Can I Install a Security System with Monitoring in my Apartment?
Jun 24, 2020
The most recent FBI data estimates that there are over 1.2 million burglaries a year, resulting in around $3.4 billion in property loss. Although property crime as a whole has been on the decline, the rise in popularity of video doorbells and more comprehensive and integrated home security systems shows that Americans are no less concerned about protecting their homes.
However, what if your home takes the form of an apartment? Do you still have the same security and monitoring options if you are a renter and share walls and entryways with your neighbors?
The answer is yes. Though there are a couple of obstacles that you might have to work around, this doesn’t mean your abode needs to be any less secure.
What to Look for in a Security System for Apartments
When choosing a security system that will work best in an apartment, you’ll want to look at three main factors.
Considering most landlords and property management companies don’t want you drilling holes and running wiring through the walls, your best bet will be to go with a wireless security system.
Apartments are best served by security systems that are easily scalable. Maybe you’ve only got a 500 sq. ft. studio that already has a monitored common entryway, or perhaps you’re looking to cover a 4-bedroom, ground floor unit with a back patio and sliding glass door. Make sure you choose a system that can grow or shrink based on your property needs.
Another advantage of going wireless is that the equipment can readily move with you, unlike wired systems that usually end up staying with the property.
However, there’s another aspect of portability to watch out for when choosing a home security service. Some companies require 3 to 5-year contracts when you sign up for their security monitoring services. Most providers do allow relocation options and packages, but they can be more expensive and complicated. Therefore, if you don’t see your apartment as a somewhat long-term residence, be wary of any multi-year service commitments.
What Provider Should I Go With?
There are plenty of great options to choose from when it comes to securing your apartment. Product review sites are a great place to start. Reviews.org has recently compiled their best-of list specifically geared toward renters and apartment dwellers. Ultimately, it comes down to individual needs and preferences.
Additional Steps to Help Secure Your Apartment
Outside of alarm systems and security cameras, there are plenty of other simple, practical ways to prevent break-in and property theft.
If you’re currently searching for an apartment, keep in mind the following:
What are the local crime rates in the area?
What’s the lighting like in the complex?
Are the grounds/buildings well maintained?
How many entrances are there? Are they monitored?
How many entryways & windows will your unit have?
Are you on the ground floor?
Are there any additional security measures employed by the complex?
After moving into your apartment, consider the following:
This should be a no-brainer but lock your doors! If your doors don’t already have a deadbolt, ask your landlord about installing one.
Get a security bar for any sliding doors.
Cover your windows to avoid “window shopping.”
Get to know your neighbors. They’ll be much more likely to tell you about anything suspicious they’ve seen if they have a relationship with you.
Get renter’s insurance, just in case.
Whatever security measures you decide on implementing in your apartment, it is always best practice to consult your landlord or property management company.
Although there is some evidence that apartments are, by nature, safer from break-ins—depending on the size of the complex and the number and security of entry points—this shouldn’t dissuade you from taking all the measures you can to protect yourself and your loved ones.