If you’ve ever lived in a college town, you probably know at least one story about someone whose apartment got broken into. Whether it was a friend, a friend of a friend, or just word of mouth, you’ve probably heard the stories. But there’s no need to panic! There are plenty of steps you can take to help protect your apartment from theft or other dangers.
- Lock your doors. This seems obvious, right? But there are plenty of people who either forget to do it or just choose not to, so this is the number one thing you can do to protect your apartment. Anything that makes it harder for someone to get inside if you don’t want them there is a good thing, so make sure you’re using the locks on your doors and windows (especially if you’re on the ground floor).
- Put away your valuables. So you can’t exactly stash your TV somewhere out of sight. But avoid leaving things like your laptop or tablet lying in plain view. Put away any cash instead of letting it lie around, and keep your jewelry tucked away somewhere out of sight as well. Even just closing the blinds or curtains can deter wandering eyes.
- Leave a light on. Most of us get reminded a lot when we’re younger not to leave lights on when we leave a room, or when we leave the house. But if you’re going to be gone for more than a day – even just for a weekend – it’s not a bad idea to leave a light on, or to turn on the radio or something before you leave.
- Check the alarms. You should have a smoke alarm in several areas of the apartment – in the kitchen and living area, and in each bedroom. You may not be able to get a security system if you’re renting, but if you can it’s not a bad idea. At least once or twice a year you should try to test them, just to make sure they’re still working – that’s not something you want to realize too late.
- Speak up. If you see something suspicious going on around your apartment building, or if you notice a light is burned out in a common area or that doors are being left open, say something! It’s easy to assume that someone has already reported these sorts of things, but it’s better to have a duplicate report than for no one to say anything at all.
These are just a few of the things you can do to keep your apartment safe, but they’re all good steps to take to protect your home (and yourself).