security tips to take care of those weaknesses and help you take the appropriate measures to prevent burglars from infringing your apartment or flat security and damaging your property.
Flat and apartments home security tips
1. Get the locks changed
Replacing your locks when you move in reduces the risk of unwanted people gaining access to your new flat. Don’t rely on your landlord to have changed them, but do ensure seek their permission before changing them. Neither you or the landlord know if any extra copies of the keys were made, so there could be many replica keys out there. Make sure you employ a professional locksmith to change your locks, as if you attempt it yourself, you could invalidate your insurance
2. Fire and Communal doors
When improving the security of the communal entry to your flat or apartment building, always make sure that fire regulations take precedence. If you are in any doubt regarding this, the Police advice contacting your local Fire Officer and your local police Crime Prevention Officer. You will also need the permission of the landlord or business owner if you are planning to make any changes.
There is most likely going to be a robust looking communal door that everyone has to go through to get into your flat or apartment building. These are normally operated by fob, key card or biometric reader, meaning only a person with the right access to gain entry to the property. This gives you another level of safety, as a burglar will have to get through two doors before they reach the inside of your home. However, with the amount of people coming in and out of the door, they are likely to need a lot of maintenance, so you need to let your landlord or building manager know if it needs repairing. They are also susceptible to tampering, by placing something over the magnet in the mechanism of the door, meaning the door can simply be pushed open. If you are worried about the security of your front door or believe it to be tampered with, you should contact maintenance or your landlord immediately.
3. Get a smart home system
It is always a good idea to think about what additional home security can be fitted to ensure you are taking the necessary precautions to protect your home and equally as important yourself. As part of the ‘Easy Fit’ range, Yale has developed an alarm specifically designed for those living in a flat or apartment. The Yale Easy Fit Apartment Alarm is a keypad operated system that when triggered a loud internal siren will sound and alert others of an intrusion.
If you want to install a more complicated wired home alarm system, then you may need permission from your landlord or building owner. That why it’s easier to get a Wi-Fi alarm system, which gives your flat or apartment the cover its needs. Yale isn’t the only company that do Wi-Fi alarms.
Samsung have released their ‘Smart Things home security system’ which has been made to link with lots of third party smart home systems, such as Sonos, Phillips Hue and Yale systems. If you are looking to get a ‘smart home’ then Samsung is the way to go; based around the Hub, you get a Multi Sensor, for doors and windows, a Motion Sensor, Presence Sensor that lets you know people arrive or leave home and a Power Outlet plug that controls anything plugged into it.
Panasonic also do a home security system, and it’s better for those who are less technologically minded. The starter kit contains a smart hub, Indoor siren, motion sensor and a door and window sensor. It boasts a ‘one button’ set up, so you want be struggling to get it working, and it’s also one of the cheapest home security systems out there.
There are plenty more smart home systems on the market, so it’s worth doing some research about which one would be best for your flat or apartment.
4. Fit a door viewer and door chain
Have a door viewer fitted so you can see who is calling before opening the door which helps you to keep out any unwanted visitors. If you aren’t expecting anyone or do not recognise the person on the other side of the door, we would recommend that you didn’t answer the door. A door chain also gives you a little bit of extra security if you are concerned when opening the door, so we would recommend having this fitted also. Again, you would need your landlords permission to have these fitted.
6. Rental Insurance
Yes! You probably do need it! If you are renting through an agency then it’s more than likely that it will be a requirement of the contract. Your landlords will have specific landlord insurance, but that’s for fixing any broken windows or doors after a break in. They’re not going to replace any personal items that have been taken, such as TV’s or laptops. Even if it’s not a requirement of your landlords, its good practice to have rental insurance, if you are burgled then you’re probably not going to be able to afford to replace lots of valuable items.