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Home Security for Apartment Dwellers

Saturday, May 15th

Home Security for Apartment Dwellers

Home security is not just for homeowners. Apartment dwellers and other renters need to be just as concerned with home security as homeowners. One reason renters should take security measures is because they have less control over who enters the dwelling. Because landlords and apartment complex managers can let servicemen into the dwelling when the renter is not home, renters are vulnerable. Furthermore, renters have no idea how many other people, besides the landlord, have a key to the front door lock. Previous tenants may have given duplicate keys to family, friends and neighbors, again leaving the renter vulnerable to strangers.

Even though renters do not own the property, they can still take steps to ensure their security as well as the security of their belongings. Here are a few steps apartment dwellers can take.

Talk to your landlord. Before signing the contract, ask questions of the landlord or complex management company. Ask what security measures they take. Entrance ways, back entrances, parking lots and spaces and hallways should be well-lit. Lights, doors and locks should be working properly. Also, find out whether there are video cameras around the complex or property.

Request new locks. Check with the landlord or management company to see if they change lock between tenants. If not, request that they install new high-quality door locks and deadbolts. Be sure to go online and research quality locks and prices. If the landlord refuses to install new locks, go online and look for devices that prevent lock bumping and can be added to existing locks.

Add window locks. Purchase pin locks for windows and sliding glass doors and use them when you leave the apartment. Don't assume that just because your apartment is above ground level that you can leave windows and sliders unlocked.

Install an alarm system. Wireless alarm systems are a great option for the renter since they don't require any holes to be drilled into walls and can easily be relocated when it's time to move. Be sure to go online to find the perfect system for an apartment. Then, check with the landlord before setting up any alarm system.

Use automatic timers. Be sure to use automatic timers for lights and stereos, especially when you're away for long hours or days. This simulates activity in your apartment and may, at least, deter thieves.

Get insured. Be sure to check into renters insurance once you've signed the rental agreement. Renters need their own insurance policies to cover loss in case of theft. Go online and research insurance policies, companies and prices.

Renters and apartment dwellers should not ignore home security. There are a variety of steps renters can take to ensure their safety and the safety of their property.

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Home Security System FAQ

There are more than 2 million break-ins every year in the United States alone. Home security systems are the most logical way to give yourself the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you, your loved ones and your property are being watched over.
The most important feature is 24/7 monitoring, which most services offer as part of your monthly fees. At a minimum, you'll want to have sensors for all of the exterior doors in your residence.
There are many add-ons that can offer additional security and protection. Your home security system could have smoke and CO2 detectors, flooding sensors, motion detectors, night vision cameras, and much more.
You'll find plans both with and without required service contracts. The tradeoff is usually in the price of the equipment vs. the monthly service fees. (See the next question for more on that.)
That depends. You should expect two costs: equipment and monthly service charges. Some providers of home security systems give you the equipment "for free", as long as you sign a contract (usually 2-5 years). Others have you pay for the equipment upfront as a one-time charge, but their monthly fees tend to be lower. And, with most services, you'll pay more for monthly monitoring if your system has all of the bells and whistles.
One of the most customer-friendly aspects of today's home security systems is DIY installation. While there are still a handful of companies that require you to sit down with a sales rep and then wait for a professional to come and set up your system, the vast majority are designed to be easy and fast for you to install yourself. You'll have ample support via phone or online chat if you need extra guidance during the process.
Yes, most of the time. You'll typically have a 30-day window to use your home security system and decide if it provides the protection and service you need. Terms vary, however: you may get a full refund for all fees paid, or you may only be allowed to break your contract without getting any money back. Be sure to understand the details of any plan you select, before you sign up.
Usually, yes. Because of the do-it-yourself nature of most of today's systems, you can uninstall and move your equipment just as easily as you set it up the first time. You'll just need to update the company with your current address, so that emergency responders have the right location in the event of an alarm.
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